Once again I made my annual pilgrimage to the Natural and Organic Products Show which was held this year on 11-12 April at the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre.
It’s one of my favourite shows because natural products is one of my passions. It also keeps me at the cutting-edge of what’s new in the natural and health food industry.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to sample the products. But more importantly it gives me a chance for a face-to-face chat with the people behind the products. Their answers tell me just how genuinely committed they are to making a difference to the world in a holistic way, or whether it’s just lip-service and they are just riding on the natural products and organic bandwagon.
HERO OF THE SHOW
For me, the hero of the show (this year and in previous years) is Natracare.
Natracare is a company that manufactures feminine hygiene products (e.g. sanitary napkins and tampons) using certified organic, 100% cotton with totally chlorine-free, plastic free biodegradable materials.
Why is this important?
If you’re a woman you probably use these products. And if you’ve ever suffered from reactions or allergies from these products, then please try Natracare products.
A friend of mine told me how she used Always sanitary napkins and experienced severe itching in her nether regions. It got so bad that they became minor sores.
Out of desperation, she tried Natracare, and with the help of regular washing, her allergy cleared up. Some months later, she returned to Always and the allergy recurred.
So why should Natracare be a more suitable alternative? Always and other proprietary sanitary napkins use synthetics in the cover and in the stuffing. The effect is the same as placing a plastic bag in your knickers and letting it stew – the resulting environment is perfect for causing irritation.
Susie Hewson, the founder of Natracare, was there manning the product stand.
Speaking with her was a revelation. Here was someone who has put her money where her mouth is: she has developed a product that really meets the need of women but without sacrificing standards of care to the environment.
For example, all the cotton used in Natracare products is 100% organic and GM-free. What this means is that the cotton comes from India and Eastern Europe. Not from the US where it is difficult to guarantee that cotton is 100% organic or GM-free.
People may scoff at the organic and GM-free labels, maintaining that they are anti-science.
The fact remains that organic farming respects the balance of the environment and the health of the farmer.
And the problem with cross-contamination of GM crops has led to the development of superweeds, thereby requiring ever-heavier levels of herbicides in GM farming.
All of these nasties affect the land, the insects and also the people who farm the land.
Susie told me of a friend of hers who worked briefly on a farm in which pesticides were used. Two years later, that friend developed cancer and died. It was lung cancer, and she was a non-smoker.
Natracare is not just a feel-good product though. Quoting from the Natracare web site, here’s what the scientists and doctors have to say:
“studies revealed that up to a third of women with symptoms of vaginal itching, soreness and/or discharge may be experiencing the symptoms of Vulval Dermatitis or Intimate Irritation, further research has shown that 75% of UK gynaecologists believe that conventional sanitary protection could be the cause of intimate irritation.
… nearly 4 out of 5 questioned felt that their patients, suffering with intimate irritation, were experiencing sensitivity to synthetic fabrics, sanitary protection and toiletries, and 50% then recommend the use of natural, chemical-free sanitary protection to help alleviate the symptoms.”
That’s why in terms of ethics, quality, and year-on-year commitment to standards, Natracare deserves the award for being the hero of the show.
Natracare is available from most health-food stores, independent pharmacies and Waitrose.