Special Offer

Posts by Month

A blog from the women of GladRags and our customers too.

Discussions on menstruation, environmental living, women's health, relevant politics, and other interesting matters - we like to go with the flow around here.

Many of our customers have been contacting us about regulations put in place by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We appreciate the concern of our customers, and wanted to clear up some misconceptions about how the FDA works with cloth pad companies, as some widely shared articles appear to be misinformed.

The FDA has classified cloth menstrual pads as Class I medical devices for many years.* Back in the 90’s, we went through the long process of FDA submission to get our products registered, and have been paying an annual fee since. Neither the medical device classification of cloth pads, nor the annual fee, are new developments.

Unfortunately, many independent makers of cloth menstrual pads were unaware that they were required to register with the FDA to legally sell their products. Some have recently been notified that they are required to pay the fee (which is about $3700 and due by the end of the year). Of course, without having planned for that kind of expense, many now find themselves scrambling to make the payment.

While we wish our friends in the cloth pad community the very best, we believe that the fact that the FDA is paying attention to cloth pads is actually a good thing! If the FDA finds it meaningful to ensure that cloth pad makers are registered, it means that cloth pads are growing in popularity and becoming more mainstream. In fact, the FDA has even loosened up regulations for reusable menstrual products in general this year by no longer requiring “pre-market notification” for these products (which had an associated fee and lots of labor).

And yes, we think it’s silly that menstrual pads are classified as a “medical” device (because menstruation is NOT an illness!), but we’ll continue to follow the rules until we can change them. In the meantime, please let us know if you have any questions about how GladRags works with the FDA–we’d be happy to help clear up any confusion!

*before the FDA had a classification for cloth menstrual pads, they were classified simply under “menstrual pads–unscented.” You’ll find that GladRags still shows that classification as the cloth menstrual pad category has only been added in the past few years and doesn’t affect prior submissions.

Edited to add: Disposable pads and tampons are also classified as medical devices. Disposable pads and reusable pads are both Class I medical devices, while tampons and menstrual cups are both Class II medical devices.

It’s no secret that we’re fans of reusables around here! During the holiday season, we think it’s extra important to keep the planet in mind and avoid buying disposable junk when there are reusable options available. Read on for information on our #GiftReusable photo sweepstakes and the reusable items that made our gifting list this year.

GiftReusables-Cover-Photo

For every disposable product, there’s a reusable option to replace it. Between 12/5 and 12/19 we want you to help us find these reusable products, especially those that you’d love to give (or receive!) this holiday season. Your photos earn you entries into a drawing to win a prize-pack that includes a stainless steel pint glass, reusable water bottle, and insulated thermos from our friends at Klean Kanteen; any single item from the beautiful sustainable clothing selection at prAna.com; and a $75 shopping spree from GladRags.com.

To enter:

1. Snap a photo of a reusable gift idea.

2. Share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

3. Tag with #GladRagsPads and #GiftReusables.

Open to residents in the US only. Photo description MUST include both #GladRagsPads and #GiftReusables.

Need inspiration? Here are five reusable gift ideas we’d love to give or receive this season!

mason jar kittens

paper towel roll

organic hankie

  • If you’re the crafty type, whip up some reusable coffee sleeves so your friends can sip their coffee in style. DIY instructions here.

diy coffee cup sleeve

  • A sweet lunchbox set like this nautical themed package from Blue Avocado makes a great gift for anyone on the go.

530

 

And of course, we always recommend the gift of GladRags! We so often hear “I wish I’d tried cloth pads sooner” from our customers; if you have a pal who’s on the fence, why not support her in making the switch by sending a GladRags gift certificate her way?

What are your reusable gift picks this year? Snap a photo and let us know: make sure to tag #GladRagsPads and #GiftReusables to be entered in our fabulous sweepstakes!

november-challenge

In November, we challenged our ambassadors to take big steps in educating others about reusables. We were blown away by their actions! Want to get in on the fun? Apply here.

  • Teresa worked tirelessly to be a resource to her student health center
  • Iris wrote an article about reusable menstrual products for her campus newspaper
  • Breana and Brandi each made informative, educational flyers (see below)
  • Zoe and Becca held menstruation-themed meet ups
  • and too many of our ambassadors to name had one-on-one conversations with friends, coworkers, family members and more!

brandi there will be bloodbreana info sheet

moon cup and pantyliner

This post is brought to you by Iris, one of our fabulous Campus Ambassadors and former GladRags intern. She wrote the below piece for her university’s newspaper. Thanks for spreading the word about reusable menstrual products, Iris! You rock!

Tampons are gross. So are maxi pads. They affect everyone living on this planet, regardless of sex or gender. Over the course of a lifetime, the average woman (it should be noted that not all women have periods, and not all people who have periods are women) will spend $3,500 on disposable menstrual products. That’s about 8,000 tampons or pads, generating mountains of bloody, disgusting waste that will sit in our landfills forever. Disposable menstrual products are made of wood pulp, with chemical additives and fragrances, and they contain (trace amounts of) a known carcinogen, dioxin, due to the bleaching process that they undergo.
Fortunately, there are alternatives! Sustainable, hygienic, comfortable, convenient, alternatives: reusable menstrual products. So keep reading, for yourself, your friends, your family, and your planet.

There are two main types of reusable menstrual products: menstrual cups and reusable cloth pads. Menstrual cups are the bomb. Made of medical-grade silicone; they go inside the vagina, like a tampon. You buy one, for about $30, once or maybe twice in your lifetime. They only need to be emptied 2-3 times a day. Unlike a tampon, they collect, rather than absorb, liquid. This greatly reduces the risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome), which comes from over-absorbent tampons drying out tissue and resulting in small tears that allow bacteria into the bloodstream. Similar to tampons, you can run, swim, bike, etc. with ease and comfort. They just need to be rinsed or wiped with toilet paper after being emptied, and then washed with hot, soapy water every month. There are a lot of urban legends and few sad but true stores of menstrual cups getting stuck inside of people. This shouldn’t ever happen. Menstrual cups do require a little practice, but they will come out with a little maneuvering.

Menstrual cups don’t work out for some people, with excuses ranging from, “I just can’t even”, to personal preferences, to medical conditions such as endometriosis. Luckily, there are always reusable cloth pads. These can be purchased in a wide variety of designs and pretty patterns/colors, or DIY sewn by hand. Unlike disposable pads, which have a plastic lining that traps odor and can lead to chafing and infection, they are breathable and supremely comfortable. They, are, contrary to popular belief, not difficult to keep clean; just rinse and then toss in the laundry.

All reusable menstrual products require a little more cleaning than their disposable counterparts. But ask yourself, which is really more disgusting? Having to deal with a little blood, or piling up foul, rotting disposables for someone else to deal with in the future?

Want to go buy some of these wonderful products? Check out Portland, OR based GladRags (gladrags.com) for a very helpful website with FAQs and a great selection of pads and cups.

Want to join the GladRags team? Of course you do! Who doesn’t want to help women have happier, healthier periods? GladRags is a small company with a casual atmosphere: we make a lot of bad puns, bring dogs to work, and legitimately enjoy getting happy hour with each other. Most importantly, we work hard because we believe that we’re doing matters. If that sounds like the perfect work environment for you, read on for the specifics…

GladRags is hiring a part-time office admin/accounting assistant for 10 hours per week at our centrally located office in Portland, Oregon. We’re looking for a detail-oriented individual to assist in office management, data entry, and entry-level bookkeeping and inventory management. This position’s primary responsibility is to maintain accurate, timely financial records in our accounting system (Quickbooks Premier Manufacturing & Wholesale). Compensation DOE.

Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Recording transactions, inventory-related activities, A/R, and A/P in Quickbooks
  • Creating and maintaining administrative forms as needed and filing paperwork
  • Ordering office, kitchen, and shipping supplies
  • Light office cleaning (washing dishes, taking out trash, vacuuming)

Required skills:

  • Minimum high school diploma; Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Strong attention to detail with high level of accuracy
  • Excellent written and verbal skills
  • Ability to follow written directions accurately
  • Basic knowledge of common computer programs including Excel
  • Ability to type 50+ wpm

Preferred skills:

  • Experience with Quickbooks, specifically Manufacturing & Wholesale functions
  • Experience in natural products/women’s health industries
  • Basic bookkeeping abilities

Benefits include:

  • PTO
  • Paid holidays
  • Monthly reimbursement for bike commuters

To apply, please email tracy(at)gladrags(dot)com with the following. Please, no phone calls.

  • Resume attached as a PDF, with your first and last name in the file name (example: Jane Doe Resume.PDF)
  • Minimum two professional references (may be listed on resume)
  • Why you are interested in working at GladRags

go-anywhere-do-anything

The Moon Cup is simple, comfortable, and completely portable, leaving you free to go wherever. The new Dear Kate Yoga Pant has Underlux fabric, which protects better than regular underwear, leaving you free to go without.  Dear Kate Yoga Pants and the GladRags Moon Cup Kit are made in the USA by women, for women. Enter to win a pair of Dear Kate Yoga Pants* and a GladRags Moon Cup Kit and see where this new freedom takes you!

*yoga pants will ship in December

a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 ways to soothe menstrual cramps

We polled our Facebook followers to find out their favorite tricks for beating the PMS blues. Here are our top ten picks from their suggestions to keep your period from cramping your style.

1. A naturopath told me to take extra magnesium (a large amount is in very dark chocolate!)
2. Rub lavender essential oil on belly.
3. Earth mama angel baby monthly comfort tea. And a hot bath.
4. Heating pad, couch and a good movie!
5. Red raspberry leaf tea.
6. I like using Yogi tea; “Moon Cycle” gets rid of my cramps every time. Of course, I only get cramps if I eat chocolate, which is really hard to resist sometimes!
7. Vitamin B6. It helps pregnant women with morning sickness, so I decided to try it for my period “morning sickness” and cramping.
8. A glass of wine, the perfect muscle relaxant!
9. Heat. Either those heat patches or heating pad or hot bath. Relaxes the muscles.
10. My answer is a little naughty. (We’ll leave this one up to your imagination…)

What’s your go-to comfort remedy for when cramps get out of hand?

october-challenge

This month, we challenged our Campus Ambassadors to post physical reminders about reusables around their campus. The winner of our October challenge was Renae, who made her own personalized poster about cloth pads to share on campus! Other ambassadors gave presentations to their classes, plastered tampon boxes with stickers, and had productive conversations with their peers. This is one powerful group!

Want to get in on the action? Apply to be a GladRags Ambassador today, and participate in our next monthly challenge!

Halloween is just around the corner! If you’re still looking for the perfect costume, fear not: we’ve collected our top five favorite period themed costumes here for your inspiration…

 1. Feminine Protection

Bonus: it’s a great use for all those leftover disposable tampons you have now that you’ve switched to reusables.

2. Uterus (and other reproductive parts)

Your perfect last minute costume! Just wear all pink and hold your arms out like fallopian tubes.

3. Aunt Flo & a Box of Tampons

Don’t leave your partner out of the fun. Flip a coin to see who gets to be Aunt Flo and who has to be a box of disposables. We’d tell you to go as a menstrual cup/cloth pad instead, but let’s be honest: tampons are WAY scarier than reusables.

4. Reusables & Blood Droplet

Cloth pads and menstrual cups are soooo not spooky. Make sure to give your most serious metal face while wearing a costume like this, or people will just think you’re cute.

5. Vulva

You can spend the entire night correcting people: you’re not a vagina, you’re a vulva. This photo was shared with us by Doula Zoe, who won a costume contest with this masterpiece!

Not feeling inspired? Maybe this year you can just stay home and craft spooky little ghosts out of tampons…

Happy Halloween!

tales_womb

In preparation for Halloween, we asked our fans on Facebook to share their spooooookiest period-related story. Here are a few of our favorites: 

“I used to wear tampons until one time I was at the mall and I felt sticky stuff trickling down my leg. Period blood. My tampon fell out and I don’t even know where it went. I am a super heavy bleeder and this was a super sized tampon! So that sucked!” – Amy

“Mine actually started for the first time ever in the cemetery. We were playing in the cemetery when I felt it. Weird place to get it.” – Kristin

“When I was 12, my dad took me to the woods. It was hunting season and had snowed. I had my period and thankfully was wearing a pad so I got out and peed behind the truck. My flow was heavy, so the snow turned more red than yellow. I didn’t have any TP so I shook dry and pulled my pants up. My dad got back to the truck and we started to leave. As he’s turning around, he sees a bright red spot in the snow. He circles around looking for a blood trail. I never told him him it was me, but my Mom thought it was hilarious.” – Michelle

“I pretended to have PMS once in sixth grade to be “older” and “cool.”  After my embarrassing fit I got home only to see that I had, in fact, started my period during the hissy fit.” LauraAnn

“I got my period while in a paddleboat in my bathing suit in the middle of a lake. What a mess. My friend made me get out and swim beside the boat the whole way back.” Melanie

“I was 16 and grew up in a conservative church. I didn’t have a boyfriend, but was interested. My mom took me to an all boy’s choir event at our church that had boys as old as 18. I had it in my head that I could charm one of them while talking with them after the concert. Unfortunately it was a really heavy flow day for me and I only wore one pad, with no backups. I didn’t understand my own period at that point to have known better. On top of that I wore a WHITE skirt! By the time the concert was over, my mom and I stood up to applaud and she immediately noticed the whole back of my skirt was bright red. I could have crawled in a hole and died. My mom pulled herself up behind me, guided me by the waist and we left. Thank God she didn’t panic. That was I think the last time I ever wore white or anything light colored while on my period.” – Amanda

“When I was in high school I went to live with my dad. Well, when that time of the month came around I didn’t have any money and didn’t want to ask my dad or my mom (who I wasn’t speaking to) so I used mountains of TP as a makeshift pad (that I later flushed to hide from my dad) and clogged the toilet. That conversations with my dad about proper disposal and how I should have asked him for money for what I needed… most embarrassing thing ever.” – Michelle

“While babysitting, I was sitting on a little girls bunk bed and bled through my pants. I had to tell the mom. Thankfully none of the kids found out while I was watching them. I felt bad for the mom who had to deal with period sheets and telling the kids the sheet was no good. Before I learned to keep track of my cycle, I only wore black pants.” – Janice

“It started with white shorts and a cute boy. And ended with me practicing my cheerleader toe-touches and high jumps in front of him, not knowing my period had chosen that moment to show herself.” – Kelli.

We know that for some people, reusables can seem really scary at first. So once again, we asked our fans to share what they think is scarier still. Your responses horrified us (and some really grossed us out), too. Here are our top picks:

What’s scarier than blood from your own uterus getting on cloth pads?

1. Stepping on a slug with bare feet and it squishing between your toes!
2. The used condoms and tampons that used to wash off of our apartment building roof when it rained…
3. A landfill full of other people’s dirty disposable pads. Biohazard?!?
4. An 8 hour old tampon.
5. Chemicals near my vagina
6. Finding plastic tampon applicators on the beach – gross!
7. Vomit. Hair from the bath tub drain. Centipedes.
8. Stepping on dog poop your son didn’t scoop up in the yard…
9. Bleach up in my hoo-ha
10. Amtrak bathrooms
11. McDonald’s

What’s scarier (and far more likely) than a menstrual cup getting lost in your body?

1. “Period funk” smell from using tampons and disposable pads!
2. Waking up covered in millions of spiders… then jumping out of bed only to find the floor is covered in snakes!
3. Getting a contact stuck behind your eyelid
4. My son vomiting in my mouth
5. Daleks.
6. Not knowing my body well enough to know a menstrual cup can’t be lost in the vagina.
7. TSS!
8. The chemicals in tampons and disposable pads. And the community blood bin that everyone uses to put their disposables in.
9. Starting your period with no menstrual products on you.
10. Being eaten by a dinosaur.
11. Zombie apocalypse.

Comment with your own spooky-scary story about menstruation… we’re waiting anxiously by the campfire for your scariest tale from the womb!