Why We Won’t Make That

Let’s just start by saying this: We LOVE your enthusiasm. We ADORE your creativity. And we’re simply SWOONY when you reach out to chat and we get the chance to get to know you. Please don’t ever stop. For years and years we’ve been receiving suggestions about what else GladRags could make. The ideas are smart and practical, and admittedly we can get lost in daydreaming about the “what ifs” of GladRags product line extensions. Like what? you may be wondering. Here are some of the recurring suggestions that cross our inbox at hello@gladrags.com, and why we won’t be making that. 😁

Period Underwear: There’s a lot to love about period underwear. They’re a great back-up to a menstrual cup. They’re convenient for travel, overnights in the backcountry, or lighter flow days. Plus, if they help someone make the switch from disposables to reusable period products, then that’s a win for our overflowing landfills right there.

Why we won’t make that: Because there are already others who are dedicated to designing and innovating period underwear. At GladRags, we’re dedicated to designing and innovating cloth pads and our menstrual cup, XO Flo. And we’re a tiny team. If we were to begin investing time, energy, and resources to incorporating period underwear into our product mix, that would be time, energy, and resources diverted away from our focus of making the world’s comfiest cloth pads and a high-capacity, easy to use menstrual cup.

Design for XO Flo Mini and XO Flo menstrual cups
Things we know: How To Build A Menstrual Cup

Cotton Facial Rounds: Ah, the luxurious feel of soft cotton on your skin. We love that reusable rounds are helping folks eliminate single-use items like cotton balls. They’re nice for removing make-up and applying toner or lotion. A great addition to a self-care-with-reusables repertoire.

Why we won’t make that: They seem so simple to make! And we definitely have access to the soft cotton flannel for producing reusable rounds. But do we need to? We’ve run this question through our filters of 1) How big is the problem that this this product could address? 2) Do we have the resources to produce these in addition to our current products? 3) Is this something that can be (and is being) produced by other companies and/or DIY crafters? The answers we’ve come up with are 1) We don’t know how big the problem is of single-use cotton balls. We DO know how big the problem is with single-use period products. 2) Materials, that’s not so difficult. But time, financial resources, marketing, and distribution add complexity, and dilute the focus of our aim: eliminating single-use period products. 3) YES. So many yesses. These are an easy DIY project for anyone slightly savvy with a sewing machine, and for those of us that aren’t (hi, that’s me), they’re all over Etsy, and they’re inexpensive.

Our Own Laundry Detergent: We get asked a lot about the best detergents for cloth pads, and the follow-up question is often, “Why don’t you make your own???” It’s a solid question. We make something that requires repeated washing, and we have reasons for the cleaning recommendations that we make so that our cloth pads maintain peak functionality and hold up under decades of use.

Why we won’t make that: Oof. That would be a HUGE undertaking. Creating a formula for cloth-friendly detergent would be who-knows-how-long in the making. But more importantly … do we even need to? Take a stroll down the laundry soap aisle at your neighborhood grocer and you’ll see the answer. There are detergent options on top of detergent options, and while we’re big fans of having choice, we’re not big fans of adding unnecessary items to feed the consumer machine. Plus, you can make your own! I’ve been using this recipe for 7 years now, and it works on everything from my GladRags pads to the coffee I continually seem to spill on myself.

DIY laundry detergent with an empty litter bucket, Borax, baking soda, and castile soap
Just one of several ways to make your own laundry soap.

A few other ideas we get from all you clever, wonderful souls are Reusable Tote Bags (which we did offer once in a non-profit partnership with PERIOD, Inc.), Doggy Pads (we love love love dogs, and we know there are others who love them too AND who are experts at reusable dog pads, so we’ll let them lead that dog show), and of course recently, Face Masks (our sewing partner, Spooltown, has been making masks for healthcare workers, and our fearless bleeder, Tracy, has been personally making them for sharing with friends and family, and if you want to make your own, here’s a tutorial).

Why we won’t make all that: Because GladRags isn’t in business for the sake of business growth. We’re in the business of working to drastically reduce single-use period products by offering thoughtfully-designed reusable period products that have been produced with as small a footprint as possible. As a Certified B Corporation we take great care to consider every nook and cranny of our production processes. The more a brand begins to diversify in order to increase revenue streams, the more difficult it becomes to maintain great care at considering those nooks and crannies. It isn’t necessary. We want to do one thing REALLY well. To use the GladRags business as a force for good, focusing on period positivity by championing reusable cloth pads and menstrual cups. 🩸

But you know what, we STILL want to hear your ideas. We only know what we know, and we’re addicted to lifelong learning. So please don’t stop reaching out with your brilliant and bright ideas, and maybe one day there’ll be an idea that we’ll run through our filters and think, “Huh. We should totally make that.”

GladRags cloth pads are thoughtfully manufactured by our local sewing partner, Spooltown.