Dezeen Magazine

Dame launches reusable tampon applicator as a "period product for the 21st-century"

This reusable, self-cleaning tampon applicator has been designed by start-up company Dame to offer women a more sustainable alternative to throwaway counterparts.

Made up of two sections and a protective lid, D is designed to be used with non-applicator tampons.

Dame co-founders Celia Pool and Alex Mills set about creating the device after market research showed that 60 per cent of women prefer to use tampons with an applicator. Their goal was to offer a more sustainable alternative to those currently available.

They describe it as a "period product for the 21st-century".

"Alec and I used to sell period products to women around the UK," said Pool. "The more we sold, the more we realised the enormous waste coming from these small everyday items."

"We were selling reusable alternatives on our site but no one was buying them. Why not? We dug deeper and discovered that the habit change was one of the biggest barriers to women switching to more sustainable alternatives. We wanted to make it easy."

D works in a similar way to existing plastic and cardboard applicators. Users place a tampon into the top section of the applicator, then use the bottom section to push the tampon through its end and into the vagina.

However, unlike those already on the market, the D applicator is made from an antibacterial medical-grade material, so that it can be used over and over again.

During a period, users are advised to wipe the applicator with toilet roll and rinse it under a tap. In between periods, it should be sterilised. An accompanying travel pouch means it can be kept clean on the move.

According to the designers, the applicator will last a lifetime.

"While designing D, we aimed to improve every aspect of current disposable applicators," they said. "It's packed full of features that make it 100 per cent keepable."

"If you ever need to replace a part of your D, you can send it to us and we'll replace it free of charge."

Dame is also launching a range of organic tampons, which are free of any bleach, rayon, pesticides or fragrances.

All the products are currently available to back on a Kickstarter campaign. Pledgers will receive a kit of six tampons and an applicator, all of which come in biodegradable packaging and a reusable tin.

Dame is the latest in a series of companies to look into alternative period products – an area not often addressed by designers.

Last month, Start-up company Callaly created a new period product that combines a tampon and pantyliner, in the hopes of offering women a more trustworthy alternative to those currently on the market.

Also looking to menstruation products, Ailsa Inglis created a menstrual cup aimed specifically at young girls in 2017, with the aim of normalising alternative period products, while in 2016, the Flex Company designed a tampon that allows women to experience "mess-free" sex during their periods.