Eco-lumn: This Health & Wellness Company Wants You to Think with Your Vagina

At Blush and at FIT, sustainability is a major cause we care about. Eco-lumn (a play on the words eco and column) serves to inform our readers on the ongoing changes and advances within the sustainability movement throughout the world.

Studies are increasingly showing that tampons, pads, condoms, lubricants, and more contain harmful ingredients for your body and the environment. We can no longer rely on FDA laws and regulations to make sure that our health is put first, especially within the realm of the sexual wellness industry. Most sexual wellness products on the market today contain harmful ingredients that harm your body rather than help it. The harsh reality is that most likely you’ve been using pads and tampons made from bleached cotton and rayon, fragrances, and more. In fact, Women’s Voices For the Earth conducted a study that found cancer-causing chemicals in Always brand menstrual pads such as styrene, chloroform, acetone, and chloromethane—chemicals that should never, ever, ever go into your body. 

Father-daughter owned sexual wellness company, Sustain, is on a mission to change this. Co-founder Meika Hollender realized that women are given such little information about what goes into the products placed in one of the most absorbent places on our bodies. So, she teamed up with her father, founder of Seventh Generation, to produce products that are healthier for your vagina and the world.

All Sustain tampons and pads are made with 100% organic cotton and nothing else. All of Sustain products, which also consist of organic lubricants, cotton wipes, body wash and more, are tested for safety, free of fragrances and fair trade. They make sure to note their Fair Trade policies which include no child labor, fair wages, free education and healthcare for the entire community they source their rubber from (!!).

Their eco-friendly menstrual cup is made from medical grade silicone which lasts up to ten years. And, speaking from personal experience, I highly recommend going and getting yourself a quality menstrual cup. I’ve always been prone to UTIs and bacterial infections, which can be triggered by cotton pads and tampons because they tend to absorb all of the good bacteria inside of you.

Recently they launched their period underwear, which holds up to one tampon’s worth of menstrual blood, built to be washed and worn again and again. These are an eco-friendly alternative to the waste that comes along with tampons and pads, and it is a great backup layer to keep your leaking worries at ease.

Sustain’s condoms are fair-trade, free of fragrances, triple tested for safety, and, of course, nitrosamine free. What are nitrosamines? They are chemical compounds that are classified as a carcinogen, like processed meat and cigarettes… all of which have been linked to causing cancer. AND, fun fact, in 2010 the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund recommended that condom companies minimize the use of nitrosamines. After this warning, the Reproductive Health Technologies Project performed an independent study and the results were that only two brands of condoms in the entire country were free of nitrosamines. This makes companies like Sustain all the more important.

Ultimately Sustain is an amazing example of a healthy and environmentally-conscious company. They place value in their consumers, their products, and their mission. Here at Blush, we also love that the two co-founders are a father-daughter duo. Because, of course, the health of our bodies and our world really is a team effort.