English summary

strawberry week - sustainable feminine hygiene. THE NEXT GENERATION

About erdbeerwoche

erdbeerwoche aims at promoting the production and use of sustainable feminine hygiene. Founded in 2011, erdbeerwoche is the first company in the German speaking world that provides both an awareness raising platform as well as an online shop for sustainable feminine hygiene products. We provide women with facts and figures about the topic of menstruation and feminine hygiene while at the same time offering healthy and ecological alternatives to conventional products. This includes tampons and menstrual pads made from organic cotton, menstrual cups, as well as organic and fair trade underwear. Through the company’s awareness raising work, women come to realise their power as consumers of more than 45 billion hygiene products every year. In addition, erdbeerwoche addresses the lack of feminine hygiene products in the Global South. Through buying sustainable hygiene products women in all areas of the world can significantly influence their health and the ecological balance of our planet.

What does 'Sustainable feminine hygiene' mean?

Sustainable feminine hygiene means that women pay attention to the impact on their health and the environment when choosing the products they use for their menstruation, such as tampons, pads or panty liners. This particularly concerns the materials and components of the products, the cultivation of the raw materials, as well as their disposal and decomposition.

The problem areas of conventional products

Conventional tampons and pads are generally made of a mix between bleached and compressed cellulose, covered in a synthetic layer. The latter is repeatedly put in connection with skin irritations and infections of the genital area. Furthermore, harmful substances such as dioxin and formaldehyde, which have been found in conventional products, are considered dangerous from a health perspective. During a test of various tampon brands ‘Öko-Test’ 2008 found that 14 out of 16 brands were mixed with halogenated organic compounds, which are considered residues of the bleaching process. During the bleaching process with chlorine, the ultra-toxic dioxin is released. This chemical substance has been associated with cancer and infertility. Formaldehyde has been found in the synthetic packaging of tampons and phthalates (plasticisers) in the adhesive film on panty liners, not to mention the synthetic colouring and scent these products contain.

Benefits of sustainable feminine hygiene

Sustainably produced tampons and pads are defined as products that minimize the negative impact on the consumers’ health and the environment as much as possible. Concretely, this means that no harmful chemicals or pesticides are used, which are found in conventional cotton, for example. Sustainable tampons and pads are made from 100% certified organic cotton or other materials that are eco-friendly and harmless to our health. There are also reusable products, such as menstrual cups or cloth menstrual pads, for example.

Sustainable feminine hygiene products have the following benefits:

• No chemicals

• No skin irritations

• No illegal overexploitation of forests for cellulose extraction

• Less waste because they are either biodegradable or reusable for many years

• No synthetic fibres

• No cotton that is genetically modified or mixed with pesticides

Facts about sustainable feminine hygiene

Did you know that…

• …a woman menstruates on average about 500 times in her life?

• …spends about 3000 days of her life with it?

• …a woman consumes on average about 16.800 pads or tampons in her lifetime?

• …worldwide about 45 billion tampons or pads are consumed every year?

• …and most of them end up in the garbage, where they take more than 500 years to decompose, because of their synthetic components?

• …tampons and pads make up a large portion of the waste on beaches?

• …worldwide considerably more pads are used than tampons?

• …in western countries more tampons than pads are used?

• …the biggest growth market for female hygiene products is Latin America?

• …the menstrual cup was developed at the same time as the tampon?

• …conventional products can cause skin irritation?

• …menstruation also has to do with education?

• …women without access to feminine hygiene products lose 50 days of school or work a year, and because of that attain up to 5 years less schooling?

What is our motivation?

After many years of intensive work on sustainable products we realised: The sector feminine hygiene is usually completely excluded from the sustainability debate. This is due, in part, to the fact that menstruation is still a taboo in many societies. Therefore we decided to found erdbeerwoche, as the time has come for a new generation of feminine hygiene! By means of raising awareness, erdbeerwoche strives to make women realise the power they have as consumers who buy over 45 billion hygiene products per year. By purchasing sustainable hygiene products, women can make a fundamental impact on their health as well as our planet’s ecological balance. At erdbeerwoche’s online shop you will always find the best and latest products in the sector sustainable feminine hygiene. Our promise gives you information on the criteria our products have to meet in order to be listed in our shop.

Here you can find our English shop version.