Period talk…

For those of us ladies fortunate enough to live in the developed world, perhaps the only choice we need to make each month is whether our sanitary products are bleached or unbleached; with applicator or without; with wings or without; or even bio-degradable. But, have you ever thought what it might be like to live in an undeveloped country like Sierra Leone for example, where there is no choice other than to stay at home and miss school/work or, use all manner of materials in order to manage menstruation; such as rags, newspapers, kitchen sponges, leaves and even tree bark :-0 

What is Tsuno?…

Melbourne based Tsuno is the brainchild of Roz Campbell. During her industrial design studies at uni, Roz spent some time overseas and, when she was caught short without her regular sanitary products, discovered something called the menstrual cup, which was actually invented in the 1930’s! I won’t go into the deets about menstrual cups here, as there’s plenty of stuff on the net but, this alternative method of ‘stemming the flow’ was the catalyst for Roz’s research into the state of the global feminine hygiene market, it’s impact on the environment and, the birth of Tsuno.

roz w tsuno

Tsuno produce disposable, sustainable bamboo fibre sanitary pads. They are a social enterprise, where 50% of their profits are donated to charities that focus on empowering women, with the main focus being education and menstrual support. Tsuno works closely with Melbourne based charity One Girl, who provide education scholarships and sanitary pads to marginalised girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda.

Tsuno donate to and support the work of The International Women’s Development Agency, Share the Dignity, The Asylum Seekers Resource Centre and Essentials for Women South Australia.

The product…

The pads are made from a natural bamboo (not viscose- which means no harsh chemicals used to process it) and corn fibre top sheet, individually wrapped in biodegradable sleeves, and finally packaged in recyclable cardboard boxes.

Bamboo is one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable fibres available due to its fast growth-rate, low demands on resources and natural resistance to pests and fungi. It is also super absorbent, breathable, soft and comfortable, antibacterial, and just generally amazing! No chlorine or dioxin bleach is used in the manufacturing process 🙂 The bottom layer of the pad is currently a breathable polyethylene film designed to ensure the pad is leak proof but, Tsuno are working on developing a product that will eventually be 100% biodegradable.

The packaging is gorgeous; featuring different editions of an Australian artist’s work. The first edition of packaging was designed by Brisbane based designer Erin Lightfoot whose speciality is print rich textiles and ceramics.

The name Tsuno was derived from a cartoon character Yoko Tsuno, who was the epitome of a competent woman – an engineer, a pilot, a scuba diver, amongst many other great things – nothing held her back, and definitely not her period!

What do I think?…

Anything that’s green, empowers women and, supports charitable causes wins my vote! However, I like my pads to come away from the outer wrapper with ease and, with no annoying strips to dispose of. So, whilst these personal requirements aren’t a deal-breaker, it is something I fed back to Roz as she continues to refine this great product 🙂 Other than this minor irritation, they certainly do the job and, have the comfort factor you require from your eco-friendly panty pad 🙂

Where can you buy Tsuno?

Click here for global stockists

They’re good – period!

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Photo credit: Tsuno and Bec Nolan