The moment I realised that there are 4 carrier bags worth of plastic in a conventional packets of pads I was flabbergasted. Bewildered. Dumb-struck. Okay, a tad miffed was probably closer to the mark.
But why was I miffed?
Well, mainly because it had never occurred to me that the objects I trusted to keep me confident and dry(ish) when I periodically bled were made of anything other than cotton. I felt foolish for assuming I was putting something vaguely natural near me at that time of the month. There's a reason I don't wear plastic knickers, I thought, except it turns out that for 25% of my adult life I basically have been (in the gusset region, at least). I felt a bit betrayed.
The other reason I was upset was that I, like a lot of people, have started making an effort to reduce the amount of plastic I use. Yes, I cried when I saw the dead baby whale on David Attenborough and yes, I vowed to change my habits so no more creatures would die in vain. I've got quite good at remembering to take my bag-for-life when I go shopping (most of the time, anyway). I recycle. I tut when I see a single aubergine in a plastic wrapper. I thought I was doing my bit.
That's why this discovery irked me. It turns out conventional pads are 90% plastic. And they can take decades or even centuries to break down.
Some depressing maths told me that if I'd been having periods for 12 years, using approximately 20 pads a period, I'd already put nearly 3000 pads in the bin. Pads that might not decompose for hundreds of years. The idea that these bits of blood soaked plastic might outlive me (and even my grand children) was awful. And I could potentially bleed for another 20+ years. The disastrous potential wasn't hard to imagine.
So I decided to make a change.
From now on, I decided, I wasn't going to use pads made of plastic. I was going 100% natural. Take that massive corporations! I was a one woman period revolution!
Except it turns out that it wasn't that easy: I scoured the high street, I searched the supermarkets. Nothing. Then I found a lovely little independent shop selling a limited range of products. Nice. Except this shop was nearly 30 miles from my house. Convenient it was not.
And I got to thinking about all the other women in the same position as me. If we wanted change, convenience was the key to making it stick.
So that's how It's Your Period started. I teamed up with a friend so we could provide plastic-free pads and tampons to everyone in an easy and convenient way.
We tweaked some of the traditional ways of packaging our products. Instead of putting 12 or 14 pads in a box (and forcing you to buy more boxes than you really want to), we just let you pick how many pads you want and put them in a box. We let you mix & match the absorbency so if you want mainly regular, a few super and a couple of long, you can have that. And if you fancy some tampons, just because, it's no problem.
We're all about being convenient so we can all be conscious. And stick to it.