When nixit founder Rachael Newton was living in the Caribbean, she would walk along the picturesque beaches every morning, only to be greeted by piles of washed-up tampons. With no recycling program in the area, she began to realize just how much waste was associated with periods.
Some research brought forth alarming stats. One pack of pads is equivalent to four plastic bags. A single tampon can take up to 500 years to degrade—and an average tampon user will go through 11,000 in their lifetime. That’s not to mention all the additional packaging, wrappers, and plastic applicators. Newton was haunted by the thought of her used tampons sitting in a landfill for hundreds of years, outliving her and even her grandchildren.
“Before nixit, I was a financial services lawyer, but I was becoming more and more impassioned about creating a simple and comfortable period product – something that would be good for vaginas and the planet.”
So, in 2019, Newton launched nixit, a Toronto-based period care company best known for their reusable, plastic-free, disc-style menstrual cup. On average, menstruators throw away 250 pounds of disposable period products in their lifetime. Nixit states that switching to their menstrual disc will reduce users’ waste by 99%.
Menstrual cups have been around for decades, but the past few years have seen more and more people making the switch. In only 4 years, nixit has helped divert over 5 million pounds of period product waste from landfills around the world.
Newton has noticed consumers care more about sustainable products, but she also credits a shift in thinking about period care. She points to the #MeToo movement as a breakthrough moment for bodily autonomy, giving people more confidence to ask questions and make decisions that are right for their bodies.
“We’re empowering people to stop and think about what they want out of their period care, rather than blindly using products handed to them at puberty. A lot of people have come to realize that menstrual cups are the future of period care.”
For lifelong pad or tampon users, or anyone still hesitant to make the switch, nixit aims to simplify the process of choosing and using a cup. Their menstrual disc is one-size-fits-all, and insertion is easy— there’s no need to guess your size or learn a complex folding technique.
“I wanted to take the guesswork out of choosing a menstrual cup by creating a one-size option. I knew that by simplifying this process, more people would be open to trying something new.”
For Newton, getting more people on board also means opening up conversations about menstruation, and eliminating taboos around menstrual care and sexual wellness.
“I was in my 30s and had never considered using different products because pads and tampons were what I was given, and I wasn’t encouraged to ever question or discuss my period care options,” she shared. “We’re constantly finding new ways to destigmatize historically taboo conversations.”