CSP – also known as cloth sanitry pads, cloth menstual pads, mama cloth – to name a few; is one alternative to disposable menstrual products. There are two main AMP’s (alternative menstrual products); menstrual cups and cloth pads. In this post we’re talking about cloth. You might have many questions? I’m going to be answering them today.
What are cloth pads?
CSP are re-useable, fabric menstrual pads. Used just like disposables but once used they get put into a wetbag and washed to be used again.
How do they stay in your underwear if they aren’t sticky?
CSP have wings, most commonly with snaps (however a couple of makers use velcro or buttons) to affix the pad around your undies and stay in place.
Dont they stain?
As long as you have a good wash routine and stain treat before washing, stains are very rare. If a pad does still have a faint stain, leave it in the sunlight and it should sun out.
What are they made from?
CSP are made up of 3 basic parts; the top fabric, the core (absorbent bit) and the backing. There are many different top fabrics including bamboo/cotton velour, woven cotton, jersey, minky, bamboo charcoal; to name a few. These often have patterns, prints or are hand dyed. Common fabrics used for the core are zorb, bamboo fleece, cotton flannel and cotton terry. These are usually layered to boost absorbency; the more layers the more absorbent. The backing fabrics used in pads are either water resistant; such as windpro and polar fleece or waterproof like PUL.
How do I wash them?
There are several ways to wash CSP (if you would like a post just on washing let me know in the comments). At the end of my cycle I rinse all my pads in COLD water – hot sets stains! – until the water runs clear. Then stain treat any (usually only a couple) that need it with either Ruby’s Red Wash or Buncha Farmers stain stick. Once that’s done I pop them all into my washing machine and put on a wash with detergent and sometimes stain remover. Never put fabric softener in a CSP wash as it can damage the integrity of your pads. Once the wash cycle is completed hang to dry and store them ready for your next cycle!
How many do I need?
To comfortably get through a cycle on cloth I would say around 15 or 16 pads. Consisting of; 3 overnights,4/5 heavy pads, 6/7 regular pads and a couple of pantiliners for the last day.
Where can I buy CSP?
You can get cloth pads from Etsy, wahm’s on Facebook and also from some health stores in the U.S. For a list of wahm’s that sell CSP check out the WAHM directory.
If you have any more questions you can ask me below, email me (info on contacts page) or ask anonymously here.
The winner of the first RMP giveaway has been chosen, the second is up, go enter now! x

Here is the first giveaway! As part of Go Real RMP Week, for the next 7 days there will be a giveaway each day; but each only lasts 24 hours, so be quick! Today’s giveaway is a wet and dry bag set, perfect for when you’re out and about at that time of the month. All you have to do to enter is answer this question (don’t worry the answer can be found online if you don’t know it) – What is the Lunette menstrual cup made from?
Leave your answer in the comments below.​ This giveaway is open from 9pm on the 14th of October 2015 till 9pm on 15/10/15. All seven giveaway prizes will be posted after the last giveaway closes.
Good Luck! x​​

 This week (12/10/15-18/10/15) is the first annual reusable menstrual products (RMP) week! Set up after Go Real agreed that we needed something; just like Real Nappy Week, for the promotion of RUMP’s. After all, they’re amazing! Saving the environment, being 100% cruelty free and the added bonus of comfort (no more putting up with nasty disposables!); who wouldn’t want to know about RUMP’s? However, there are many women (from pre-teen girls to adult ladies) that don’t know about the alternatives to disposables and that’s why we need to spread the word! Myself and a few other ladies (45 in total), across the UK, have demo kits for those wanting to know more about rumps. You can find your nearest here. If you’d like a visit; whether it be a sling meet, school, nappy library, guide group or other, please get in touch! I’m no. 25 on the map; to contact me just click the link in the bar above. If for whatever reason your local isn’t available, its possible id be able to help. The kits all vary slightly; below is what mine currently includes, with more to add in future.
There are a number of discount codes for RMP week courtesy of Go Real and their supporters. The coupons are as follows:

Alongside the above coupon codes; keep an eye on my social media for hidden ones! From tomorrow (Wednesday 14/10/15) for one week there will be a giveaway every day for seven days. Sometimes it may not be on the blog so make sure to be following (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) to be the first to know!
Go Real also have four giveaways currently running (see their Facebook page) for more info.
What is your favourite thing about RUMP’s? Let me know in the comments below! x

P.S – Have you entered the £15 shop spend giveaway? If not find it on the blog now!​​

As my regular readers have noticed, I haven’t been posting to my regular schedule; Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday. This has been for the last month or so. I’ve had some personal things going on in my life; from starting college to other, more personal things. I’m not ready to go into detail yet about the things going on in my personal life, I have thought long and hard…tried…but I’m not there yet. I know I owe you all an explanation and I will as soon as I’m ready, I’m just not yet. Id like to say thank you to all my readers, followers, friends that have stood by me and continued to support me; it really means a lot. I’m going to try to get back to (and stick to) my regular schedule; but there may be some days where I miss a post and I’m sorry if this annoys any of you – feel free to unfollow – but my health is my priority right now. Thank you to those of you that will continue to support me, if you took the time to read, this, even. thank you.
As a little something to say sorry for disappearing, I’m doing a giveaway of a £15 page spend towards any of the companies listed below. This will run until Sunday 18/10/15 at 6pm (UK time). All you have to do is be following (whether it be Facebook or Twitter) and comment below with your favourite vegan product at the moment.
Love you all
Sophie x

The £15 page spend can be used on ONE of these businesses:

Suffolk Cloth Nappies is one of many nappy libraries across the UK, most are entirely self-funded and run by volunteers who use their own time, space and money to run the library. There are several reasons why we do what we do – firstly it’s to enable as many families as possible to use cloth nappies and hopefully convert to using them. Why can’t they just go and buy some from the shelf I hear you ask? Well simply there is a vast array of cloth nappies out there (if you know where to look – but more about that later). Each type and brand of nappy will fit differently, and babies, as you know come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. What fits and works on one baby, may not work on another. Then you have to factor in the parent’s lifestyle and environment e.g. do they have access to outside drying facilities, are they limited on space but have a tumbler dryer? What is their budget? All these factors are important when chosing what brand (or brands) of nappies to use. Get it right and it will save you money (unless you become a cloth addict!), get it wrong and you risk not only wasting money but also deciding that cloth does not work for you. We don’t want this to happen – we want to find the right solution for you – baby, mum, dad and even grand-parents, childminders and nursery. 
So what we do is allow families to try cloth nappies for a month, which should enable them to find a solution that works for them. Our kits include a selection of nappies, so it’s possible to find the right one for each family based on fit, style, absorbency and budget.

But why do we want families to switch to cloth nappies? Why not just use disposables? That is of course an option, but if you think about it, 30 years ago there was no such thing as disposables, everyone used reusable nappies. With the increase of use of disposables came an increase in the amount of waste each family with young children would send to land fill. Do you know that it can take up to 400 years for a disposable to decompose? So, the nappy that is sent to landfill now will still be around when your great, great, great, great, great, great, great (possibly a few more great’s) grand-daughter is changing her baby! Modern cloth nappies can just be popped in the wash (once the poop has been removed) and washed, dried and re-used. A good nappy can be passed down for the next baby to use. 

What’s really important to us is that not only do we loan out kits, but we offer support – it could be as simple as explaining what the different types of nappies are, what materials they are made from and how to wash them, to helping with getting the fit right (a cloth nappy is not put on like a disposable, it involves a certain technique or you risk the nappy leaking) or advising on what boosters to try, what nappies to try – say, during the day, for out and about or over-night. We are always on hand to answer questions, before the loan, during the loan, and even after the loan. We can also help save you money on any purchases!

Whilst we appreciate the support of Nappy Retailers, with over 100 Nappy Libraries in the Nappy Library Network it is almost impossible for retailers to support each and every one and so we are mostly reliant on donations in order to fund this service – this could be monetary donations, or donations in kind of nappies and accessories. 

My story? Well actually my husband suggested using reuseables when I was pregnant the first time around, we eventually made the switch at around 5 months. I didn’t use a library but gained advice from friends and happened upon a solution that works really well for us. When she was around a year I kind of fell into taking on the library and it’s gradually building and building. I’m very proud of it, and also proud that my youngest daughter has never had a disposable on her little bottom! 

To find your local nappy library use this map!

Victoria x

A couple of months ago I subscribed to The Treat Trove; a monthly CSP period box! I loved it so much, I’ve now subscribed to 6 months (and will probably continue it after). One of the owners of the business; Suzanne has written a few words about their venture into a new market!
I’m Suzanne and together with my ‘partner in crime’ Paula we own and run an online business called The Treat Trove.
I was asked to write a short piece about who we are and why we started our little business so here I am, please be patient as this is my first time writing anything in quite a few years!
Paula and I are friends who met online via Facebook through our mutual love of cloth nappies. We had both developed a real passion (read obsession) for what are generally known as ‘pretties’, these are WAHM made beautiful nappies, I guess probably luxury nappies, heavily embroidered, custom made and full of fun and character. We were buying from the same people and so our paths crossed an awful lot.
Anyway about 6 months ago we sadly realised that our cloth nappy days were slowly ending and our desire to find a new ‘craze’ developed. Happily that was in the form of CSP which we both had been using for a fair while but weren’t as obsessed by as we had been our children’s bottoms!This year has seen a huge increase in the number of WAHMs making a switch to providing bespoke, custom made reusable sanitary products and so began our new addiction :-).
As we are administrators on so many Handmade/WAHM made groups on Facebook our news feeds become swamped with adverts for products that ‘may be of interest’ and one evening back in February we were chatting about a company who send out Monthly Boxes but full of disposable products (I’m sure you all know who). We decided to take that concept and develop it by sourcing reusable/recyclable products and supporting the WAHMs/small businesses that we had discovered through Facebook. We wanted to provide a value for money servicing whilst also promoting the eco side too, and so began The Treat Trove and nights of researching, advertising and costing often chatting into the wee small hours to get us to where we are now.
This weekend has seen us send out our 6th Monthly Box, we’ve already opened forms for September and business is steadily growing and the message that cloth sanitary products are not ‘unmentionable’ is spreading. We’ve launched two new products since our new venture started too, a box aimed at Teens/Tweens and another for Postpartum Mamas. September will see the launch of yet another WAHM goodies filled box…watch this space!
That little chat on a cold Winter’s Night has certainly changed our lives and helped us to share the amazing array of talented makers and parents out there who share the same ideals as us.
Thank you for all the support and Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share our journey…”
Check out The Treat Trove on Facebook here and order (for September) here. Any questions either send me a message via the contacts page or pm suzanne and paula via the Facebook page linked above.

Are you currently subscribed to any weekly, monthly or quarterly boxes? Let me know in the comments below x