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Q&A with pic&sis and Menstrual Cup Review

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

In our latest article, Antonia Devereux talks to pic&sis, the menstrual cup company striving to make sustainable period products fun, and reviews her own experience making the switch!


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by pic&sis. If you are interested in a sponsored post with us please get in touch at info@wildmag.co.uk.


Credit - Marianne Taylor


When it comes to periods, most of us opt for tampons or pads, after all they take up most of the room on the supermarket shelf and I don't ever remember being told there were alternatives. The sex ed class also never covered how traditional plastic applicators take up to 500 years to decompose and sanitary pads could trump that by a further 300 years. They are sticking around a lot longer than me, that's for sure.


On average, a person who menstruates will get their period around 480 times. Time for some maths. Let's say you are using tampons, so per tampax’s recommendation, you are changing every 4-6 hours and using around 4 tampons a day. That's gonna leave you with around 20 tampons every period. 480 periods results in 9,600 tampons and all of their applicators in the bin since they can't be recycled due to sanitary reasons. By opting for a menstrual cup, you could prevent 9,600 items from kicking about in the landfill for the next 500-800 years, so who said one person can’t make a difference?


In this article I talk to Sally and Ruth, two sisters who noticed this problem and are striving to be a part of the solution. pic&sis is more than just a menstrual cup company, as the sisters aim to add a little fun and brightness to a topic which is often seldom spoken about!


After the Q&A, I’m sure the question on many people's minds will be ‘what is it really like to use one?’. Especially in the current climate, none of us want to fork out for something that will make having a period even worse than it already is! Luckily for you, I've already taken the leap and will hopefully give you some clarity. Keep reading to find my honest review.


Owners, Ruth and Sally. Credit - pic&sis.


When did you start pic&sis, and why?


As close sisters, Ruth and I have always dreamed of working together. One day, during lockdown (obviously), we got talking about Ruth’s job in the waste management industry, which led to a conversation about menstrual cups. She explained how they are small but mighty - not only do they create no waste, but they are also reusable (which saves you loads of money!), contain no plastic or harmful chemicals, can be worn for longer than a tampon or pad and are so comfortable you forget you are even on. Hearing all these benefits, I decided to give one a go. After a few months, I realised how genuinely game changing they are, and I couldn’t believe it had taken me 38 years to start using one. An idea started to grow, and Ruth and I began to formulate a real-life business proposition – why not combine our career experience in waste management and marketing to create a different, fun, colourful, and less serious menstrual cup brand, that might help attract more women, girls, and people who menstruate to make the switch.


On the 1st January 2023, after a year of juggling normal life with photoshoots & business meetings, we were proud to launch pic&sis, a bold new company that aims to make our picmecup menstrual cup mainstream. (We designed the website ourselves using Shopify and I pressed launch at 1 minute past 12 at a New Year’s Eve party and then celebrated having our very own business alongside welcoming in the new year!).


Where do you source your cups/materials for your cups from?


Our market research indicated that our target audience wanted a bright colourful menstrual cup that would stand out from the crowd. After many hours of careful research, we sourced a leading manufacturer in China, who could deliver on both quality and aesthetics. Our manufacturer is ISO 13485 certified, the medical device industry's international standard for quality manufacturing.


Each of our large, small, and extra small picmecups are made from 100% medical grade silicone. Our picmecup cartons are made from recycled materials. Our eco-friendly kraft paper packaging tape makes recycling our boxes easier and our printed stamp gives that personal touch to our deliveries, without creating the waste that stickers do. We recycle as much of the waste we produce as we can and reuse wherever possible.


What does sustainability mean to you and the brand?


For us it’s about starting with simple, small changes and believing that the smallest of individual habit changes can make a big difference. Breaking these habits can be hard and feel overwhelming, but once you make one minor change the rest falls into place!


Single use has become a way of life, with disposable products being the norm. As a collective we need to use up less of the world’s resources by moving to reusable alternatives. It can be overwhelming, but we say, don’t sweat it….start small and the rest will follow!


Menstrual cups need holidays too! Credit - Marianne Taylor


What sets your company apart from others in the market?


As far as we know, we are the only menstrual cup brand co-founded by a waste management professional. With over 20 years of experience in the waste and recycling industry, Ruth knows the harmful impact of throwaway tampons and pads and how menstrual cups are the solution. We want to combine her experience with my marketing background to bring colour and fun to the traditionally serious world of reusable period products. We are all about educating women and people who menstruate about the multiple benefits of menstrual cups in a playful and humorous way and encouraging the average person to try one! We want to go further than most brands and create a sisterhood in which we can create an open and accessible space in which to share information and advice about menstrual cups, alongside other waste saving tips.


What would be your main piece of advice for our readers trying to be more sustainable?


‘All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single tiny decision’ James Clear (from the book of Atomic Habits). Our advice:


- Don’t panic, start small.

- Never leave the house without a reusable bag, water bottle, coffee cup and menstrual cup!

- Walk wherever possible and consider public transport options for long journeys.

- Check what you can recycle through your local council collection.

- Buy second hand clothes in charity shops or on auction sites (particularly items that will only be worn a couple of times).

- Eat the food you buy and make use of your freezer if food is getting close to its use by date.

- Main takeaway, try to buy less stuff!!


For more information and to buy a picmecup head to picandsis.co.uk and follow as @picandsis_bright_reusables.


pic&sis product range in 3 sizes. Credit - Marianne Taylor


My Experience Switching to Menstrual Cup


I got my first period cup in 2020 and reviewed for my blog I ran at the time, this review is an extract from that piece. I currently no longer menstruate due to my contraception but I used the cup for about a year beforehand, along the way I persuaded many family and friends to make the switch too! I don’t believe anything in the world of periods has changed that much in the last 3 years, so I think it’ll be just as helpful now.


When my period arrived, I was pretty excited to try it out! The cup I ordered came with a little pouch so you could have it discreetly in your bag if needed, and a A3 help poster. Thinking I knew what I was doing without their help I attempted to (to put it bluntly) shove it in, unsurprisingly this didn't work out. I sat myself on the toilet and decided to actually read the poster which explained everything from how to insert, check if it's in right, and how to clean and care for my menstrual cup. Focusing mainly on insertion, it gave a few different ways to do so, which was nice you know in case it went as badly as the time before.


After a few goes and resorting to squatting on the bathroom floor, I was successful! After another read of how to make sure it was properly 'suctioned in', I checked it was to the best of my ability and went for a walk around my room. I was really surprised by how comfortable it was, I didn't feel like I even had anything on (or in?) at all. I put a pad on anyway, just in case I had done it terribly wrong. Feeling happy with myself, I went about my day.


Menstrual cups day out. Credit - Marianne Taylor


I was promised that the cup would hold 3x as much flow as a tampon and could be worn for up to 12 hours - but I was a bit sceptical at first so checked it after 2. Again, the poster went through step by step how to remove it which was really helpful, but it was easy. There's a little tailish mechanism at the end of the cup (option to cut this if it's too long) which you pull on and it comes out! It was nowhere near full and I hadn't had any leaks, so as you can imagine I was pretty pleased. At this point, you’d be sitting on the toilet holding a cup of blood, so I maybe wouldn't recommend it to those who, well, don't like blood! I poured it down the toilet, rinsed it off in the sink in hot water and I was ready for reinsertion.


I got a lot better at using the menstrual cup after the first time and by the last day I didn't even think about it, never mind checking the instructions. At first, I changed it regularly, afraid that it would leak, but by the end few days of my period I was leaving it in for most of the 12 hours and stopped using pads. A leak free, a lot less pads/tampons later, my period was gone, hooray! All that was left to do was give the cup a good deep clean before putting away until my next period - I opted for boiling it in a pan of hot water for 5 minutes then put it back in my cupboard until the faithful day arrived again.


A bloody tennis match. Credit - Marianne Taylor


As I mentioned earlier, I continued to use period cups after my first try and if I ever do get my period again I will be using them! After an initial struggle, I had no further problems with putting it in or leakage. Either this was beginner's luck or they are just really easy to use but I'm thinking it's the latter. Another plus for me was that I personally don't like to use tampons towards the end of the period as I feel my flow isn't really heavy enough and it's a little uncomfortable. I am happy to report I didn't find this with the menstrual cup, I suppose this is because cups aren't absorbent, so they don't leave you feeling 'dry' which is a lot better for vaginal health!


Of course, experiences with period products differ from person to person depending on what you feel happiest with. With menstrual cups, you do have to get very up close and personal down below which is always something to keep in mind if you're not as comfortable doing that, but knowing our bodies is one of the best ways to stay happy and healthy! I can honestly say I would recommend a menstrual cup to any one who menstruates. It was comfortable and easy. Plus, knowing I was helping out the planet with something as natural as a period is really quite fitting.


Interested? Head over to picandsis.co.uk to buy your own and give it a try!


About the Author: Antonia Devereux is Wild Magazine’s Managing Editor and a final year Environment, Economics, and Ecology student at the University of York.

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