The story behind eco-friendly cloth sanitary pad brand Bloom & Nora

When mum’s the latest word on eco-friendly cloth sanitary pads!

You've probably heard the saying “Necessity is the mother of all invention” but did you know that a mother’s need to make a difference is the mother of Bloom & Nora?

Fiona and Maia, the inspiration behind Bloom & Nora reusable sanitary pads

Maia Smyth (right) the inspiration behind the brand and her mum, Fiona Smyth (left).

In 2000 following the birth of her daughter and with concerns about the environment and chemicals found in disposable nappies, Fiona Smyth (our founder) got out her sewing machine and designed the very first TotsBots Reusable Nappy. Fast forward 14 years and her daughter again inspired her, only this time to develop the washable, reusable cloth sanitary pad brand Bloom & Nora when her daughter started her periods.

It wasn't a massive leap for Fiona to evolve from a world of award-winning fluffy reusable nappies into creating comfortable cloth sanitary pads. They are made using very similar fabrics, do a very similar job and the motivation for designing the pads is the same; to protect our health from exposure to unnecessary chemicals and to protect our planet from overconsumption and waste.

“Even though disposable pads are a waste issue and take hundreds of years to biodegrade, the chemicals in pads and tampons were actually my biggest trigger. It wasn’t until I read an article mentioning dioxins and carcinogens in the same sentence as pads and tampons, that I decided it was time to get back to the design table and do something about it.”

Constantly innovating, the team at TotsBots have become experts in fabric technology, component quality and manufacturing methodology. They put everything they learned over the years to create the range. With the emphasis on comfort, performance and durability, the team also ensured the pads were Oeko-Tex certified at the outset and therefore guaranteed to contain no nasty chemicals.

''Before Mum began looking into making cloth sanitary pads, I was pretty ignorant to the damage disposable ones cause to our environment. I converted after being shocked by the statistics showing just how detrimental single-use pads are, and even more shocked about the chemicals in them. After a few months of using them, I discovered how much more comfortable they were - and I love the prints, they are so much prettier than disposables! The bloomers are my favourites because I love the softness of the bamboo.''

Keen to spread the word and encourage other teens considering making the switch, Maia has shared her experiences and opinions on cloth sanitary pads and you can read the full interview on the blog here.

Fiona is still very much at the helm of our Bloomin’ beautiful ship, still sailing the flag high in Glasgow and happily cavorting around the studio taking silly pics with pads, and still leading the brand to fluffy new heights.

To finish off with another well known saying “Mums know best”, and here at Bloom & Nora we definitely think they do, but we also know that mums also want to do the best for their kids and with climate change on everyone’s minds, do the best for their future too. With the recent switch at Bloom & Nora to using only waterproof materials created from recycled plastic bottles, we are doing the best we can for our Mother Earth too.

View the full range of Bloom & Nora reusable sanitary pads here.