March 19, 2020 4 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: "


In response to what’s been happening around the world, we wanted to take a moment to shed light on the difficulties menstruating people face during times of humanitarian crisis.

Here at illum, we believe in the importance of providing those in need with access to sustainable menstrual resources. 

In this blog, we’ll cover the importance of prioritizing periods during difficult times and what steps you can personally take to ensure you’re prepared for emergencies.

We have a lot to cover so let’s get started!

Prioritizing Safer, Healthier Periods

You’ve probably seen the news; people are stocking up on unsightly amounts of nonperishables, toilet paper can’t be found in many stores around the world, and many people can’t access supplies that they need. It’s important to not hoard provisions, otherwise you’re taking away from individuals who can only afford to purchase essentials when needed—especially when it comes to period products.

Conflicts, natural disasters, and global pandemics can leave thousands of menstruating folks around the world without access to clean and healthy sanitary products. Due to lack of availability, people oftentimes have to turn to less effective, unhygienic, and uncomfortable alternatives to manage their periods. This can include anything from dirty rags to torn pieces of clothing.

While countries around the world may go into lockdown during a crisis, your period doesn’t. It’s important to keep menstrual hygiene in mind when Menstrual products are a necessity, not a privilege.

Why Washable Cloth Pads Are the Better Option

The recommended length of time you should use a disposable tampon for is about 8 hours, and between 6 to 8 hours for pads. Using these products for longer than what’s recommended can lead to a higher chance of developing various health concerns such as rashes, vaginal yeast infections, as well as bad odours. However, in times of humanitarian disaster, this isn’t always an option. When you only have access to a limited number of menstrual products for an extended period of time, you’ll put the health of your body at risk by using them longer.

It’s clear that menstrual products need to be given more importance in times of crisis. But are disposable pads and tampons really the best option?

Unlike traditional disposable pads and tampons, washable cloth pads aren’t a one time use product. A single reusable menstrual pad can actually be used for years, and if they’re properly washed and taken care of they can last you even longer! That means you won’t have to worry about running out of safe menstrual products for an extended period of time.

In order to prolong the life expectancy of your illum cloth pads, you’ll want to hand wash them using a probiotic soap or ecological plant-based laundry detergent in order to effectively remove any bacteria that has collected since their use. Following out detailed care instructionswill ensure that your illum cloth pad is properly taken care of so that it can be there for you during the times you need it most.

Building An Emergency Supply Kit

An important part of preparing for your period during humanitarian crises is to build your emergency supply kit. This will ensure that you are never put in a position that will leave you unable to access vital provisions like food, toilet paper, and feminine hygiene products such as washable cloth pads.

We’ve divided these supplies into two categories: the basics and any additional items that you may want to consider including, depending on your personal needs. While the items we’ve listed can definitely be helpful in instances of emergencies, this is not a complete list of everything you would need to include in your own supply kit. Ensure that you are doing additional research to guarantee you’re not missing anything essential.

The Basics

  • One gallon of water per person
  • Three days’ worth of non-perishable food
  • Manual can opener
  • First aid kit
  • Battery-powered or wind-up flashlight
  • Battery-powered or wind-up radio
  • Backup batteries
  • A whistle in case your need to signal for help
  • Important documents such as identification, insurance, and bank records stored in a waterproof container
  • Local maps
  • Cash

Additional Supplies

  • Menstrual products such as washable cloth pads
  • Toilet paper and other personal hygiene products
  • Extra clothing and footwear for each member of your household
  • Sleeping bags or blankets for each member of your household
  • Prescription medication
  • Baby supplies and breastfeeding essentials
  • Mobile phone charger and prepaid phone
  • Basic tools (e.g. hammer, wrench, pliers, screwdriver, pocket knife, etc.)
  • Pet food and supplies
  • Extra glasses and contact lens solution
  • Cups, plates, and utensils

Add illum Cloth Pads to Your Emergency Kit Today

You never know when disaster might strike, but you can handle anything as long as you’re properly prepared. For years menstrual products have been treated like luxury items when in reality any woman could tell you that’s not the case. Washable cloth pads can keep you safe and hygienic while on your period during a wide variety of different humanitarian crises.

If you’re looking to add washable cloth pads to your own emergency supply kit, browse our wide selection of washable cloth pads. We offer a variety of different sizes and bundles for every menstruating person’s needs.

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