period education in school

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Wear ’em out says period education in schools needs updating

Isn’t it amazing how reusable period products have been around for decades, yet sex education in schools still only teaches young people about disposable products? It really blows our minds. 

In our recent survey we found that 2 out of 5 (40.83%) of us learnt about periods at school, with over a third (34%) learning about types of protection at senior school. Our research also showed that most people are aged between 31-40 years old when they make the switch to reusables, with many stating they weren’t aware of the option before then. 

If menstruation starts from as young as 12 (earlier sometimes), that leaves 18 years where reusable and more sustainable options aren’t being seen as an option for period protection. 

We did the maths, that’s approximately 4,752 disposable products thrown away per individual before they switch to reusable. Mind boggling isn’t it? Especially when you consider that 1.5-2 billion menstrual items are flushed down Britain’s toilets each year.

Seagulls on landfill

We know from our own experience that the demand for reusable products is on the rise and becoming much more popular. Yet despite this growing trend to use more sustainable methods of protection, the school education system in the UK is still falling behind and failing to teach young people about alternatives to disposable products. Why? Well we don’t really know! 

So as champions of sustainable and reusable period products, we’re on a mission to update period education in schools to highlight eco-friendly options that benefit health, wellbeing and the planet. We would love to see a change in the way young people are taught about sanitary protection in schools so they are able to explore more sustainable and eco-conscious options alongside disposable products. 

We’re not saying everyone should all be converted. But we believe that all young people should have a choice and we want them to be aware of the alternative options so they don’t have to go down the disposable route if they don’t want to. Teenagers should be educated about all the options available to them and while this includes reusable pads (us, bias? Never!), but there are also cups, period pants and other products out there which don’t need to be thrown away after a single use.

Not only are reusable period products better for the environment, but they’re also free from harmful toxins. Not to mention the cost per use savings too.  

money saving ideas

Did you know that we have an education kit available for schools? We believe that it’s really important for us to educate the next generation in alternative reusable options for when they period. After All, they are the ones who are championing the change and they can’t do this without the relevant information and an introduction to what else is available. Imagine if our future young people seamlessly went into eco-friendlier periods before getting too dependent on disposables, what a huge impact that would make on both their physical and our planetary health and wellbeing.

At Wear ‘Em Out we think that the best way to introduce reusable products is without judgement, but to inform, share and allow time for change. We think it’s important that young people work out the best way for them. Gaining confidence in reusables takes time and we are hugely aware of this which is why we apply a chilled non-judgemental education. It’s more about empowering young people, not enforcing and giving them the information and options they need to be able to make informed choices.

If you work in a school and would like more information, our educational kit helps schools, teachers, parents and carers talk about periods with young people. It provides examples of the pads and all the information needed to explain the why’s, the how’s and some useful resources that will get teens educated in the benefits of using reusables. So when the time comes, they’ll be able to make more informed choices. 

If you have a young person who you’d like to help navigate through their menstruation journey, our First Period Gift Box has all your young one needs, and you’ll find loads of useful information from the fabulous Tara Ghosh in her blog  The First Period – How to support the tweens in our life

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