I've saved thousands of pounds by reusing my sanitary towels – people think it's gross but I don't care

A WOMAN has revealed how she’s saved thousands on her period products by reusing her sanitary towels.

Becca Mapp, 32, a mum of three from South Wales, has started a website, SillyPanda.co.uk, where she sells reusable menstrual products.

Becca told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "I started making cloth pads around five or six years ago, not long after I had my eldest son Indy.

"We'd decided early on we wanted to use cloth nappies, and I wondered if there was anything similar for periods as I was jealous!

"I started designing a shape I thought would work, tested it on willing family and friends, and came up with the shape I still use today.

"I use organic cotton jersey for the top, which is the same material pants are made out of so they're really soft and comfortable, then a mix of cotton flannel and a specialist bamboo fleece for the core.

"I use a moisture repellent fleece for the back, and poppers on the wings so you can adjust them for the right fit.

"I sew them all myself on my sewing machine, in my studio in my loft. I live on a big hill in Llantrisant, South Wales, and I sew either when the baby sleeps or at night!”

While plenty of people are quick to write-off the products as gross Becca is determined to reduce the stigma.

Becca has been putting her talent to good use by working with Bridgend College to encourage period dignity.

"Bridgend are wanting to reduce stigma and encourage period dignity so they provide each student with a reusable period pack put together by myself,” she explains.

"It includes a wash bag, six pads, a menstrual cup, a stain remover bar, and a drying strap that my mum makes for me.

"I provide talks to the college, in person before lockdown and now via Zoom, where I show the students cloth pads and tell them how to use them and wash them and answer any questions.

"I love it when I can see them change their minds over the talk and by the end they all want to try.

"I also do workshops that show people how to make basic cloth pads from items they can find in the house or at a charity shop for pennies but obviously mine cost a bit more.

"Prices start at £5 for the small ones and go up to £15 for the really big super heavy ones. It takes me about 15 minutes to make a pad, but I can do the big college orders of around 100 to 150 packs in a couple of weeks.

"The period dignity scheme with Bridgend is ongoing and I love it, and I'm so happy Newport Council are now involved as well.

"I think it's a brilliant thing to show people that disposable products aren't the only way, that there is a more comfortable alternative that doesn't only look and feel nicer, it's better for the planet too. And taking care of them isn't as scary as it seems!”

Becca explains that using reusable pads can save thousands of pounds.

"A woman spends on average £5,000 on period products over her lifetime and a full cloth pad stash of 25 pads is approximately £250,” she adds.

“Cloth pads save money as they can last up to eight to 10 years if they are taken care of correctly, so there's no need to buy anything for that long.

“Disposable pads don't degrade at all – the first one ever made still exists in landfill. But cloth does degrade over time.

“If someone menstruates for about 40 years, that would cost about £1,000 to £1,250 if they used cloth, saving about £3,750 and keeping 11,000 plastic-filled disposables out of landfill!”

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