Ngozi Sews was founded by Nina Goodall in August 2015. For around three years, she exclusively made and sold reusable menstrual pads online and at local eco events. Since 2018, Ngozi has expanded to offer a wider range of handmade reusable products including the ever-popular scrubby unsponges and dishcloths.
Visit the shop to discover the wider range of products on offer from Ngozi Sews.
Want to find out more about reusable menstrual pads as a zero waste alternative to dispoable sanitary-wear? Then read on….
Many women find that cloth pads are an empowering way of handling their period. The ability to choose what you wear in your knickers, buying from small businesses rather than multi-nationals, and defaulting from the ‘norm’ are all amazing reasons to switch to reusable menstrual pads.There is much anecdotal evidence that reusables can help to reduce your flow. Don’t bother looking for anything scientific on this – not because it isnt true, but because that sort of research is usually funded by huge businesses. Tampax and Always are not going to finance research into something that will destroy their profits so it may never happen. Talk to a group of reusable pad converts and they will probably verify that it happened to them though. It certainly has helped me!
Although the initial outlay of reusable pads seems quite large, carefully considered purchases can result in a long term saving of significance.A pack of Always Night pads and a pack of Daytime pads costs approximately £5.50 – that’s probably a conservative average outlay for a ‘regular’ menstuator per cycle. Multiply that by 13 for an annual expenditure of over £70. You could buy 10-12 reusable pads for that price which would last for many years. If you have a heavy flow, or use daily liners throughout the month the savings will grow even more!
Every single disposable sanitary towel ever produced still exists in some form. The expected degradation time is 500 years and the oldest towels are only a third of the way through that duration. Now think about how many towels and tampons you have used in your life. And your friends, and the millions of other women around the world who are of menstruating age. Scary isn’t it! Your great great great great grandchildren will be alive, and your disposable sanitary towels will still exist!
Choosing your Pads & Building a Stash
Once you’ve decided to make the switch to reusable menstrual pads, you then have the task of deciding what to buy! I hope you like shopping!With a bit of browsing you will find that there are many many more options to pick through with reusables, compared to disposables. Absorbency, length, shape, width, fabrics, makers, core materials, backing – hopefully the following information will help to clarify things for you.
How do I choose a pad absorbency?
The marked absorbency of a reusable pad is at least that of an equally named disposable. If you buy Regular sposies, look at Regular reusables.
How do I choose a pad length?
If you use disposable towels, measure them and try reusables of the same length. If you don’t use disposable towels, I tend to recommend starting with a 10″ for a Regular and 12″ for a Heavy. You will soon learn if you need to go for longer or shorter alternatives.
How do I choose a pad width?
Ngozi pads range in snapped width from 2.25″ up to 3″. The majority of users are most comfortable with 2.5″ or 2.75″ depending on body shape and preference. Wider pads are more effective at handling a heavier flow. As a norm. I make pads for stock up to 9″ at 2.5″ width, and 10″+ at 2.75″. That’s a reflection of the most popular choices by my customers. You will work out what is best for you only through trial and error.
Whats the difference between shapes?
Different makers of reusable pads offer many different shapes and styles. That’s a reflection of the variety of shapes and sizes of the women and girls who use them. At Ngozi I offer two main shapes, LInear and Contour. Linear is fairly angular, slim fitting, and with minimal flare. Contour is more full bodied, curvy, and has a greater surface area for catching menstrual blood.
How many pads do I need?
Depending on the heaviness and duration of your period, and how often you want to launder your pads, 12-16 is a good ballpark figure for a small stash.
How long should a pad last when you wear it?
Again depending on your period, and you personal preference you may want to change your pad every couple of hours, when you go to the toilet, or less frequently. Generally speaking, 3-4 hours is a good ballpark.
For how many years will a pad last?
You should expect a reasonably well made pad to last from 3-5 years up to potentially 10 years. Obviously it largely depends on how often you use a pad – a liner in a small stash that is used once or twice a week will not last as long as a pad that is worn and washed once a month.
Pad Care & Storage
There are two different ways to handle your used menstrual pads: wet store, or dry store.
Once you have removed and replaced your used pad, rinse it well under the tap until the water runs clear. Wring out the pad and put it in a wetbag. Continue to do the same with other pads for a couple of days.Launder in the washing machine (at 30 or 40 degrees) after 2-3 days. You can add to a regular load or run a separate wash just for your pads. Make sure you DO NOT use fabric conditioner, and use powder rather than liquid if possible.If your pads are susceptible to stains, apply a stain remover before washing. I recommend using a natural stain remover such as the one available at Saponistas Artisan Soaps
Instead of rinsing your pads before adding to the wetbag of used pads, just remove, roll up and stash in the bag as-is. Make sure the wetbag is mostly closed but slightly ventilated.You can leave your used pads in dry-state for the duration of your period. When you are ready, empty the contents of the wetbag into the washing machine, ensuring that all pads are open – not snapped closed. Run a rinse cycle.After your pads have been rinsed, check for stains and treat if required. Return to the machine and wash as per the above guidelines.
I recommend that you hang your pads to dry. An ‘octopus’ dryer from Ikea or Wilko’s is a brilliant way of hanging lots of pads in a small space.If you need to tumble dry your pads, please do so for only a short time on a cool tumble.
NOTE: Washing your pads at more than 40 degrees, or drying on a hot cycle in the tumble dryer may cause your pads to shrink, distort, and degrade more quickly.