Chatting Menstrual & Self Care With SustainabilityBitch
We talk sustainable period care, practices, her new website and more!
Meet 21-year-old Lydia, who's using her Instagram handle, SustainabilityBitch, and current studies to bring awareness to sustainable practices, including period care! Launching her official website around New Year, Lydia wants period care to be an all-inclusive experience. I sat down with the sustainability queen and asked her about her future endeavors and what brands need to do to step up their game!
Thank you for taking time out of your day to talk to us! So, the important question. Who is SustainabilityBitch?
Lydia: Hey, I'm Lydia, aka SustainabilityBitch. I started my account two years ago, where I gave out tips to people and switched up my practices. As time went on, I began to look more into period care, which I'm really interested in. I did a project on sustainable period care at university and am currently documenting my life and sustainable journey on Instagram.
I'm in love with the name SustainabilityBitch. How did the name come about?
Lydia: I wanted to make sustainability cooler and get away from our hippie, airy fairy reputation. Show that there is no one way to be sustainable - you can still live a party girl, nature-loving, yoga lifestyle and be sustainable!
Why is sustainability, in particular sustainable period care, so important?
Lydia: Period care, in general, is really important to talk about as it happens to a lot of people most months. I looked into sustainable practices and realized how damaging these products can be to the environment and our bodies. So I was looking into solutions for that, and having a conversation about it is vital to reduce stigma and help the planet and us be healthier.
The whole point is to make sustainability accessible. Everyone is really transparent because it's unrealistic and unfair to expect everyone to be a perfect, zero-waste vegan.
If you don't mind me asking, how is your relationship with periods and period products?
Lydia: Well, my first step was with a brand called Femme Powered, which are subscription-based, and a percentage of the money goes toward Wateraid. Each month they send you a box, and you choose what's inside - all ethically made, with zero plastic. It's so empowering, which was a really good step for me! I then looked into menstrual cups and bought the first one I saw, a moon cup - thank you, student discount! But, honestly, I didn't enjoy it at first until I found out you can cut the stem. So I did that - it was so much more comfortable!
I found I wanted something softer and came across Sea and Flo. By the way, they're branding is gorgeous! And you can get little pouches for your cups!
Omg, that's beautiful!
Lydia: Yeah, so I use one as my purse. So now my period cup and purse match! I instantly fell in love with the product; it's so comfortable and soft. Plus, there's a little ball at the bottom, which means it doesn't stab into you - a bonus. I also recommend menstrual underwear, which is definitely a must for those who have started their periods.
It's something like 90% of a pad is plastic, and tampons are around 6% plastic - which is mad. Companies don't realize the damages it causes.
So why do you think companies are taking so long to make this move?
Lydia: Price, probably. I think a lot of things to do with sustainability are price and ethics, and unfortunately, it's cheaper to be unethical.
If you could tell companies anything to convince them to be sustainable - break that cycle, what would it be?
Lydia: Funnily enough, I read about sustainable practices and economic growth the other day. It said businesses need to be sustainable with the planet and environment and sustainable in terms of growth and money. However, if we're running out of resources, you're not going to be able to have sustainable business practices, and people are catching on. For example, people talk a lot about plastics and microplastics in clothes, beauty products, food, etc. We consume a clothing hanger worth of plastic per month through things like drinking tap water or eating fish. It's insane! So I would go down the route of statistics and the fact that people will voice their concerns over their health, how much plastic is used, and the waste.
What are your top sustainable products?
Go on then. Morning or night routine?
Lydia: Oh, definitely night!
What does your night routine look like?
Lydia: Well, I used to use coconut oil to take my makeup off. However, it made me break out. I loved it, but now I use micellar water and reusable cloth. I then use an African bath soap bar to wash my face and a Body Shop toner. Body Shop are great with sustainability products! Afterward, I applied Galinée face vinegar, which I bought on Unfabled.com and Tropic serum alongside a light moisturizer. If I'm doing facemasks, I love the clay mask by TOTM - a period care brand I highly recommend!
So finally, what's next for SustainabilityBitch?
Lydia: I'm working with a very good friend on a website that will hopefully launch in time for New Year! All about sustainable period care and is all-inclusive. I think many transgender and non-binary people feel alienated regarding period care. So that's something I want to focus on, as well as reducing stigma and having full access to products and information about sustainable period care. I want to do workshops and provide resource packs, including a menstrual journal. I love journaling and self-care during my periods! It'll incorporate recipes and tips to make periods more comfortable and enjoyable. The website will also have a section for people to create a community and talk. And also my interviews with other brands.
Keep up to date with Lydia's sustainable journey and follow: @sustainabilitybitch