The interview below is with Myoni, the menstrual cup company from Australia. Myoni Cup is simple. One cup replaces hundreds of pads and tampons, saving you time and money. It’s reusable and recyclable, preventing tonnes (literally) of disposables from ending up in landfill.
1. What inspired you to create Myoni?
We are three long time friends who all share a passion for sustainability and social justice, had used menstrual cups for ages & they changed our lives, we wanted to see them go beyond being an alternative thing.
We each had our own unique period experiences and saw that a lot of people experience periods as being an expensive inconvenience. Not to mention the social and environmental costs – like tonnes of disposables going to landfill.
Since we’ve embarked on this journey our passion for responding to shame, taboo and period poverty (which is experienced by 1.2 billion people globally) and getting to know the cycle, has amplified.
After five years of research, community engagement, trying everything we could get our hands on and learning about supply chains, regulations and all the complexities that go behind the scenes of a seemingly simple little thing, we created Myoni Cup. We wanted to create an offering that aligns with our values of quality, ethical production, sustainable practices and social justice. Our intention is that this serves as a tool for a broader conversations & contributes to the menstrual revolution.
2. What are the benefits of a menstrual cup?
Menstrual cups save money, waste and space, not just physically in the drawers and cabinets but mentally too – buhbye emergency dashes to the shop. No one enjoys getting caught out, it’s great that you can use a cup when you feel like your period is coming or carry it in your bag to be whipped out when needed.
In the last few years, we have seen an explosion in the availability of menstrual cups. This is fantastic news, as many people are finding that menstrual cups provide a more comfortable and convenient, lower cost, and lower waste way to manage their period. Unfortunately, not all menstrual cups are created equal. People need to make sure their cup meets quality assurance standards.
3. What do you need to know before buying a cup?
There are reputable brands out there, many are high quality and most are made offshore. It’s a good idea to go with cups that had a listing with the TGA, or the regulatory body in your region/country or are manufactured & sold in places where these conditions are assured with appropriate quality assurance.
Then, there’s another category of offshore, unregulated menstrual cups which lack transparency & quality assurance, and which don’t meet Australian standards, these are often sold at very cheap prices online and the quality assurance chain is difficult to track. Some say they are made with medical grade material but there is no compliance or documentation to support where they are produced that regulates this. This is where we’ve seen a spike in popularity and find it concerning. If you are unsure ask the company where and to what standards their cups are made from. Australia has some of the strictest guidelines for manufacturing such devices which aligns with our values, it also means we know who and where our products are being made and reduces mileage in getting it to us.
4. What the difference between Myoni and other menstrual cup brands?
Myoni Cup is recyclable and responsibly made & owned in Australia, we are an all female social enterprise start up that came together to make, do and promote good things. We donate 50% of profits to community partners who are making positive impacts in the world. Our current focus is period poverty.
The cup itself has a contoured finish and is designed to be less intrusive. It is made from a recyclable material that is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in other similar intimate body applications. Because Myoni cup is recyclable we cut down on our waste in production and are currently developing a post-consumer take back programme to recycle old cups too.
We have built in social procurement & a transparent supply chain to put our money where our mouth is – our cup, our cardboard packaging, and our companion cases are all made in Australia by small, like-minded businesses. We choose to feature local artists and community builders wherever we can.
Myoni has gained support from the Queensland Government, Impact Boom’s social enterprise accelerator and other progressive business collaborators.. We’re here to be part of the menstrual revolution, by reducing waste, flipping shame, contributing to addressing period poverty and making quality products. We get what it’s like to juggle a busy life, we get that periods impact on your wellbeing, bank balance and the environment and we want to make your life easier so that you can focus on bringing your talents to the world.
5. How long can you use a cup before it needs to be replaced?
Different brands say different things. For us, its three years. Our materials manufacturer and product manufacturer advised three years so this is what we suggest for our customers and we guarantee this. We did the maths, if you use organic tampons you’ve spent about $500 in three years so an investment in a cup pays off!
6. How do you clean the cup?
Put your cup in a container and, using boiled water from the jug, fully submerge the cup. Doing this before & after your period is the simplest option. When you are using your cup and need to empty it, you can rinse with clean, potable water before reinserting. Our instructions cover cleaning more thoroughly. Always read the detailed instructions enclosed with you cup prior to use.
7. How long can you keep the cup inserted for?
The cup can be inserted for up to 8 hours at a time, we go by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) guidelines and have engaged with them and compliance experts regarding the best practice recommendations.
8. Does it leak?
Leaking can occur and there’s a few reasons why; the cup is full or the cup didn’t open or seal properly. Pinching the base of the cup after inserting helps, then rotate it and tug it down gently to help create a seal. If you have a heavy flow or want reinforcement using reusable pads or period undies can be helpful for some people.
9. How would you recommend inserting a cup for first time users?
There’s a whole world of folds out there. It can be bewildering & overwhelming so find what works for you. We like to call it menstrual cup origami. Try the punch down fold or c-fold. Some people find practising inserting and removing your cup when you don’t have your period really supportive in making the transition, that way you can get used to one part of the process. You can do this in the shower or try transitioning to your cup when you have a day at home.
10. What if it gets stuck?
It can’t get stuck. If you can’t feel it’s gone ‘beyond reach’, well, this may seem counterintuitive but relax and ‘bear down’, like you are having a bowel movement. Insert a few fingers to feel for the base of the cup. Gently pinch it & guide it down.