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About Bloody Time

Are you watching the tennis just now?

We heard it said years ago that tennis is not a sport in this country, it’s a two week event that takes place in July in London SW19.

While that may, or may not, be true, we like these big sporting and Wimbledon is certainly a biggie. Not only is it the oldest tennis tournament in the world, having taken place since 1877, it is still widely regarded as the most prestigious, so naturally it is very influential.

How interesting then to find that this year’s fixture, that is known throughout the world, is making headlines for more than the sporting prowess. For the first time this year the All England Club will relax the rule on white clothing and allow women to wear coloured shorts under their white skirts on the court, to alleviate period anxiety.

On further reading, we were somewhat surprised to see that issue was first raised in 2007, a full 16 years ago, when French tennis player, Tatiana Golvin, wore bright red shorts under her white dress. Cue much frenzied discussion amongst tournament officials. She was allowed to continue wearing them so we are not entirely sure why it has taken so long for the new rules to come into being.

Many players have been outspoken about the effect of periods on female sport and performance, as have participants in other sports. We can probably all imagine how stressful it could be.

Periods still seem to be rather a taboo subject, don‘t they? It’s odd really when you consider that 50% of the population experience them. If you are female you can expect to have an average of 450 periods in your lifetime, you will spend nearly 10 years of your life, or about 3,500 days, on your period, and yet we still seem very reluctant to talk about it.

Well, we're happy to break the taboo.

Looking at this from an environmental angle, those 450 periods mean on average women use 11,000 pads or tampons throughout their lifetime. Where do many of them end up?

· flushed down the loo

· in landfill

· on our beaches

And what constitutes 90% of a pad? Yes, plastic!

That's the equivalent of 5.6 million plastic bags going into our sewers every single day in the UK alone.

And the thing about plastic is that it never goes away. It just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, ending up as the microplastics we find on our beaches and in our oceans.

This is an issue for everyone, whether you have periods or not.

Is it time that we began to have conversations about re-useable and plastic-free products?

We know that this is quite a personal decision so we wouldn't want to push you into something you are not ready for yet.

If you really recoil from the idea of reusables, maybe you could try organic disposable pads and tampons meantime. Remember that the cotton in traditional products is one of the most thirsty crops around.

But if you are ready to make the change, look at some of these options

· resuable pads (you can buy lovely, funky designs, or why not make our own?)

· menstrual cups (made from soft silicone, they can last 10 years)

· reusable period underwear (they can hold as much as 4 tampons' worth of blood)

Whether we have periods or not, we need to change our energy usage. Just think: each disposable product, whether it is a sanitary pad or a coffee cup, requires a huge amount of energy to be manufactured and transported. And all so that we can use it once and throw it away with barely a second thought.

Bloody ridiculous!


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