Friday 31 July 2020

Bettercup - The Menstrual Cup that keeps Giving Plus an Interview with the Founder

What do you think of when you hear the words menstrual cup? 

Gross? Messy? Disgusting? I thought all of those when I first heard about them, I'm slightly squeamish and at the time, they just weren't for me. I liked the convenience of grabbing a tampon and getting on with my day but as I've got older and taught myself more about my period, my cycle and my body. I kept going back to the idea of using a cup especially since having a baby when I found tampons just weren't as comfortable any more. 

I feel as though more of us are looking for a more eco-friendly way to deal with our periods nowadays and one way to do that is with menstrual cups - where pads and tampons have been the go-to for many, cups have now joined the ranks and are widely spoken about now as an option. 

I've been using one since 2018 and have shared a couple of posts on my experience using them for the first time as well as what I thought six months on. The first one I bought was from Mooncup as that was the brand I knew at the time and it was great but as the months went on I found I wasn't as comfortable with it as I first thought as it's quite firm. I've since used three more brands including Bettercup and feel as though I've finally found my one. 

Bettercup was launched in May by Ruth aka Bright Mama and even as a seasoned menstrual cup user, it has changed my life for the better. Each cup is made from 100% medical grade silicone, it has no nasties, no dyes, BPA, latex, bleach or plastic. Not only that but each cup comes inside a GOTS certified organic bag which you can store your cup in when not in use and the oh so pretty pink packaging is recyclable too!

I've been using mine for the last two cycles and it's honestly the easiest, softest and most comfortable menstrual cup I've used. I found with my previous one I couldn't quite get the bend right where it was firmer and I began to leak after 7/8 months of using it but I've had no problems with this at all. I do use period pants as an extra booster overnight (gotta protect those white sheets!) but otherwise, I really do love it. I trimmed the stem to make it a more comfortable fit and it really has been great. As mentioned I've tried four different menstrual cups now and this has definitely come out on top for me. 

One of the main reasons I really wanted to invest in a Bettercup was because charity is at the heart of the brand and being able to give back in this way really resonated with me. When you purchase one of their menstrual cups, another is gifted to a girl that needs it most and so their first partnership is with Hope School, Zimbabwe, which offers education to around 420 local children who typically live in basic two-room, brick or mud homes, many without electricity or running water. 

They survive on an average family income of $1 per day. This makes sanitary pads unaffordable for the girls who attend the school. Currently, the school relies on donations of sanitary pads from well-wishers, as the girls previously had no other option than to use rags during their period. However, since Zimbabwe is currently in one of the worst times of inflation in history, even these donated pads are becoming unaffordable.

The exciting opportunity with gifting a bettercup to each of these girls is that it is a long term answer to the problem, rather than a fleeting aid. No need for more pads donated month after month, expensive and destined for landfill. That one cup will enable the girls to focus on their education for the rest of their schooling, rather than worry each month how they will get through their period and still focus on their studies. As well as gifting cups to the teenage students, we also plan to include the female staff who, sadly, are also affected by period poverty due to the current dire economic state of the nation.

We are thrilled to be working with Hope School, but it doesn’t stop there; we have exciting plans in the pipeline to partner with other brilliant schools and charities, both overseas and here in the UK. Because every girl, whatever her story, deserves better. 

I really wanted to get to know the brand more so I asked Ruth some questions which you can read below. I feel as though they really give you an insight into the passion and drive behind Bettercup and I really hope this gives you a little nudge to explore menstrual cups further - 

Where did the idea come from for Better Cup?
I always thought menstrual cups were super weird and for - hippy, living out in nature, dancing round tree- types (very judgmental, I know!). Then my sister started using one at the beginning of 2019 and I figured I should give them a go. I was already becoming more aware of sustainable living and learning about the damage we were causing as a family with our plastic use. After the first few days adjusting to how to use a cup, I was completely sold. Hook line and sinker, I was in love with menstrual cups.

I've always loved the idea of starting my own business but have never had an idea of what business I'd start. Using menstrual cups and realising how bloomin' brilliant they were got me thinking about making my own. I found it fascinating how unknown they still felt and that they were still very much the 'alternative' choice even though I could see how much better they were for our bodies and our planet. I wanted to create a brand that looked cool and would sit happily alongside your make up bag rather than feeling cold and clinical. And I wanted to get people talking about menstrual cups and to see understand them in all their glory!

I then also got chatting to my sister who works at a school in Zimbabwe. She was chatting about the issue they have there with girls missing school when they're on their period due to a lack of sanitary wear. It was at that moment that I knew I had to start the business and that for each bettercup sold we would give one to the school. 

Could you tell me a little bit about your own experience with using a Menstrual cup and why you originally made the switch?
Oops, I kinda answered that in question 1! Basically, I judged menstrual cups from afar, I thought they were odd and intimidating. Then with the encouragement of my sister I tried one and loved it. I've always hated pads and tampons. Pads feel unhygienic and I don't like being able to feel the blood loss and tampons I found uncomfortable and felt like I could never quite get them right, working out which size to use depending on how light or heavy my period was that day, they would often leaving me feeling dry and uncomfortable. My menstrual cup was the most welcomed revelation. Comfortable, soft, easy to use and it could be left in for so much longer at a time. A win all round!

I love the charity aspect to Better Cup which I think really sets the brand apart from others on the market, what made you decide to go down this route?
It was chatting to my sister and realising how hideously unfair this world is. Period care for every menstruating person in the world should be a basic human right, not a privilege. It was in that conversation with my sister that I knew we needed to do something to help change the future of period care. It goes so much further than that too. These girls at Hope School, Zimbabwe are missing school every month, that's countless hours and lessons that they are falling behind on. I can't bear the thought that such a simple issue could have a negative impact on their grades, their employability and the rest of their lives.

Having used Better Cup myself, I found the cup much easier to fold and softer to use - how did you decide on the design for the cup?
That was the longest process of all. I obviously wanted to get it completely right. You can have the jazziest branding around but if your product isn't good enough you're not going anywhere. I spoke to lots of women that already use menstrual cups, talked about what they like and dislike about their cup and worked from there to create the (in my opinion!) perfect cup. 

Do you have any funny menstrual cup stories?
Occasionally when you take it out it can make a funny noise, there have been times when it's sounded like a duck is quacking in my bathroom. ha! 

If you want to find out more about Bettercup you follow their Instagram page - _bettercup or head to their website -

I'd absolutely love to hear your thoughts on this! 

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