Dans Ma Culotte – Sustainability in your panties
I came across Dans Ma Culotte a few weeks ago on social media – probably another well-timed example of the algorithmic magic on my Facebook wall.
But this one was actually a little different from the usual advertisement for female hygiene items: it was fun, colourful, simple, and would share a body-positive message to women going through the most annoying moment of their month.
So I checked what Dans Ma Culotte does and contacted their team in France to know more about their work.
Dans Ma Culotte started in 2014 as a successful crowdfunding project (203% of the expected budget!) aiming at designing and producing reusable (washable) hygienic pads, cups and biological tampons.
With this project, the company’s founders, Marie Reveilhac and Noelle Papay, originally research engineer in computer science and graphic designer respectively, wanted to design monthly protections that would remove the taboo about menstruation while providing women with a range of healthy, sustainable and aesthetically-pleasing solutions to feel empowered.
Marie and Noelle gathered the necessary expertise to succeed. For instance, to design the monthly cup, they got the support of engineers specialized in plastics. Thanks to her graphic design experience as freelance before the story started, Noelle has also been managing the creative work for Dans Ma Culotte since the beginning and designing colourful patterns for the protections and the products' packaging.
With a range of washable protections, cups, tampons and wipes, Dans Ma Culotte is making menstruation a little more pleasant and rather more fun.
The vision behind Dans Ma Culotte is threefold:
- Making sure that women can access affordable, re-usable protections that will help them manage their periods in a healthy manner, knowing that many in developing countries do not have for example access to clean water to change or clean their cloth-based protections properly. Others will use newspapers as protections or not use anything at all, increasing the risk of infections, or they will isolate themselves (by choice or not) and miss work or school days.
- the protections’ top layers are made with 100% bio cotton while the entire product is OEKO-TEX 100 certified, meaning that all components are not harmful to the human body. Protections and tampons are also certified under the Global Organic Textile Standard.
This guaranties women’s health, while the re-usable factor reduces the individual periods-related ecological footprint (did you know that throughout her life, a woman can use up to 10,000 hygienic protections, which will most likely end up on a landfill or in open waters?!)
- By providing customized advice to its customers and by sharing insights on menstruation, Dans Ma Culotte has women’s well-being in mind and tries to showcase how this “fairly-annoying” time of the month can be experienced in peace, mindfulness and without any taboo.
The work of Dans Ma Culotte however does not limit itself to designing and selling female protections online: they obviously have a lot more "out-of-the-box" ideas, projects and events in the pipeline.
In its blog, the team leaves for instance the floor to both women and men and collect their stories and thoughts about periods: After all, menstruation should involve men as much, don’t you think?
In France, Dans Ma Culotte has also partnered with a few social media influencers (and in this context, I mean it in the positive way, as the chosen bloggers are known for their environmental and feminist commitments), zero-waste blogs and other platforms to test the protections and showcase how advantageous it can be to use washable ones over a long time.
The brand is also the first French coordinator of the Menstrual Hygiene Day which takes place each year on 28 May. Throughout events and communications campaigns around the world, participants are raising awareness about menstruation - Read more here (in French).
Dans Ma Culotte supports also important educational projects around the world, enabling girls and women in developing countries to understand their bodies, to talk about taboo subjects like menstruation or sexuality, and to access washable and therefore durable sanitary protections in remote places where access to sanitation is complex if not impossible.
The team has for instance distributed 300 hygienic pads to ladies in Burkina Faso (see pic pic) along with the association Education, Partage, Santé pour l'Avenir au Burkina Faso- Read more here (in French).
I personally haven’t tried the products from the brand, yet, and I would be the last one on Earth to advise on such a personal, subjective matter. However this is in the planning and I just need to manage the logistics as Dans Ma Culotte so far does not deliver to Switzerland. There are surely many other brands and projects along the same line, and I invite our readers to share their insights and experience about them.
A big thank you to Noemie from the team Dans Ma Culotte for sending across information and provide more details on the company's social commitments.
Logo and pics: Dans Ma Culotte/CC0