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Sustainability v/s Accessibility

Sustainability v/s Accessibility

What is sustainability?

In simple words, sustainability is the avoidance of depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.

What is accessibility?

It is the extent to which a consumer can buy a good or service in the time of need.

The debate on Sustainability vs Accessibility is a long-drawn one, especially when it comes to Sanitary Napkins. The reason is simple – the conversation never left the ‘accessible’ side of the table. Yes, it’s true that accessibility of sanitary napkins is a major issue, especially in India. But there is another big and important issue that gets shoved into the sidelines in this debate. And that is – the quality of sanitary napkins that women have been exposing their bodies to, for decades now.

A woman spends 40 years of her life on her period. She uses close to 7000 sanitary pads in her lifetime. These conventional plastic-based sanitary pads are lined with harmful synthetics and chemicals like dioxins and bleaches, that can harm her body. Yet, women subject the most intimate part of their bodies to these synthetic products. Not to mention, a lifetime of rashes and discomfort that comes with these pads.

And to top it all, these pads will contaminate the Earth for hundreds of years to come. When your great-grand-daughter reaches puberty, the pad you dispose of today will still be around.

Our pads are expensive. But, they are also completely natural. They are made of Corn Starch and Bamboo Fiber, and have no harmful synthetics or chemicals. No trees are cut in making them. They are also biodegradable, which means they will not burden the Earth or harm the environment. They come individually sealed in biodegradable bags as well, so that you can dispose them with your regular wet kitchen waste without subjecting your area’s rag pickers to germ-infused bio-waste. Because it’s the same lower-strata-of-the-economy women with no accessibility to safe menstrual products, that pick up your bloodied plastic pads when you throw them in the trash. It’s the same women who contract diseases because of frequently coming in contact with badly wrapped and disposed of sanitary napkins.

Our pads are expensive, only if you compare them to the other sanitary pads available in the market. Come to think of it, it’s the demand for cheaper mass-produced products, that led to production of low-grade, bad for your body, worse for the environment products in the first place. If you compare the price of our pads to any other personal-care product that adorns your shelves, you will discover that we are not in-fact, digging a hole in your pocket. You buy paraben-free face creams, no-gas deodorants, herbal face packs, volume-enhancing conditioners, and these don’t seem like ridiculous expenses to you, do they? Because they are good for your skin, safe for your body. Then why the hesitation when it’s about your menstrual-care?

To put things in perspective, we made a list of things that our pads are cheaper than:

 - Your monthly wax

- A coffee date at Starbucks

- A snack combo at PVR

- A one-month Netflix subscription

- Three Vada Pavs at Chaayos

- Cake that doesn’t taste like toothpaste

- Cab fare from Gurgaon to Delhi

- An LIIT at a place that can make an LIIT

Give up on any one of them and you can buy yourself completely natural, safe for your body, better for the environment sanitary pads!

If this still doesn’t clear up your conscience, think of it this way. Your body is precious. It deserves the best, finest care even when it comes to your Period. Sanitary Pads are not a casual purchase. They are a conscious choice of what you expose your body to, for a good part of your lifetime. Make an informed choice. If you wish to stick with a conventional brand, find out what it’s made of. But if you can afford it, you MUST pick a pad that will keep you safe.

For those who are comfortable with a Menstrual Cup, go for it. But if it isn’t your cup of tea (Pun intended!), we have an easy alternative.

We do understand and acknowledge the limited accessibility of menstrual-care products in India. And this is why, we contribute a part of our earnings to providing safe and hygienic period-products to underprivileged women. No, we do not give them cheap synthetic pads. The NGO that we are associated with – GiverHer5, provides these girls with anti-bacterial, reusable cloth-based napkins. They take workshops to teach these women how to use, clean and maintain these napkins as well. So, every pack of Carmesi that you buy, helps a woman in need, bleed with dignity.

The debate on Sustainability vs Accessibility is a futile one. Because these are two unrelated subjects. But if you are to pick sides, pick the one that will benefit both, you and the environment. And then, let’s start a new journey towards accessibility.

 

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