Eco Femme cloth pads review

After knowing about the harmful chemicals present in the disposable diapers and constantly adding to the garbage pile, I switched over to cloth diapers for my babies. Only then, it had occurred to me that I have been adding to the pile every month during menstruation. I imagined that cloth would be very messy to use. But after reading some experiences of cloth pads and getting a recommendation from my friend, I was game for trying it out.

I had ordered 3 Eco Femme cloth pads through Shycart (I had blogged about that experience earlier over here). It was an order of 2 day and 1 night pads. I had purchased this to see if it was really possible to use cloth pads after years of using disposable sanitary pads.

Image

To be honest, it was a hassle when I tried this in the last cycle. It was not because of cloth pads itself but because of the small number of pads I had to begin with. From what I read, advice is to start with around 6. But I was not ready to invest in 6 pads without being sure if I would like it. After using it last month, I placed another order. Now I have a total of 5. Yes, these pads are here to stay with me, as far as I am concerned.

Things I liked:

  1. Soft: As we know, the disposable sanitary pads that are sold in India are nowhere near as soft as it would be in the US. This actually felt soft, softer than any pad I has used before.
  2. Stays in place always: Press buttons are sewn on to the pad to secure them to the underwear. Surprisingly, it stayed in place throughout. Did not bunch up as I had perceived. It was a little bulky than the Ultras I was used to, but not as bulky to feel uncomfortable.
  3. No smell: I was really skeptical about it. There is actually no odour emanating from this after use, unlike the disposable napkins. And, if the pads are soaked, rinsed and washed as per the washing instructions, they get clean and fresh as new.
  4. No overflow: For years, we were made to believe that only disposable pads absorb the liquids quickly and there was no way that a cloth could absorb even half as much. Well, this is absolutely wrong. There was no overflow of any sorts when I used them. I wonder why the advertisements by the major brands portray this in that way.
  5. Minimum carbon foot print: Finally felt good that I am not adding to the trash. Due to the rains and the small number of pads I owned, I had to use disposable for a couple of times.

I really liked using these pads and hence I took the pain to wash them whenever possible to ensure that I did not have to use disposable. There were a few things which I found it difficult to handle.

Things I did not feel comfortable with:

  1. Washing and drying: Though the steps were simple, it was a bit of a hassle. I think this feeling is mainly because I am not used to this and also because I tend to not tell anybody about my periods. That would no longer be possible as these have to be hung outside to dry. In fact, my mom in law spotted it last time and was having a look from all angles. Thankfully she did not ask me about it! Being a shy person does not help here J
  2. Long drying time: Due to layers of cloth sewn together, it took quite a while to dry. The cloudy skies and the occasional rains did not help. A machine wash would have definitely brought the drying time down.

Apart from these, I really liked everything else about the product. I would definitely recommend it to my friends and family.

If you are here wondering if this will work for you, I say why not try it first. You could try these on days where you would be home (on a weekend or something) or on light days. Once you gain confidence in the product, I think you would definitely use it regularly.

Detailed washing instructions and encouragement to try these cloth pads can be found here

Advertisements

Weight loss strategy – Part 2 – Motivation

In the last post, I had written how “Eating Right” was the first stepping stone in my weight loss journey. All my previous weight loss missions did not yield the results I wanted. If I look back now to point at one single thing that jeopardized my efforts, it was the “eating” part. Eating right is the key in any kind of weight loss goal and I was glad that I got it right, at last.

After completing one month of eating right (with no exercises), I saw results. Really! It was my son’s ear piercing ceremony. All the near and dear ones had gathered for the occasion and everyone commented that I have lost weight. I was delighted to hear that and was sure it was due to my new habit. I was MOTIVATED to continue this.

Losing weight had been one of my goals for past so many years. Apart from eating right, it also involves working out! This time, my workout options were limited with the meager time I had for myself with 2 babies under 2 years! Gym, aerobics classes, yoga classes were all not an option. Though there was a gym close by, it opened at 7 a.m. by when my kids are up and it closes at around 11 a.m. when they nap. So making it to the gym was a distant dream.

Since I enjoyed aerobics earlier, I thought I would give it a try. I had bought an aerobics DVD sometime back and so I started with that. But then it turned out to be something very dull and ended up not liking it. I searched youtube, but still could not find an aerobics training video that I liked and could do. Then, I decided try jogging outdoors. To be frank, I can jog a bit on the treadmill but not outside. I used to feel the urge to stop running quickly when compared to treadmill. On the treadmill, I could push myself to jog for an extra minute or two. But when doing it outdoors, even if I set a target to run until the next lamp post, most of the time I would stop before I reach there. Due to this history of mine, I was not very hopeful about my plan, but since there was no other alternative (that I knew of, at that time), I decided to give it a try. My plan was to alternate walking and jogging until I build the stamina to jog continuously for a kilometer at least.

Once the plan was all set, it was time for action. But, sometimes we need that one thing that gently pushes us to take that first step, also called as MOTIVATION. I had had enough of my close family tell me that I need to lose weight. Though it counts as a push, it did not count as motivation. I had asked my husband to be my exercise buddy. However this did not work because one of us had to be around our children. I continued to wait for my motivation.

When my husband gifted Nike track pants and T-shirt for my birthday, I was excited. These were expensive stuff and I just could not continue waiting around for a push. The T-shirt was a size ‘L’ and yes, no marks for guessing that it did not fit me. When we went to the store to exchange it, to my utter dismay, we were told that ‘L’ was the largest size that they stock! Finally, I exchanged it for another pair of running tracks.

By the time I was about to start my jogging routine, my old pair of Nike shoes gave away. It was as if even Gods did not want me to start. A month passed before we had time to check out a nearby Nike store. I was shell shocked to see the prices. The most comfortable pair of running shoes cost more than 6,000 rupees. Are you kidding me? I was not ready to pay this exorbitant sum. We checked out an Adidas store next to it and the prices were in the same range. My husband pressurized me to make a decision quickly. But somehow I could not just buy them immediately. Later that day, I checked online to see if the prices were any lesser. To my luck, there was a store wide promo at Jabong.com. I got a pair of Nike Pegasus 29 shoes @ 20% off. Those were the exact same pair I tried at the store. So, I knew the shoe size. Wow, I really felt proud of my achievement 😉 despite the fact that these shoes cost more than what I planned to spend.

Here is a quick note for any of you who are considering buying shoes online. I definitely suggest you to visit the actual store and try a lot of shoes. Find the one which is the most comfortable and note down the model, size etc. Before you buy, check if any of the online stores stock them. Most likely, they would be selling it at a discount around festival season or clearance. If you can, wait and grab your pair that time. You would be doubly happy to receive your favorite pair of shoes at a discounted price!

Now, let us get back to my story. After spending more than 10K on the Nike running gear (tracks and shoes), I simply could not afford to wait longer. I had to start now. Yes, these expensive running gears were my MOTIVATION to start my workout routine.

Everyone needs some kind of motivation to begin any task that seems daunting. Sometimes this motivation is external as it was the case with me. My husband in his own quiet way wanted to motivate me to start on this journey (He is the one who gets to listen to my cribbing, isn’t it :)). He did that by purchasing me all these and boy, did he not know that I would feel guilty to just sit on it and waste my time! If this was his plan, I should call it a master stroke!

After waiting forever to take the weight loss mission to the next step i.e. jogging, I finally got there after getting my hands on the shoes. Yay! What happened next? Watch out for my next post on this category.

Finally, all these external motivation (running gear and people’s compliments) can only push one for so long. After that, it is mainly self motivation that is going to sail the ship. I will write a post exclusively on that after sometime.

Hidekraft Warranty claim

Hidekraft warranty claim

DH gifted me a beautiful wallet from Hidekraft for Valentine’s day earlier this year. I loved it until one day I noticed some seams ripping apart. I was disappointed, to say the least. These things are expensive and I was unhappy that I had to live with a mended wallet even though we had spent a lot of money.

I vaguely remembered reading about warranty for this product. Most companies offer warranty only for 2 to 3 months and this purchase was made nearly 6 months ago, well, a week short of 6 months. Anyway, I went ahead and checked the product details at Flipkart website from where this was bought. I was surprised to read that manufacturer offered 6 months warranty for any manufacturing defect.

Now, I had to contact Hidekraft. After searching through their website, I ended up with 2 phone numbers. It was already 8 p.m on a Sunday night. There was no chance that I could get to customer care. Anyway, I went ahead and made the call. There was no answer in one of the numbers. Luckily, someone answered the call at the other number. After a brief conversation in which I explained the problem, the person on the line said he would have the customer care reach me at my phone the following day.

When I did not receive the call as promised on Monday, I was not very hopeful. However, customer care contacted me on Tuesday. They asked me to forward the soft copy of invoice, product details and the picture of the damaged article. I dutifully sent them and waited, rather impatiently, for their reply. Since I had just a couple of days before the warranty was due to expire, I had every right to be anxious. I wrote to them again asking for the status.

After a couple of hours, I received an email from them saying that the replacement product was already shipped to the address mentioned in the Invoice. Oh my! That was our Mumbai address and we no longer live there. After a series of email exchanges, the problem was sorted out and they shipped out the replacement to my present address.

At the end, I have to say that I was delighted with the customer service offered by the Hidekraft team. I have not claimed warranty for any bags earlier, so I was skeptical on whether this warranty promise was for real. But they kept their promise. I was sent a brand new piece of the same product.

At the end, we have to accept that a 6 month warranty against manufacturing defects is offered in the first place only because of the confidence they have in their product’s manufacturing process. I am definitely encouraged to pick up more stuff from this brand and would gladly recommend them to my friends and family too.

If you have to claim a warranty from Hidekraft, go ahead and contact them to see how it goes. Contact details for warranty claim can be found at this link on their website

My GMD red edges are here finally!

After reading ravishing reviews about Green mountain prefold diapers, I wanted to try them for my first child. But I found it expensive as I had to a pay for shipping too. So finally settled for cotton babies’ Indian prefolds which were in the affordable range with free shipping (of course not to India )

I liked them in the beginning, but somehow I felt that it did not hold up well and failed the test of time. This could have been because I was washing with powerful detergents that damaged the fabric. Or it could be because it was washed every other day for nearly nine months.

For my second child, I wanted to try GMD at any cost. I had to see if it lives up to all the hype. When I came to know that my friend is making a trip to India, I promptly ordered for 1.5 dozen at GMD website and had it delivered at her place (I paid for shipping). My daughter is already thirteen months now. So I am hoping that this and the 10 pocket diapers I have now would be sufficient until potty training (My stash size reduced dramatically after all my flats and flip organic inserts were torn into bits with excessive washing)

My friend reached Chennai last night and I got the stuff from her this morning. I was very excited and wanted to prep those immediately. But the incessant rainfall dampened my spirits. I am sure that it would take one full day to dry them. I’ve only one dry rack and it is already full with my children’s clothes that were washed this morning. So with a bit of disappointment I’ve decided to wait until rains recede a bit.

I’ll post the before and after images of the prefolds once I prep them.

Shycart shopping experience and Eco femme cloth pads

Shycart.com is a website that helps you order items which you would normally be shy to ask for at the stores. They have a whole range of products under personal care, woman’s care and sexual care. While many online retail stores sell most of these items, some items like pregnancy test kits, ovulation kits, tampons, menstrual cup, sanitary cloth pads etc are only available in a very few websites.

Usually the delivery box of e-commerce sites have the invoice copy with product details like description and cost affixed. Anyone who collects the delivery on your behalf as well as the delivery person would be aware of what is inside. While this is not a big deal when you order electronics, toys, books etc, it makes us self conscious when ordering items like lingerie, sanitary products etc. Shycart promises privacy for the person right till the product is delivered. The invoice copy that will be displayed on the delivery boxes from Shycart claim to just contain the numeric product code, quantity and cost. So neither the delivery person nor the person accepting the box will have a clue of its contents.

The Shycart package

The Shycart package

Now, why I needed to place an order from Shycart. I wanted to try out cloth pads. After using the sanitary products sold in the US, one can easily make out the poor quality (comfort and efficiency) of the same products in India. This despite being sold under the same brand name. Hence inline with my going green initiative, I wanted to try cloth pads. But I was ignorant of their availability in India until a friend recommended it to me and let me know that these are available at Shycart.

So, women like me in India we have the option to use Eco femme cloth pads are manufactured by women’s self help groups that are encouraged by Auroville Village Action Group, an NGO. They have three products viz. panty liner, day pad and night pad. After months of procrastination, I finally placed the order last week.

Due to unavailability of certain products, they shipped out only a part of the order so far. The customer care representative who contacted me for this was polite. As promised, the delivery envelope was white with invoice copy affixed on it. Again as promised, only the product code was printed and hence we get the privacy that was promised. In fact, it was my mother who accepted the parcel. She later asked me what was inside 🙂

The final verdict is, It was a pleasant experience ordering from shycart. Would definitely visit again when need arises. You can check them out here.