DAME is a sustainable period care brand on a mission to make periods positive, for women and the planet. They’re cleaning up the tampon industry, focusing on plastic waste, toxic chemicals and period shame. Last year they launched the world’s first reusable tampon applicator, along with their own range of 100% organic cotton tampons. Here DAME explain more about the motivation behind their products.
The Period Plastic Problem
100 million period products are thrown away everyday globally, enough to circle the planet 250 times. To make matters worse, most of these products are single-use, made of plastic and cannot be recycled. As a result period products are now the 5th most common type of plastic to wash up on European beaches.
This is a huge environmental problem, but one that rarely makes its way into conversation due to the taboo nature of periods. Despite being a natural, vital part of life, menstruation remains shrouded in fear, shame and discretion.
Thankfully this is slowly starting to change. As plastic waste has risen to the forefront of public consciousness, driven by the likes of Blue Planet, and conversations around women’s health are opening up, the true impact of conventional period products is slowly becoming known.
The Truth About Tampons
Tampons are a huge part of the current period plastic problem.
Firstly you have the plastic applicators that come with most tampons in the UK. In this country we throw away over 1.3 billion applicators every year. Each one is used for a matter of seconds, yet once discarded, remains on our planet for centuries, eventually breaking down into micro-plastics that poison our water systems and food chains.
A recent UK beach clean up found 9 discarded applicators for every kilometre of shoreline.
Then you have the tampons themselves. Most are a mix of plastics such as polyester, and synthetics including rayon, bleach, glues, dyes and fragrances. These synthetics not only leach into our environment after a tampon is discarded, but also risk causing harm to our bodies, especially when you consider the average woman wears a tampon for 7.5 cumulative years of her life.
Bleed Red. Think Green.
It was upon realising the amount of plastic, synthetics and toxins in tampons that we decided we wanted to create a better solution.
According to a 2018 Mintel report, more than 48% of women have been looking for a more sustainable period care option, but less than 7% have made the switch. We saw an opportunity to create a sustainable option that involved minimum habit change and maximum comfort, in order to help as many women as possible move away from disposable products. Here DAME was born.
After 2 years of careful design, we launched the world’s first reusable tampon applicator. It is made from medical grade, BPA-free Mediprene® with innovative antimicrobial Sanipolymers® that actively stave off bacteria. This ensures the applicator is safe, hygienic and easy to care for – there’s no need to sterilise it between uses, simply rinse it under the tap and you’re good to go.
We also offer our own range of 100% organic GOTS certified cotton tampons. They’re toxin free, hypoallergenic and because they’re made from only naturally fibres, they’re fully biodegradable.
Using Business As Force For Good
To date at DAME we’ve saved over 350 million pieces of single use plastic from going to waste. In October last year we also became climate positive, offsetting our carbon footprint twice over to ensure a net positive impact. In light of our current climate crisis we see this as a necessity, not a choice.
It’s part of our wider belief that businesses have a crucial role to play in tackling the biggest problems of today. That’s why certifying as a B Corp was so important to us at DAME. It’s the only certification out there that measures a business’s entire social and environmental impact and demonstrates to our customers that we are committed to being part of the solution, not the problem.
By making easy to use period products that look good on your bathroom shelf, and by championing open, honest conversation around menstruation, we hope to make sustainable periods the norm.