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May 18, 2018 3 min read

"INFO: The team previously at hannahpad Canada launched their own new brand, illum! These blog posts have been written when we used to run hannahpad Canada. All information is still relevant and everything is the same! We simply changed the brand that we offer. :slightly_smiling_face: "

“Better the devil you know than the devil you don´t know.”


People tend to believe that newly invented things are way better than the ones they had. However, since lots of people start to care about well-being and the quality of lives, they sometimes rewind the time and go back to the old days. Right, this is about the emerging popularity of “Granny Style Cloth Pads”.

Granny Style Cloth Pads

The very first disposable pad was thought up by nurses while they were looking for new methods to stop excessive bleeding on the battlefield. Before then, women had used rags, cotton, sheep’s wool, rabbit fur or even grass in their underwear to manage their periods. Those menstrual pads were being used as early as 10
th century in Ancient Greece. After commercial manufacturers developed the form of the absorbent, cheap wood pulp bandages for soldiers, disposable pads have been available for purchase since 1888.

 Ad of Hartmann's Disposable Menstrual Napkin
Uk Ad of Hartmann's Disposable Menstrual Napkin, About 1888 (source:

Enjoying the convenient, affordable invention over 100 years, now women start to complain about it.

Stinky, uncomfortable, ugly.

This is how women regard their old friend these days. In fact, the modern disposable sanitary pads gave women not only convenience but enormous side effects as well: odor, skin rashes, cramps and even new disease called PMS (PreMenstrual Syndrome). These are due to a variety of chemicals and toxic ingredients that a natural-minded woman would never consider putting in her mouth. According to some researches, the harmful ingredients in commonly used menstrual pads may increase risk of heart disease, birth defects, organ damage and cancer. Furthermore, we cannot imagine the amount of disposed pads piled and buried in landfill all around the world.   

A sanitary pad should be safe. A sanitary pad should be good for both women and the Earth. This is where our brand “illum” started, and this is also why many women willingly endure the inconvenience nowadays. Reusable cloth pads have been well-developed that they work same as or even better than disposable pads. Using cloth pads bring healthier lives since there’s no chemical directly absorbed into the bloodstream through one of the most sensitive areas of your skin. Unlike women from back in the days, we are free from being worried about leakage through the pads since thanks to technology of developing ecofriendly waterproof coatings like the one illum cloth pad uses. Of course, it isn’t stinky as disposable pads either! The odor of menstrual blood you know is actually because of the chemical reaction between the synthesis pad and blood. Think about the smell when you nosebleed. Menstrual blood should smell exactly the same! illum cloth pads can be used over 2-3 years which helps women save money and be more eco-friendly at the same time. Period shouldn't be thought of something gross or troublesome. It's a perfectly normal, natural, and healthy thing! With cloth pads, we go back to this simple but significant truth.


We live with more convenience thanks to the countless creations and inventions. However, we need to ask ourselves:

Does convenience always guarantee happiness?

Moms learn from grandmas, and grandmas learn from grand-grandmas. Sometimes a perfect answer we are looking for right now may lie in old stories although they seem outdated and tiresome.      




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