Mooncup – The Big Interview!
We at Mookychick heart the Mooncup. It’s a rubber grail thingy that collects everything a tampon does, but is better for the environment (because it doesn’t fill up landfill sites with nasty little shrivelled cotton wool sausages) and lasts for years. Oh, and it’s really comfortable too. We tracked down the fabulous Kath Clements, Mooncup seller extraordinaire, and asked her to tell us more about Mooncup’s mission to change the world as we know it…
Did you actually invent the Mooncup, Kath?
Afraid not! Mooncup – the hypoallergenic silicone, menstrual cup – was invented by my most excellent boss, Su Hardy, Mooncup’s director, although it’s actually an old idea revisited. Menstrual cups were invented in America in 1937 around the same time as applicator tampons, but the original cups were harder, made of rubber and ‘the Tassette’ found it too tricky to contend with the economic clout of diposable sanitary product companies…not to mention women being a bit less inclined to touch themselves in those days…
The Mooncup is a household name now, sold in stores like Boots. What was it like selling the Mooncup at festivals when you first started?
Would you believe it? Boots actually got in touch with us – the very same Mooncuppers of festival fame – asking if they could stock Mooncups! Enough women had been contacting them, asking for it… it’s the stuff of small business fantasy! Like many green businesses, we’ve grown and learnt a fair bit. We’ve definitely come a long way from the photocopied flyers of old (though we all do still have a soft spot for that cartoon lady of old)…. still, more and more women are using Mooncups all over the world, every day,so something’s working! We’re still the same bunch of women at the core of it all, with the same environmental motives and drive to make sure that women know their choices. Must admit, I’m glad to be out of Su’s spare bedroom, too – it was gettting a wee bit cramped for the 5 of us in there! We still do the festivals, mind you. Pretty lucky,eh? A bunch of women who are genuinely into coming to work.
Mooncups are great for using at festivals because they don’t need changing in nasty portaloos very often. If the Mooncup team could have their own festival, what would it be like?
Between the five of us the perfect festival would probably be a psychedelic trance bender, a new age healing slot, a bit of outdoor sports indulgence and a family folk music village green type affair. Oh yeah, then there would have to be a blast of rock for a nostalgic headbang!
Do you feel the types of people who use the mooncup have changed over the years?
Yep. Women using Mooncups used to mainly be women with green issues at heart – festival goers and environmentalists. Now, there are more and more women who read the glossies and are concerned with personal health issues, new mums who have pondered the whole real nappy debate and are ready to think of themselves for a sec, school girls who have heard of Toxic Shock and don’t fancy it and professional women who like the economic sense of it…Basically, all sorts of women all over the world are now using it.
Has setting up the Mooncup business been a bit of an adventure for Su?
Su’s from entrepreneurial stock, so I don’t think she could ever have done any different… though she has had various accolades from Sussex women’s motorbiking trophies to bizarre stints as a railway operator come to think of it! Su’s definitely one for an adventure and has made sure that Mooncup has kept that feeling of pioneering and evolution… she’s so enthusiastic to take others along for the ride, too, that you can’t help but get involved.
Is using a mooncup about self-care as well as health?
I do reckon that it’s good for the health and the heart. Not having the moisture sucked out of you or pesticides leeching into you is definitely appealing. Being connected with your body, very simply seeing what’s coming out of you every month and dealing with it so easily, definitely has an impact on your feelings…it somehow seems much more positive and powerful to not be beholden to some faceless enormous sanitary product company every month that sells you ideas of discretion and being dragged around in white on rollerblades by a pack of poodles while you’re bleeding, too.
Mooncup were one of the first people in Britain to sell these things. Now there are a few companies dotted around. Is there enough room in the sandpit for all the kids to play?
Yep, Mooncup was the world’s first silicone menstrual cup and we are the only menstrual cup manufactured in Britain. There’s definitely enough room in the sandpit for us all, though, if you think of all those tampon manufacturers that may well one day be the stuff of old.
If you could improve anything – really, ANYTHING – about having a period, then what would it be?
I’d have more of a clue that the changes in my feelings may be linked to my cycle, and not be as swept away by them sometimes.
Sell the Mooncup to someone who’s never heard of them! What are the three best things about a Mooncup?
- Mooncup’s so comfy you can’t feel it’s there.
- With Mooncup, you don’t have to carry any spares in your bag, or worry about disposing of bloody rubbish again…
- and you’d be supporting a small, right-on bunch of women in Brighton!
Ready for a bit of TMI? When inserting her first tampon back in the day, the Mookychick editor wrote in her diary that she hoped sex would be better. Is using a mooncup better than sex?
You must be bloody joking!…Hmmm…maybe a vibrating one’s a thought…though think of the spillage…!
Mookychick is proud to be a Mooncup affiliate. We hope you enjoy their sanitary products as much as we do.