I recently got the chance to interview Lauren Derrett, the founder of Wear ‘Em Out, a reusable period wear company, and of course, jumped at the chance. As anyone who knows me will know, eco-friendly period wear is one of my favourite topics.
I don’t know why, I just like talking about it and spreading the feminine gospel. Sue me.
I’ve previously interviewed Lulu O’Conner of Clothes Doctor and I’m hoping to create a series of interviews with leading zero-waste brands on my website. So keep an eye out for that!
Today’s post is all about Lauren Derrett and her amazing company. I’m hoping to do a product review of Wear ‘Em Out period products soon as well.
So who is Lauren Derrett? Lauren is the founder of Who, a public speaker author, and mother of four.
1. When did the idea for Wear ‘Em Out first come to mind and how did you go about starting your company?
I had the idea in January 2019 after having used reusable pads myself for the last few years but never having found a brand that I felt represented me or my friends, so I thought I’d create that brand for us.
It’s been what feels like a slow and painful process of finding a designer, sourcing high-quality fabrics and finding a factory in the UK that suited our ethos, plus 10 zillion hours building our audience on social media and our podcast, but I got my payback when we sold out our first stock in the first 4 days after we launched! Good times.
2. Obviously, it would be fantastic if all women could use reusable period wear but there are many who are nervous. What would your advice be to them?
I would say, be patient with yourself, any change is a physiological process and that takes time, maybe just try them out when you’re at home for a while so you can gain confidence in them, before braving them in the wild.
It’s also useful to remember that you’ve been here before, when you first started using menstrual products, you had to gain knowledge and confidence then, this is the same kind of process, but yeah, go easy on yourself and do it your own way in your own time.
3. What are your dreams for your company?
When I set WEO up, I said I wanted to be the #1 brand around the world and that’s still the plan, having already sold to Australia, Germany, Spain in the first month, I’m allowing myself to believe it will happen (gotta have a dream right?) We have had a few stockist enquires from both physical and online stores that we’re considering, supermarkets feels a little too surreal at the moment so I think I’ll wait until I get feels for it before I pursue it
4. Washing reusable period wear is a must, but what is the correct way to make sure they’re sanitary and clean after use?
I’ve always just hand washed them with handsoap as I go, and then in the shower with me in the mornings, I’ll chuck them in the washing machine on a 40 (no fabric softer, this affects absorbency) when my period is finished, I don’t feel it’s any different to how you would treat your pants if you leaked in them or if you cut yourself and bleed on your clothes. If women choose to use other methods that’s fine too, just not softener – Also, air dry, direct heat such as tumble dryers or radiators may cause shrinkage as with any kind of clothing
5. How long do reusable period pads last if used every month?
This depends on how long your period is, how heavy it is and how large a stock you have. If you had 3 pads say for instance, they’d be worn and washed continually for 5 days a month won’t last as long as say if you had 6-12. It’s going to be down to the individual and her personal requirements but 6 would be a strong start for up to 3 years wear and 12 would last 3-4 (this is why we offer a pick and mix 12 pack, completely personal to your needs and comes with 10% off the total)
6. Do you have any other recommendations for women who want to be more eco-friendly?
Take the guilt off, look at your life and see where you can offset some eco products, so as I use reusable pads I feel ok having my nails done every fortnight, know the highest impacting areas and make changes that work for you and your family. I would also just add, if it’s disposable but recyclable, it’s still a huge negatively eco-product when you factor in the energy and transportation used to make a product that will be used only once……let’s all Wear ’em Out, not throw ’em out (you see what I did there).
Wear ‘Em Out is an affordable reusable period wear company that is trading now. They have an info-packed website, and Lauren runs her own podcast – The Periodical – to discuss periods and eco-friendly products.