Being of the mindset that we (myself included) consume too much, I’m not typically a fan of subscription services. In general, I think they encourage over-consumption, even if it’s for things we otherwise buy. I don’t even love paying a monthly fee to have the opportunity to use things (like jewelry or gyms or movies). I don’t want more than what I need, and I don’t want to pay for more than I’m using. In fact, I’ve tried a handful of subscriptions, and I’ve been on the losing end of the transaction every time.
Needless-to-say, I’m a tough critic of any subscription service that finds its way into my inbox or my Instagram feed (and you all know there’s a lot of them).
One, however, recently caught my eye, a rather unexpected one. For two months, I followed them on Instagram, dabbled on their website, read their emails, and even listened to a podcast that interviewed the founder. As much as I wanted to stand my ground that subscription services aren’t a win for me, I eventually jumped on board believing this one would be different.
And… spoiler alert… I’m a believer in this one.
Ya know what shows up in my mailbox once a month? Tampons. Yep. I said it. And just like you, I’m cringing that I’m talking about this in a public form.
Some of you might have outgrown your embarrassment of such supplies, but I still hate standing in the aisle figuring out which boxes to buy. I hope NO ONE joins me. I still bury them in the bottom of my shopping basket when I’m at the store. I still ensure I choose a checkout aisle staffed by a female. And I quickly shove them in my bag the second they’re swiped at the register. Nothing has changed since I was in high school.
Now I’m talking about this online because, ladies, this is that good.
The Big Reveal: LOLA
Like most subscription services that have a prayer of claiming not to promote wasteful consumption, this subscription provides something I need and would buy anyway. But even that doesn’t always cut it.
When I subscribed to diapers (which I tried for a hot second), I ended up with too many or not enough. Too many take up a ton of extra space I don’t have. And not enough… that’s a pretty obvious problem.
I had to buy a few here and there to fill in the gaps. I spent as much time (and incurred more headaches) making sure I wasn’t without diapers for my boys at an inopportune time than just buying them normally.
Living in the city, I’m a huge fan of things arriving at my apartment building. I even have someone to sign for packages during the day, so ordering online is significantly more efficient than lugging big boxes of diapers through bustling streets and back to our apartment. You’d think I consider subscription services a godsend. But I hated that the supply of subscription diapers couldn’t match my demand.
LOLA is different.
You can customize your order. Too many regulars piling up in your cabinet? Change up the mix of the next box and nix the regulars.
Accumulating too much of everything? You can easily skip a month for no charge. They even send you a reminder email letting you know your order is about to ship so you can skip if needed. Some subscription services allow skipping, but none make it this easy.
LOLA also solved my ‘still going strong’ high school insecurities
I have no more nervous moments in the store aisle (which I already mentioned I despise) wondering which boxes to buy because I’m not sure how many of each type I need. Each monthly subscription comes with 18 tampons and you can mix and match light, regular, super and super plus with a new ratio each month if you like. They arrive in the mailbox monthly (which makes sense, right?)
Bottom line: I get what I want when I need it.
There’s even a really great bonus!
As the founder of the company explored the market while developing her business, she encountered a few problems. Primarily, it isn’t all that easy to find out what tampons are made of. While it never really crossed my mind to think about it, she raises a really good question. Are the materials bad for my body? Bad for the environment? What’s the deal?
She’s got no secret ingredients in these. 100% cotton. We spend so much time fretting about the quality of the food we eat and wondering what we put in our bodies. What about things we put inside our body other than food? Should we care about what’s in those products? LOLA thinks so (and I agree).
What Could Be Better?
For more avid natural and minimalist fans, LOLA tampons still have a plastic applicator. Thus, there’s room for improvement to switch to cardboard or no applicators. I suspect such change will happen slowly over time, though, for those of us in the US who are not culturally attuned to some of those options.
Other women prefer waste-free alternatives like DivaCup or THINX. I own three pairs of THINX but I am totally not comfortable yet with either of these products being exclusive solutions for me. Maybe down the road, but for sure not today. I’m on an adventure toward more sustainable living, but that also means what’s sustainable and manageable for myself and my life style. For now, I’m taking baby steps in this department.
$5 Off Your First Purchase
If you effectively subscribe to buying tampons (many of us do… it’s not really a choice) and you’re in the market for something that’s a little simpler and a whole lot more convenient than your current option, be sure to check out LOLA. From a heavy critic of subscription services, this one bucks the trend in my opinion. You can get $5 off your first LOLA order (use code JPanaro1) and cancel anytime, so you don’t have much to lose and certainly stand to gain.
Let me know if you try it out and how it works!
If you like this post, you might also find this post helpful about Ideas for a Simpler and More Sustainable Bathroom.