Period Sustainably: Ditching The Disposables With Wear’em Out
Founder Lauren Derrett kindly took the time to answer our questions.
Reusable pads that help our body and the planet is a comforting thought that Wear'em Out has made a reality. A brand that truly feels like home, Wear'em Out welcomes all who have periods, providing insightful sources to help you during menstruation. Their authentic and visionary product of 3 designs, Wear'em Out pads, cater to every flow, including new mums going through their post-birth journey and bladder leaks!
So I jumped at the opportunity to interview this revolutionary brand, and founder Lauren Derrett kindly took the time to answer my questions, helping people like me overcome stigma and eco-guilt.
Lauren, thank you so much for letting me interview Wear’em Out! It’s so vital to raise awareness of accessible, sustainable period care. Firstly, who is Wear’em Out? And why should people purchase Wear’em Out products?
Wear ‘em Out is a UK-made, reusable pad brand founded by Lauren Derrett in 2020. Our mission is to help reduce the 200,000 tons of menstrual waste hitting UK landfills per year and to educate and empower people on the benefits of reusable menstrual products for not only their comfort but also their health. Our pads are made using a design that was a year long in the making, keeping comfort and confidence front and center for modern living.
Why was it important to start such a progressive and welcoming brand?
As a pad wearer myself, I hadn’t yet found a brand that I felt comfortable chatting to my friends about, meaning the conversation wasn’t being had about the importance of reusable menstrual products; I also hadn’t found a brand that looked cool, worked hard and was comfortable to wear, so we took all those much wanted elements and created ‘that’ pad.
I’m absolutely in love with the vibrancy of your Wear ’em Out pad packaging and that you provide a wide range of options depending on flow. So what made you want to focus on pads? And what is your advice for anyone who has worries about trying pad products? - because I, for one, used to worry because of the stigma around pad users being less hygienic when it isn’t at all!
Thank you, I’m also in love with our branding and stylish pad designs. As I was already a wearer, I focused on pads, so I knew what a good pad needed for people to want to wear them.
When I first moved over to reusable pads, I had all the same questions and concerns that my customers initially have too, so I fully understand the fear, which is why I’m in the best position to alleviate the fear and answer any questions that come up.
My advice would be to ‘take it slow’; you don’t need to go all in; there is a psychological shift that needs to happen; all our confidence is so deeply rooted in disposables we need to allow time and space for the confidence to build in something new. Try wearing just one when you’re at home, or maybe just when you sleep. You could even try one when you’re not bleeding, just to get a feel for the pad and have a go at washing them. And please know, no question is stupid, and I am here to help answer them all.
You implement easy access on your website to various sources, including an education pack. My personal academic experience with menstrual care is very limited! Why is it necessary to provide - especially for younger people - access to educational period care?
I feel that the majority of us had substandard period education, and that lack of exposure to the topic creates a shame around it that we hold in us; this stops us from noticing any potential issues we may be having with our periods (we have a blog called ‘Is your period normal: All your questions answered,’ it’s really useful to know what’s considered normal), and if there are issues, the shame may prevent us from seeking help for them. But, even on the most basic level, we need to know what our bodies are going through and how we can support it.
Others, like myself, have purchased the same period products - it’s all we know. However, I wasn’t aware until recently of these products' negative impact on our body and the environment. So how does Wear’em Out challenge these issues? Especially towards combating climate change and easing period symptoms.
Well, a person would use, on average, 22 menstrual products per month. When using disposables, that equates to 11,0000 in a lifetime, and these products can take up to 800 years to break down. Worst still, there are approximately 370,000 sewer blockages throughout the UK every year caused by these products being flushed; NEVER FLUSH menstrual products, wipes, cotton buds, and contact lenses.
Our pads are reusable for up to 3 years +; for a full stock, we recommend 12 pads; that’s a whole lot of pollution saved; in fact, over three years, if you switch to our reusable pads full-time, you could save a potential 792 disposable pads from landfill with just one stock over their three years lifespan.
And, of course, there are some pretty scary toxins in disposable menstrual products (pads and Tampons). WEN say, ‘Despite changes in bleaching practices to purify the wood pulp – one of the raw materials used to make menstrual products – chlorine and dioxin (one of the most toxic substances known to humankind) can still be found in menstrual towels and tampons. Endometriosis is linked with exposure to dioxin and endocrine disrupting chemicals even small amounts in menstrual products can add up over a lifetime of use.’
Our pads would reduce exposure to harmful toxins that affect our hormones; I can’t say as a fact that this will mean you’ll have better periods, but judging by our customer's Trustpilot reviews, it does seem to be that way.
There is an increased awareness of how toxic the period care industry is, and there has been some change, like Always launching a new organic cotton range of pads with 0% fragrance and dyes. Do you feel like the period industry has the potential to be fully sustainable? And have you seen much change in the industry since launching Wear’em Out?
I think it can only be good that the large companies are taking some responsibility for this very big issue they create. I’m very happy about it, but I’m not sure it’s in their interest to become fully sustainable. An always medium pad is 0.012 pence per pad, our medium is 0.06p per wear. There’s a lot of money in disposables; it would be a tough profit to lose (obviously, I’m just speculating).
And let us not forget, whatever is in the disposal product; it’s still manufactured to be used once; we have to factor in the whole lifetime of the product; the energy used to make a single-use product means that by its nature, it’ll never be sustainable.
To purchase Wear'em Out products, visit Wearemout.co.uk.