Managing your flow with regular sanitary products? Not for Emine Savasir! She decided to go natural and founded the Florida-based company The Selene, which sells organic period products for health conscious women who care about our world. In this interview, Savasir explains the motives behind her move.
Why did you decide to sell organic pads and tampons?
‘Although millions of women and teens use pads and tampons every month, strangely there isn’t much reliable research done about how these products affect women’s health. Most of us rely on the FDA which considers sanitary products medical devices and doesn’t strictly require manufacturers to disclose their ingredients.’
‘EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) research clearly points out that dioxin, which is a bleaching agent used in regular pads and tampons, is linked with the possibility of cancer, endocrine disruption, alteration of the immune system and possible reproductive problems. The FDA claims that a small amount of dioxin is not as dangerous, but it’s up to you to make this decision. As someone who has a very sensitive hormonal system, I refuse to take that chance, especially after being diagnosed with uterine fibroids which caused me to develop life threatening anaemia.’
‘Some companies even test their products on animals. I truly think this was my switching point’
What other issues can be involved with using regular products?
‘Cotton that isn’t organic is sprayed with pesticides. In fact, 26% of the world’s pesticides are sprayed on cotton. When we consider the thin and delicate skin in and around the vaginal area which is particularly susceptible to absorption, the idea of even a small amount of any chemical in tampons and pads sounds frightening.
There’s also the environmental concern, which includes tampons that come with plastic applicators. Recently, change.org published a petition asking for large tampon manufacturers to stop using plastic applicators and instead switch to biodegradable ones, due to an estimated 20 billion applicators ending up in landfills. According to this petition even when plastic applicators are disposed of properly and end up in a landfill, they don’t break down.
Last, but certainly not least, some companies even test on animals. I truly think this was my switching point. I refuse to use any products that are tested on animals, as there are plenty of other ways to test products for human consumption and safety.’
‘It’s always a good idea to learn about the manufacturer before making the decision to use their products’
So, what should you look for if you’re planning to switch to organic pads and tampons?
‘A GOTS certification on the packaging. GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certifies cotton use and is the top regulating agency for the organic textile products. It doesn’t only certify the way the cotton is harvested and processed, it’s also involved with safe working conditions, hours of work/rest, discrimination/equal rights and proper wages for workers in factories that produce cotton products. This independent global certification includes rigorous inspection of farm, field and processing facilities, detailed record keeping and periodic testing of soil and water to ensure that growers and handlers are meeting the set standards. With a GOTS certification, you’ll know the organic pads and tampons you’re buying are GMO free and won’t contain chemicals, harmful preservatives or additives.
Also, it’s always a good idea to learn about the manufacturer before making the decision to use their products. Fair Trade is another consideration that should be included in product research, if you want to make sure the products are sourced and produced ethically.’
‘We only work with brands that produce healthy and planet friendly period products’
Why are organic pads and tampons pricier than regular ones?
‘That’s due to the certification and processing costs, and paying workers a fair wage instead of exploiting them in sweatshop conditions. Currently any organic product is pricier than its non-organic counterpart. However, as more and more people switching to purer products, the cost is coming down. Many companies such also offer time saving, convenient subscription options. The Selene has the Moon Club, which is a subscription box with a 5% regular discount as well as seasonal and holiday discounts, gifts and other special offers for club members. Both the Moon Club subscription and the products in the box can be easily changed at any time.’
What products do you offer with The Selene?
‘Our assortment of top rated organic and biodegradable period products includes party-liners, pads and tampons. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes; the pads with and without wings and the tampons with and without applicator. The brands we work with are Emerita, Tampon Tribe and Organic Initiative; all brands that produce healthy and planet friendly period products. I want to make sure women have better options when it comes to choosing pads and tampons.’
‘I feel great knowing that I use products that not only don’t harm my body, but also don’t harm our beautiful planet’
What has switching to organic tampons and pads done for you personally?
‘After using each one of the products I sell, I noticed many benefits. My fibroid symptoms are reduced. Also, I don’t have excruciating cramps any longer. And I don’t have the itching and other discomforts I always had while using regular pads. I’m proud of the products I decided to sell, as they are all certified and biodegradable. I feel great knowing that these products not only don’t harm my body, but also don’t harm our beautiful planet.’
What are you waiting for? Make the switch to organic! Look on https://theselene.com/ to get started and for more info.