Depending on who you ask, the tampon was invented by either John Williamson or Earle Haas, but the design of the tampon hasn’t changed much since it was patented by Tampax in 1931. Now, Nadya Okamoto, author of Period Power and founder of the nonprofit Period, has redesigned the tampon to actually reflect the shape of the vagina.
Traditional tampons open cylindrically, like a tube, but Okamoto’s August tampons open axially to the sides, so they reduce pressure on the vaginal walls. They are also designed to be wider at the top, near the cervix, and narrower at the bottom, making it more comfortable.
In addition to being more comfortable, August tampons and pads are also made with 100 percent organic cotton and biodegrade in 12 months. The packaging is made from the same material as compostable bags and even the glue in their products is food grade.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Okamoto explains that menstrual cups are a great sustainable alternative to pads and tampons, but for users who prefer pads or tampons, there has been little innovation beyond making the materials more sustainable.
On top of revolutionizing the shape of Tampons, Okamoto’s nonprofit also works to end the “period tax” on tampons and pads, end the stigma surrounding menstruation, and provide menstrual supplies to those experiencing period poverty.
Image source: August