A woman’s vagina is the most absorbent part of her body, so why aren’t we thinking about what everything is made of that goes into it? It’s a fair question, and one Meika Hollender, the founder of Sustain Natural, wants women to start asking themselves. Specializing in all things vagina-related, her company Sustain Natural is bent on empowering women with choices and information, with products that are kinder to our bodies, as well as to our planet.
The Problem With Conventional Condoms
Condoms are a critical part of sexual health. They protect us from unwanted pregnancies and STDs, and absolutely should be used and distributed whenever possible. That said, the condoms on store shelves these days are full of ingredients that manufacturers are not required to disclose, and the result is exposing ourselves repeatedly, in our most sensitive region, to chemicals that can actually alter the very chemistry of our bodies. Nitrosamines are chemicals known to be present in condoms (despite the FDA not requiring companies to list ingredients), and have been linked to cancerous tumor growth. In addition, parabens are used to prevent bacterial growth in condoms, but have been linked repeatedly to breast cancer in women. On top of all of this, synthetic lubricants and bacteria-fighting ingredients like Nonoxynol-9 can kill off the beneficial bacteria in a woman’s vagina, actually making her more susceptible to catching sexually transmitted diseases.
What’s Really in a Tampon or Pad?
Perhaps one of the biggest issues attracting attention right now with menstrual products is the possibility of them containing pesticide residues from the cotton they’re made from. Cotton is one of the largest consumers of insecticides worldwide, with 24% of the world’s supply annually going towards this crop. What’s more, there have been no studies done into the safety of conventionally grown cotton in women’s tampons and pads — a shocking fact that has consumer advocates questioning the safety claims of big companies like Tampax. Conventional menstrual products also undergo a bleaching process to remove impurities from the fibers. While this is done to protect the safety of user, ironically, we still don’t have a clear understanding of the long-term effects of vaginal chlorine exposure.
Are Lubes Carcinogenic?
Perhaps the biggest threat to women’s health in lubricants is tied, once again, back to parabens. These compounds have been tied in numerous studies to interfering with estrogen production, and are believed to be a key cause of breast cancer.
How Sustain Natural is Changing the Game
It’s all about transparency with Sustain Natural. For the first time, condom buyers get a list of ingredients on the side of the box, not (just) a list of pleasurable benefits. Sustain Natural makes their condoms with Fair Trade sourced latex, not child labor, and they’re always paraben and nitrosamine free. Sustain Natural has also decided that women have a right to know what’s in their menstrual products, which is why not only do they disclose their ingredients, but they use 100% organic cotton and NO fragrances, dyes, or rayon. Sustain Natural’s 95% organic sexual lubricant has plenty to get excited about in it, from being paraben-free and 100% compatible with a woman’s body chemistry, to being vegan, and even pregnancy-safe! Taking it above and beyond, Sustain Natural also offers a Postplay Wipe designed for gentle cleanup that doesn’t mess with your vagina’s pH. These wipes are made with 100% cotton and natural ingredients.
Empowering Women with Choices and Information
Sustain Natural has decided that it’s high time companies started giving women all the facts before they give them products to put in their most personal places. Starting with marketing condoms to women, and ending with transparent ingredients and advocacy for information, Sustain Natural is putting the power back in the hands of women, so that we can make healthier choices for our sexual health. In addition to their fervent education and transparency, Sustain Natural even goes so far as to donate 10% of all of their profits to women’s health organizations, which help to provide women with access to reproductive healthcare. With such a profound message and a great product line, we’re all about spreading the love for this sexual health company who’s shaking up the entire industry.
Have you ever tried a Sustain Natural product? What did you think? Tell us on Facebook or Instagram and tag us in the post! @AvocadoMattress or #AvocadoGreenMagazine
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