Period poverty is the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, waste management or a combination of these.
Any person who menstruates knows that menstrual products are essential! The lack of access to menstrual products, running water, and waste management makes periods extremely difficult for people all over the world, forcing them miss work or school, be ostracized by their community, family or friends, and feel unclean.
Since our founder, Luci Daum, first began making Party in My Pants washable cloth pads years ago, we have donated tens of thousands to non-profits and charities across the globe! We always try to give as much as we can, even though we are a small business that relies on constant sales, because we know how life-changing these reusable pads can be.
We may not be able to give a collection of reusable cloth pads to every bleeder-in-need, but just one pad can bring a smile to their face and make their period just a little bit easier! Cotton menstrual pads are also not an option for everyone, as they can be too hard to clean if one doesn’t have regular access to running water, an unfortunately common issue worldwide. We always keep this in mind with our donations and ask before we send.
We added the Donate a Pad option on our website so that our customers can join in the movement to end period poverty. For just the small cost of $7.00 we will make and send a pad to that month’s featured organization. Our customers have donated over 1000 pads to groups including PERIOD The Menstrual Movement, Indigenous Women Rising, Milwaukee Diaper Mission, No More Secrets, Cloth Connection Outreach, Ma’i Movement, and The Lily Project.
With our customers’ help, we have been able to make donations a part of our daily work life. We are astonished by the generosity of our customers every time we check on the “Donate a Pad” numbers!
Liz puts a copy of Cycling: A Guide to Menstruation by Laura Szumowski into a Little Free Library so others can share the knowledge! Photo credit Elizabeth Downey
Increasing access to menstrual products is only one part of ending period poverty: we must also work to increase education surrounding reproductive health and destigmatize menstruation. Many young people are not taught how their bodies work and can be confused about periods. We get a lot of questions from new menstruators asking for advice and we do our best to help them understand their bodies better. We usually recommend that they read Cycling: A Guide to Menstruation by Laura Szumoski, an empowering guide to menstruation, and an accessible educational tool for menstruators of all ages. We have even donated this book to public libraries across the U.S. so its content is available for free! Learning about your body can be extremely empowering and we want to share this experience with as many people as possible.
Taking a tea break to read Cycling: A Guide to Menstruation by Laura Szumoski. Photo credit Brandi Shapland.
We also try to make periods fun! Cramps, blood, and back aches can make the time of the month pretty rough, not to mention the social stigma that can come with periods. We do our best to have tons of cute and wild patterns to match any mood or taste so that our customers have a little less stress about their periods. We often get thank you notes telling us how our cotton reusable pads are the only thing that makes periods bearable. Although we are incredibly glad to be making such a positive difference in peoples’ lives, there are still so many people out there who suffer through their periods without having a way to make them better.
A small assortment of our sizes and patterns. Pad sizes from left to right: Small Pad, Queen Pad, Overnight Pad, Jetty Pad and Thong Liner. Photo credit Elizabeth Downey.
We love hearing from customers and recipients about how our cloth pads have been a positive force in their lives! And we couldn’t do this without our wonderful customers who help support our Donate a Pad page, so from the bottom of our hearts Thank You! Please continue spreading the word and helping us make the world a better place.
Interested in helping us address period poverty?
- The first step is to talk about it. Menstruation is a natural part of having a uterus and it happens to about half of the world’s adult population. We need to reduce the stigma surrounding periods by feeling more comfortable talking about what periods are like! It’s only natural, baby!
- Get in contact with your local schools, governments and organizations to see how/if period poverty is on their radar. Encourage your politicians and local leaders to make menstrual products more accessible for more people and to increase education surrounding reproductive health. Check out PERIOD The Menstrual Movement– they are doing wonderful work, and have meaningful ways to get involved with chapters around the world!
- Donate to organizations that work to end period poverty by giving out products or helping with fundraising. And don’t forget about our Donate a Pad page- it’s an easy way to increase access to washable sanitary pads!
A stack of pads waiting for their forever home! Photo credit Aria Durward.
In addition to partnering with non-profit organizations and charities, we want to give everyone across the globe an opportunity to try their first cloth panty liner FOR FREE! That’s right- if you are a first time customer on our website, you are entitled to one FREE cloth liner with your first purchase, for only the cost of shipping (standard USPS rates apply). Head over to our “First Liner Free” page for instructions, and start enjoying the many benefits of switching to cloth!
Choose from our five cloth liner sizes: Thong Liner, Mini Liner, Skipper Liner, Demi Liner, and Luxe Liner! Photo credit Elizabeth Downey.