Close-up of Just a Period box. Pads have 100% cotton top layer and are free of dyes, fragrance, and chlorine bleaching. November 15, 2020.
design observations product packaging

Finally! Feminine Hygiene Products Become More Environmentally Friendly

While grocery shopping at Walmart recently, I found a significant change in the feminine hygiene products section. Can you spot a theme?

Tampax Pure 100% Organic Tampons and Always Pure Pads Free of Chlorine Bleaching, Walmart, November 8, 2020.
Tampax Pure 100% Organic Tampons and Always Pure Pads Free of Chlorine Bleaching, Walmart, November 8, 2020.

 

Seventh Generation Organic Cotton Tampons, Walmart, November 8, 2020.
Seventh Generation Organic Cotton Tampons, Walmart, November 8, 2020.

 

Lola Tampons made with 100% organic cotton, Walmart, November 8, 2020.
Lola Tampons made with 100% organic cotton, Walmart, November 8, 2020.

 

Just a Period pads with 100% cotton top layer, Walmart, November 8, 2020.
Just a Period pads with 100% cotton top layer, Walmart, November 8, 2020.

 

Always pure cotton pads, Walmart, November 8, 2020.
Always pure cotton pads, Walmart, November 8, 2020.

There is an entire section of environmentally-friendly feminine products … finally! Of course there were still plenty of the standard products made with all sorts of plastics, but I’ve never seen feminine hygiene products sold on the basis of significant portions of them being 100-percent organic cotton let alone an entire section of them. If I had, I would have been buying differently all these years.

I purchased some Just a Period pads and Lola pantyliners precisely because of their cotton content and recyclable cardboard boxes. Both are more comfortable than standard pads and pantyliners with their plastic-y topsheets.

The Just a Period brand is cheeky and down-to-earth with its name, and the design is bold and fun with the red, black and white box and black-and-white striped protective wrappers on the pads.

Just a Period pads with 100% cotton top layer, box and wrapped pad with black and white covering, November 15, 2020.
Just a Period pads with 100% cotton top layer, box and wrapped pad with black and white covering, November 15, 2020.

 

Close-up of Just a Period box. Pads have 100% cotton top layer and are free of dyes, fragrance, and chlorine bleaching. November 15, 2020.
Close-up of Just a Period box. Pads have 100% cotton top layer and are free of dyes, fragrance, and chlorine bleaching. November 15, 2020.

The Lola brand uses lovely colors and simple design along with its environmentally-friendly “ingredients” to sell its product. Even the “bioplastic” used in these pantyliners is plant-based. These sales tactics worked on me and I hope they work for the environment.

Lola pantyliner box. 100% organic cotton top sheet and core, plant-based bioplastic backsheet, nontoxic adhesive on backsheet, free of synthetic fibers, fragrance and dyes, and chlorine bleach. November 15, 2020.
Lola pantyliner box. 100% organic cotton top sheet and core, plant-based bioplastic backsheet, nontoxic adhesive on backsheet, free of synthetic fibers, fragrance and dyes, and chlorine bleach. November 15, 2020.

Compared to the Equate brand (Walmart’s house brand) I was using, the 100% cotton in these new products is a huge selling point for me. When I looked closely at the Equate brand, I saw that they were “Cotton Enhanced.” (Is that like processed cheese food?)

Equate Ultra Thin Pads from Walmart, November 15, 2020.
Equate Ultra Thin Pads from Walmart, November 15, 2020.

 

Close-up of packaging from Equate Ultra Thin Pads from Walmart. Note the "Cotton Enhanced" symbol and that the product promises that the "body side cover contains a nonwoven with at least 15% cotton." Don't get carried away with the cotton, Equate! November 15, 2020.
Close-up of packaging from Equate Ultra Thin Pads from Walmart. Note the “Cotton Enhanced” symbol and that the product promises that the “body side cover contains a nonwoven with at least 15% cotton.” Don’t get carried away with the cotton, Equate! November 15, 2020.

 

The topsheet is promised to contain at least 15 percent cotton. Wow, Equate is going all out with that! [sarc] While I’m not keen on all the plastic used in them and other standard pads, I do appreciate the Frank Lloyd Wright-esque feel Equate seemed to be going for with its pad wrappers.

Because pad manufacturers regularly change up the packaging designs for their feminine hygiene products, it makes me wonder who is behind all these designs. How do they decide what is going to be popular among women who are regularly menstruating?

Apparently, enough of us have demanded more healthy and natural choices in our hygiene products for so many of them to make a sudden appearance on Walmart’s shelves. That’s a good thing. But how do they decide on the colors and other design cues for these products? It’s a mystery to me.

 

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