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National Organic Month: All Natural Period Products – Is Organic Cotton Better?

By Ruby Moon (she/her) from Team August | 9.7.2022

September is National Organic Month!

This annual celebration is a month-long awareness campaign. It aims to promote the consumption of organic foods and inform the public on the environmental benefits of organic farming.

But, of course, August period care is going to put our own spin on the month. We're taking this opportunity to explain why we prioritize ethically-sourced, vetted, organic cotton for our period products.

Ethically-sourced & vetted cotton.

There is a human cost to conventional cotton.

We strategically considered this when creating our production journey. Especially after learning that 65% of the world's cotton is grown via forced labor and harmful farming methods. Forced labor and child labor have actually been reported in the top nine cotton producing countries.

By buying vetted, organic cotton period products like ours, you can ensure that the people who create your products are paid a living wage and fairly compensated for their hard work.

August period care’s cotton journey.

Our cotton is farmed in Mersin, Turkey using a supplier that grows pesticide-free, chemical-free, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, biodegradable, and ethically sourced cotton.

After being harvested and processed, our cotton hops on a ship to Germany (to be turned into tampons), and to China (to be turned into pads)!

100% Organic Cotton – always.

Let’s go over why organic cotton is better for the environment.

In stark contrast to non-organic cotton

  • organic cotton uses 91% less water
  • produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions
  • and is farmed without harmful pesticides supporting healthy soil and nearby waterways.

As an added bonus, the decision not to use pesticides is healthier for the cotton farmers who grow the cotton.

Does using organic cotton change the quality of menstrual pads and tampons?

Don't worry, in pursuit of environmental and ethical benefits, the switch to organic doesn’t sacrifice quality.

Unlike non-organic cotton, organic cotton has longer fibers that are undamaged by the use of pesticides and chemical processing.

This makes organic cotton soft, breathable, chemical-free, and better for YOU.

Environmental benefit of organic cotton.

Most pads take 500-800 years to decompose. Ours take 12 months.

The reason for our products’ biodegradability? The cotton (in addition to other materials like FDA-approved food-grade glue and Japanese Super Absorbent Polymers).

Read more about August's sustainable period care materials on our Traceability page or check out the interactive diagrams on the product pages.

Do August menstrual products biodegrade in landfills?

It completely depends on the landfill!

Some landfills are more anaerobic (aka no air flow), which would mean that our products would biodegrade, but much slower than expected.

Some landfills have been designed to be more aerobic (aka air flow!) in which case our products would biodegrade within 12 months!

Did you know that tampons are regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and registered as a class II medical device?

This means that the FDA is the regulatory body that determines what ingredients are allowed to be included in tampon production.

The FDA still allows for certain ingredients, such as dioxins and pesticides, which contribute to the coloring and production of tampons.

Now, you’re probably wondering – can the standard tampon ingredients really harm your body?

You’re right to be skeptical – only at higher levels can those ingredients cause harm.

However, isn’t it nice knowing that you are consciously thinking about what is going into your body as well as considering your environmental impact?

The important takeaway here is NOT to shame anyone for their period product choice.

Instead, we want to encourage everyone purchasing period products to feel EMPOWERED and KNOWLEDGEABLE about the materials, production, and environmental impact of their tampons, pads, and liners.

Get to know your flow AND your period product alternatives.

…And maybe consider giving August period care a chance ;)

PSA!!

It's true that there are MANY benefits to organic cotton period products. However, specifically with tampons, it’s important to reme mber that the risk of TSS (aka Toxic Shock Syndrome) still exists regardless of the cotton type.

  • So, don’t forget to change your tampon every 4-8 hours based on absorbency and depending on your flow!
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