COTTON FAQ's

Mainstream brands tend not to list their ingredients, as they’re often made from non-breathable, non-biodegradable manmade or synthetic fibres.

Unlike mainstream brands, every &SISTERS product is made with pure, natural, ethically sourced ingredients, and all of our 100% organic cotton is Soil Association certified.

Organic cotton is naturally soft, pH-neutral, breathable and absorbent.

Unlike most commercially grown cotton, our 100% organic cotton is grown without the use of fertilisers, herbicides & pesticides.

Always use the tampon with the lowest absorbency to meet your needs. You might find that it helps to use different absorbency levels throughout your period – most women find that their flow is heavier in the first few days.

Please use the following chart to help you select the most appropriate absorbency to meet your needs.

Period product drop absorbency chart

No. The term ‘naked’ refers to the fact that the tampons are free from all artificial chemicals. No nasties, jist 100% certified natural organic cotton. The tampons come wrapped in a recyclable PP5 polypropylene film wrap (‘bioplastic’). Around 13% of households have kerbside film collections and all major supermarkets have front of store recycling collection points.

Preserving the planet’s resources is at the heart of our business. We know that non-organic cotton has earned itself a bad reputation as a ‘dirty crop’, so we only use 100% organic cotton, grown and certified to the Global Organic Textile Standards (the gold standard for the sustainable processing of products made from organically grown fibres). We take organic cotton seriously, and our 100% organic cotton is grown without the use of fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides.

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading governing body for organic textiles like cotton. GOTS certification ensures our cotton is pure, ethically sourced and made without chemical pesticides, forced labour, child labour, or unfair wages.

Chlorine bleaching creates a byproduct called dioxin. This poses serious problems for the environment and for women’s health. Dioxin is a known carcinogen and leaves detectable residuals in products bleached with any type of chlorine bleach. In sanitary and personal care products, this type of bleaching unnecessarily exposes women to low levels of dioxins every time they use these products. Dioxin then settles in the fat cells of humans and wildlife, building up cumulatively over time from birth. Given the number of tampons potentially used in a lifetime, increased exposure to dioxin means increased risk.

Unlike conventional feminine hygiene products, &SISTERS is Totally Chlorine Free. We use an oxygen bleaching process from hydrogen peroxide, which releases no toxins into the environment. Using a water and oxygen process to destroy any bacteria in our organic cotton or pulp, results in a pure white material ready to make tampons, pads and panty liners.

Watch out for ‘Chlorine Free’ bleaching too, as some of these ‘Chlorine Free’ methods still include chlorine dioxide. Totally Chlorine Free is a certified method to avoid toxic chemicals and byproducts.

Yes! All &SISTERS organic cotton period products are both compostable and biodegradable.

Unlike conventional period products which are often made synthetic materials, chemically derived super absorbent polymers and plastics made from crude oil, the &SISTERS organic cotton period range is entirely plastic free and made from plant based materials which are totally biodegradable and compostable.

Every woman can use over 16,000 period products during her lifetime, so living lightly and avoiding sending these to landfill can drastically improve your carbon footprint and go towards helping save the planet.

Composting organic cotton tampons and pads is really simple:

  1. Start by creating the ideal conditions, ie warm and damp, by making or buying a sealed bin. Adding to your compost bin regularly, ensures the optimum conditions
  2. It is a good idea to have a balance of both ‘brown’ and ‘green’ compost.
    • Organic cotton tampons, pads and liners are considered to be brown compost alongwith paper, cardboard, egg cartons and more fibrous plant stalks and stems. These do take longer to break down and biodegrade than ‘green’ compost and so it’s a good idea to cut or pull these apart by hand, before putting them in the compost bin.
    • ‘Green’ compost, not surprisingly, given it’s name, includes softer, damper less fibrous materials such as grass cuttings, leaves and vegetable parings which all break down relatively quickly.

Be prepared to wait. Although period products are compostable, they can take at least 18 months to completely break down and for nature’s building blocks to be returned to the soil.

As an ‘FYI’, no tampon should be flushed down the toilet as the journey from our toilet to the sewage works is not only both relatively quick, allowing no time for the products to break down but can cause blockages along the way. Of course, if our cotton tampons are accidentally disposed of, for example into the sea, then they will break down and disperse without harming marine or bird life, unlike conventional tampons with plastic veils.

Gynaecologists agree that 100% organic cotton pads (such as those sold by &SISTERS) are more hygienic and comfortable to use than any other material. Cotton is hypoallergenic, softer and more absorbent than wood pulp (also known as viscose). The absorbent part of most period pads is made from wood pulp, also known as viscose. Wood pulp is not inherently toxic or polluting, but it’s responsible for mass deforestation around the world. Much of the viscose on the market today is manufactured cheaply with processes that are highly intensive when it comes to energy, water and chemicals. This has a devastating impact on workers, local communities and the environment. .

We love bamboo and looked into producing pads made entirely of bamboo, but unfortunately the absorbency just wasn’t there. To counter this, manufacturers of ‘bamboo’ pads actually use wood pulp to provide the absorbency that natural bamboo fibres lack, so we decided not to pursue this. But, never say never – perhaps a truly eco-friendly bamboo pad will come along in the future, and we’ll be the first to let you know!

We believe that the feminine care industry is an industry in the dark ages. The average woman uses over 10,000 tampons in a lifetime, but manufacturers of intimate feminine period products such as tampons are not required to disclose their ingredients.

Unfortunately, this means that the majority of tampons today contain potentially harmful synthetic materials, pesticide residues (commonly used to grow non-organic cotton), and toxic chemicals such as dioxin, which is a byproduct of the mainstream tampon bleaching process. These ingredients have all been linked to cancers, infertility, and other reproductive illnesses such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis.

Our 100% organic cotton period products take us out of the dark ages and into the present – we never cut corners and your wellbeing is always our first priority.

The simple answer is that no tampon should be flushed down the toilet, although apparently half of women do this regularly.

Our 100% cotton tampons are biodegradable, but they do require time to break down and don’t disperse instantly as is the case with toilet paper. As our tampons are made from natural cotton (plant based), they are suitable for composting and do biodegrade in septic tanks.

As the journey from our toilet to the sewage works is relatively quick and there are often tight bends and narrow areas, only toilet paper should be disposed of down the loo.

Of course, if our cotton tampons were to be accidentally disposed of at sea, then they will break down, disperse and they wouldn’t harm marine or bird life, unlike conventional tampons with plastic veils.

TSS is a rare but serious disease that can be fatal. It is caused by toxins produced by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Symptoms of TSS often mimic flu & can include a sudden high fever (usually over 39°C), vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle aches, a sun burn like rash, sore throat, dizziness &/or fainting.

It may be that not all symptoms are present, only a few. If you believe that you have one of more of the symptoms of TSS, remove your tampon immediately & contact your doctor, informing them that you have been using tampons.

TSS can occur during your period or some days after & although TSS can have fatal consequences it can be easily treated at an early stage. It is therefore important to consult a doctor as soon as possible.

You can reduce the risk of TSS by using tampons with the lowest absorbency necessary, by changing your tampon regularly & by alternating with pads, liners or a menstrual cup instead of tampons.

At the moment, the only product containing plastic is our naked tampon, with a ‘environmentally safe’ polypropylene (PP5) wrapper. This is considered to have the least environmental impact of plastics, and it is 100% recyclable. About 13% of UK households have kerbside collection, and nearly all supermarkets have collection bins, making it easy for you to maximise your leak protection while minimising your carbon footprint.

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PURELY NATURAL INGREDIENTS

Naked Tampons®

100% organic cotton fibres and thread. Paper sleeve wrapper.

Eco-Applicator Tampons

100% organic cotton fibres and thread, biodegradable cardboard applicator. Paper sleeve wrapper.

Liners

100% organic cotton core and top sheet, biodegradable waterproof back sheet Biodegradable purse pack wrapper.

Very Light Pads

100% organic cotton core and top sheet,
biodegradable plant based waterproof back sheet. Biodegradable purse pack wrapper.

Light Pads

100% organic cotton core and top sheet,
biodegradable plant based waterproof back sheet. Plant based purse pack wrapper.

Medium Pads

100% organic cotton core and top sheet,
biodegradable plant based waterproof back sheet. Plant based purse pack wrapper.

Heavy Pads

100% organic cotton core and top sheet,
biodegradable plant based waterproof back sheet. Plant based purse pack wrapper.

PERSONALISE YOUR PERIOD

SIMPLY NATURAL INGREDIENTS

Naked Tampons®

100% organic cotton fibres and thread. Paper sleeve wrapper.

 

  • LIGHT
  • MEDIUM
  • HEAVY

Eco-Applicator Tampons

100% organic cotton fibres and thread, biodegradable cardboard applicator. Paper sleeve wrapper.

  • VERY LIGHT
  • LIGHT
  • MEDIUM

Liners

100% organic cotton core and top sheet, biodegradable waterproof back sheet Biodegradable purse pack wrapper.

  • ULTRA LIGHT 15cm long

Very Light Pads

100% organic cotton core and top sheet, biodegradable plant based waterproof back sheet. Biodegradable purse pack wrapper.

  • VERY LIGHT 18cm long
  • LIGHT 20cm long
  • MEDIUM 24cm long
  • HEAVY 28cm long