This month, we chatted with our friends at GladRags about creating an illustrated custom Scout Book for the third edition of Passage: A Guide to Periods. Not only do they have a headquarters right here in Southeast Portland, but they were also one of the first businesses in Oregon to become a certified B Corp!
First of all, for those who aren’t aware, what are GladRags, and how long have they been around?
GladRags are washable menstrual pads made from 100% cotton. Cloth pads have been used throughout history, and have regained popularity in recent years as people realize the problems created by disposable products and their impact on the planet. GladRags has been creating reusable menstrual products since 1993, when our founder, Brenda Mallory, was inspired by her choice to cloth-diaper her child. In addition to cloth pads, we also produce the XO Flo menstrual cup!
Can you tell us about Passage? What are the origins of this project?
We at GladRags all agree that Passage is the guide to periods we all wish we had when we started menstruating! It was originally written in 2002 by Michelle A. L. Singer and illustrated by Alyssa Beers in 2013. Since its initial release, our understanding of gender and menstruation has evolved, so with the newest issue we worked to update the language to reflect that not all women menstruate and not all menstruators identify as women. We’ve also added a period tracker and journaling pages to help make the transition into puberty something more positive and memorable, something you can look back on with fondness.
I’d imagine that the folks at Glad Rags are pretty savvy about menstruation. Was there any information in Passage that you were surprised to learn?
Personally, I was super surprised to learn that you can spend almost ten years of your life on your period. It really adds up!
How are the books being used?
We have donated many of the books to nurse’s offices, schools, Girl Scout troops, and for period preparation kits. We just got an email today from an organization that distributed the period preparation kits; this is what they said “We gave out a set of them to one of our groups of girls today to include in their locker period kits. The quality is excellent and we loved the positive language– it felt great to share these with the girls. They were also very enthusiastic to have a handbook with some of the important reminders that we’ve covered in lessons carefully outlined.” Passage is also a part of our First Periods Kit, available on GladRags.com. We want to share this information with as many new menstruators as possible, to help them learn to love and appreciate their body and their period as soon as possible!
We always love working with fellow B Corps; what does being a B Corp mean to you?
Being a B-corp is an honor. We’ve been a B-corp since 2012 and were one of the first businesses in Oregon to become a certified legal Benefit Company. To us, being a B-corp means doing our part to change the world for the better. We create products to help you reduce your impact on the planet, and integrate our commitment to environmental and social justice into every aspect of how we do business.
What’s next for the Glad Rags team?
In 2020, we’ll be getting our products on to more store shelves, educating more people about reusables, and helping as many people as possible positively transform their relationship with their period!