Some of the cup companies are involved in charity donations.
Femmecup has been donating to various charities. Including providing cups to women in Uganda and to New Zealand following the earthquakes.
Donates a softcup to a girl in Africa for every box of softcups sold.
In 2012 Juju donated 1000 cups to Days for Girls, and has donated cups to homeless women
Each year a portion of profits is given to each Mooncup team member, who chooses a charity to donate it to.
Mpower do charitable works in South Africa.
My Own Cup
Has the “Inkululeko Project” which donates cups to schoolgirls in South Africa.
Menstrual Cup Donation projects
People can purchase cups which are then donated (or can be delivered if you’re traveling in areas where they are needed). Seemingly using the Cheap Chinese cups.
Looks like Lunette, RubyCup and Mooncup might be donating to this cause.
Distributing Ruby Cups in Nepal
Well it seems us Aussies have even more choice now, with the coloured Lunette cups being available in early march for sale in Australia!
Also, they have been able to do a price reduction, dropping the retail price from around $57-$60 to around $49-$55.
Update — the “Cynthia” is now more purple (it was previously a very dusty reddish-pink), and the green “Diana” is no longer produced 😦 with a yellow cup “Lucia” instead.
Mooncup (UK) recently blogged about why their cup will never be coloured.
“Would you like crushed beetle with your menstrual cup, madam?”
(or Why the Mooncup Will Always be Dye-Free)”
“We are also committed to offering a product that is vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Many natural colourings are animal-derived, such as carmine/cochineal (E120 – red, purple, pink) made from crushed beetles; shellac (E904) from insect secretions; gelatine (orange) made from animal bones and L-Cysteine (E920), sometimes made from hair or feathers.
Call us boring(!), but we’re not willing to compromise our ethical status for a non-essential additive with a dubious health and ethical history.”
(My thoughts about their post are at the bottom of this article)
Which sparked some discussion on the topic here: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2742047.html, given that part of their reasoning included the use of non-vegan things as food colours (despite the fact cups aren’t consumed and some of their examples aren’t actually used as food colours anyway)
JuJu has the following in their FAQ:
“Does JuJu come in any other colour?
At this point in time, JuJu is only available in a clear/semi-opaque colour. Until such time as we are able to gain an accurate understanding of the effects of the addition of dyes on our bodies, we have chosen to manufacture JuJu without any colour additives.”
But it is an interesting topic.. I have e-mailed some of the the cup companies offering coloured cup (Iriscup, CupLee, Ladycup Lunette, MeLuna, Miacup, and Shecup) to ask them about the colours and see what they have to say on the matter, and I’ll update this post when I’ve heard back from any 🙂 In the meantime, feel free to discuss!
— edit —
I’ve heard back from a couple of the cup companies. MeLuna was the only company who actually sent me any information regarding the safety aspect of the coloured cups.
They of course said the colours are safe 🙂 but sent me several pdf files of their test results to help prove this – which shows the testing of both the colours (first file) and the general cup material. Interestingly, I believe it’s saying that the plastic the cups are made from was tested on animals (presumably as part of checking the plastic is safe for use with people), as is referenced in the last file. I’d never thought about that being a component of testing, and I wonder if the other cups have been likewise tested.
Meluna_Masterbatches_Safety sheet – Info on the colours – they are food safe (though that doesn’t mean they are “food colours” like you’d use to make a cake blue)
THERMOLAST_M_englisch – Information on the plastic material the cups are made from (from the manufacturer I presume)
TM4MED_ISO10993-5 -Seems to be a certificate of a testing where the material was left in contact with the equivalent of human tissue and checked to see if it was reactive (it shows no reaction, whereas latex showed reactions).
TM4MED_USP661 – Information on a few tests that were run (I admit, I don’t really understand most of it heh)
TM4MED_USPVI – Test result certificate
Said they would get back to me in a few days. Never did.
Said they will issue a public statement on it (not sure if they did at the time, but they have posted on facebook to say what I’ve quoted below), and that they would contact me again in a few days – which they did, saying they have forwarded my e-mail to their head office. They say they realise it’s an important issue, so they are gathering information from their experts and will get back to me. (But they never got back to me)
However, their website says this about the coloured cups:
Yes, colored Lunette menstrual cups are safe to use. The dye we use in our colored cups is FDA approved for medical and food use. The colors don’t contain heavy metals (e.g. lead, chromium VI, cadmium, mercury) or phatalats. Lunette menstrual cups contain only small amounts of colorpaste. The type of dye used in Lunette menstrual cups are inside the silicone so it’s not possible for the color to leach like with some cheaper dyes which are also used in menstrual cups.”
They also say that their coloured cups are FDA approved, but not TGA approved: (Link)
“The colored Lunette cups are not TGA approved. TGA listing is a very long and costly process, and all of our colored cups are limited edition products.”
However I contacted the TGA, who told me that because the coloured versions are still the same product (only difference being the colour), they are covered under the same TGA approval that the clear ones are. So the coloured cups are TGA approved too.
Said that as far as they know, the colours they were polling people on (see this post) plus clear and grey are the only colours that are already tested and approved by FDA… and that other colours (like purples and whatnot) would need to go through the process of testing and approval.
I believe (from talking to a well respected cup retailer) that while the clear Sckoon cup has FDA approval, the individual coloured cups are made with FDA approved silicone, but those cups are not actually individually FDA approved.
Now, I don’t know the safety aspects of having colourants in cups – which is why I asked the cup companies, and frankly, the fact that so few of them responded, makes me think that nobody is really sure other than a “FDA approves them so therefore they must be safe” type thought. Which may be comforting for some people, it may not help others.
When I was looking up the Animal testing info for medical grade silicone, I did see a chart from one of the companies that showed the colours that the silicone could be made in, and I think they were considered food-safe colours.
There definitely is merit to the argument that a clear cup is safer for you and better for the environment – absolutely.
Be aware though that there is a “white” pigment, so a cup with a more “whitish” appearance than “clear” may actually have a white colour added. Cups from companies who don’t do coloured cups are unlikely to add a white pigment, but companies who offer colours including a “white” may be adding the white pigment.
I’d like to address 2 points of Mooncup’s statements.
Firstly, yes some synthetic food colours can and have been shown to have adverse effects on the human body. However there is a difference in how things are absorbed and processed by the body when they are ingested compared to skin exposure. We’re not eating our menstrual cups, so comparing food and coloured cups isn’t quite the same thing.
I’m not saying that food colours are completely safe when used in a cup, but it isn’t the same as directly eating them. The same sort of argument could also be had for coloured plastic lunchboxes and other products we use regularly. People talk about the dangers of BPA etc. but what about other things in there like whatever colours them?
The safety issue with coloured cups is whether or not any of those coloured pigments can cause any health problems? can they have an effect when added to the silicone and made into cups? and if those colours are properly embedded into the silicone and can’t leech out?
— that is something I don’t have the answer to 😦
But Mooncup mentions natural colourants too…. basically saying that their product is vegan-friendly so they would not use natural colourant either.
Which some people have interpreted as implying that other coloured cups may contain “crushed beetle” and other animal derived natural colourants.
But the thing is, natural colourants are horrendously expensive compared to synthetic ones. (Cochineal, which is derived from beetles, is quite expensive, much more so than plant based red colourants). They are also not as vibrant (so you need more of them), and aren’t always as colourfast (can fade/degrade over time).
They simply are a more expensive and far less practical source of colourant than synthetic ones. It is unlikely that anyone would use a natural colourant when a more stable and far cheaper synthetic one exists, unless it’s for food or something where the natural aspect actually matters more than expense and durability.
Silicone may have natural elements, but it is not a “natural” product and is manufactured in a lab. I highly doubt that as they are pouring chemicals into a vat, they go “ohh, we better add some natural colourant, so our product can be more natural” 😛 Even if they wanted to, it’s going to add more expense, more variance (batch to batch wouldn’t necessarily have the exact same result) and isn’t going to produce something that is as good as if they used the synthetic colourant. They just wouldn’t do that.
Yes, the coloured cups may (should be) be using “Food-Safe” colourants. But there’s not going to be any crushed beetle in your cups!
— Having said that, there is one cup that claims to use natural colouring. Pinkcopa. As you can see though, the colour is unusual. I did ask what they used as colourant, but they didn’t tell me.
I just saw a link on facebook to this page of slogans explained
My Cynthia arrived today. The one I won in the tagging competition on facebook back on 8th March. It was posted on 7th June (according to the shipping label)… So not sure why they waited so long to post them out? – they said they were posting out when they official launched at the beginning of April. but they could have said something earlier if they weren’t going to get them out by then… (several people on facebook were asking where they were), so we weren’t all sitting around waiting. I was wondering if they were stuck at customs or something…
Speaking of… good thing I’m not shy about menstrual stuff – The package came with a “make your periods greener” sticker on it, and the customs form has “lunette menstrual cup” written on it… the least discreet menstrual cup I’ve ever received it must be said (and I’ve been sent one or two!)…. but then I suppose the first cup Lunette sent me had no customs form on it at all so it was opened by customs. Wish I was a fly on the wall that day! lol Personally I don’t care if the people at the post office see, but from several years of selling cloth pads and being in the reusable menstrual cup community, discreet labelling does come up, so I feel sorry for anyone who does get embarrassed.. since if they labelled it as just a “Lunette cup” and without the period sticker, it would be nice and discreet while still being perfectly fine for a customs declaration.
But anyway… it was free… we shouldn’t complain 🙂 Onto the pics!
The pouch is a lot nicer than the original Lunette pouches I must say – I hadn’t seen the newer ones myself, only photos, but the original pouches they shipped with when they first came out were quite stiff satin, this is nice and soft… and, you know… purple… which is excellent! 😀 Also it’s got no branding on it, so it could be useful for a makeup pouch or something if you’ve already got other pouches to use, which is nice (I’m all for dual purpose).
As I’d come to expect, the cup is a disappointingly less purple colour than I’d anticipated… which is a shame, I so dearly wanted a really *purple* Lunette. I live in hope that they will one day revise the colour recipe and make it like the darker colour in the pouch (or better yet, the same colour as the Ladycup purple)… and I’ll buy one then.
I do like the colour better in person than it appears in the official pics I’ve seen of it… It’s definitely a more pinkish/reddish tone though… I’m going to think of it as “rose”… it sort of reminds me a bit of weak black currant juice. If I wasn’t expecting it to be “purple”, I wouldn’t be disappointed. It’s not a bad colour.
I took one photo taken bright light (in shade) in the middle of the day – the other at the end of the day when the sun was down… so you could get an idea of the colour in different light conditions.
Fleurcup, Ladycup, MeLuna (old style), Miacup, Lunette Cynthia
It also came with some stickers… I think I’ll pop these into the local shopping centre toilets – over the tampon ads 😀
Some of them I am left scratching my head over though… like “your lover will lick this idea a lot” – is that supposed to be like? I assume so… surely?…. or do they mean lick? That’s a bit saucy! Thank goodness they say “lick this idea“…. if they’d left that word out… dear, me! 😀 but why would my lover (over anyone else) like the idea? If I had a female lover, we could maybe share the cup… that could be convenient I suppose… but My “lover” (who is a man) doesn’t really care that much about cups to be perfectly honest, so I can’t say he’d “like” it.. other than a “hmm, that’s nice dear” 😀 (just like I don’t take much of an interest in the socks, undies and other things he buys that don’t relate to me)… and the majority of menfolk people talk about with regard to exposure to all things menstrual seem to want to avoid it… so they definitely wouldn’t “like” it… so the whole thing (licking aside) leaves me a bit baffled, but we’ll move on.
“get some silicone” – also seems a bit weird to me… I mean…. surely I’m not the only one who is silently adding the obvious “in you” on the end of that? lol We’re talking about a product that’s going into an intimate part of a female anatomy, I don’t know if a sticker that can be taken in a slightly crass way is really the right way to go… Now… see, what they should do is make it a pic with a woman who has cups instead of boobs (get it… not your usual silicone chest!)… Something like this:
Except that’s using a Miacup, but it was the only non-transparent cup I happened to have a photo of that was the right angle to make the pic! (image from Zigf – edited by me – image may not be used without permission!)
I do however like the “it’s a lot simpler than your other cup size” – if you’ve ever tried to go bra shopping for a nice pretty DD or E cup bra in a department store than only stocks those sizes in a beige, granny “over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder” scaffolding styles in anything larger than a D…. you’ll appreciate the sentiment in that one! In fact, I think I may stick that sticker on the front of my bra drawer!
I, like many others, am still waiting to receive the free Cynthia I won from their facebook picture tagging competition, so I still haven’t seen one in person, but the new photos of it are out, and I must say I’m disappointed that it’s not actually purple.
I’m not sure what colour you’d call it… it’s more a wine sort of colour… Given how many people pick their cups based on colour, I hope nobody gets disappointed buying one expecting it to be “purple”, when it’s not.
Not saying that the colour is unattractive…. it’s not appealing to me, but I’m sure it’s appealing to someone, but I know that being the absolute purple fan I am… (and being a fan of the Lunette) I was **really** looking forward to this cup being a lovely purple, more like the Lady Cup… but instead it seems to be a dusty pinkish-red 😦
I also wish they had called it Artemis instead of Cynthia… Supposedly it was because they thought Cynthia would be easier to pronounce… but the orange cup, Aine, I’d think is much harder to pronounce, if you’re not familiar with the language… many of us have no idea how you pronounce that! I asked hubby, who is a linguist, and it took him 5 mins and he *thinks* it’s sort of “ah-nuh”…. whereas a layman like me, looking at it, I’d have said “ay-n”… so there you go lol
But back to colour…. So if you’re thinking about buying a Cynthia, just be aware that it is *not* what most people would consider to be purple.
Clear, Green (Diana), Blue (Selene), “purple” (Cynthia), Orange (Aine) – Photo from www.afriska.ch
As it’s difficult to tell colours on a computer screen, due to lots of variables, probably the best comparison picture is something like this – courtesy of Feminine Wear’s Flickr page. It shows pink and purple cups, so you can get an idea of what the colour is like.
Pink MeLuna, Pink Fleurcup, “purple” Lunette, Miacup, Lilac Ladycup, Purple MeLuna – Photo from www.femininewear.co.uk
The other day, Lunette unveiled their 2 new colours, PURPLE (woot!) and “Coral”. They have also released the new names for these 2 cups. Following the Goddess tradition, these cups are Cynthia (purple) and Áine (coral).
“New purple Lunette is called Cynthia!
Goddess Artemis was also known as Cynthia. This Greek Goddess of the moon, hunt and the night sky was later connected to Selene and Diana so she is continuing our chain of Moon Goddesses. Cynthia is an important symbol for young independent and unmarried woman. A flower sacred to Cynthia was Amaranth, with a deep purple color that inspired us to create this beautiful purple cup.” .
“New coral Lunette is called Áine!
Áine is the Goddess of moon, love, fertility and Midsummer in Irish mythology. Aine is also a Finnish word that means “substance” and “matter”. And this cup really matters! The beautiful coral color is one of the trendiest for the upcoming season and a beautiful homage to this goddess of summer.
That is… why the coral Lunette Áine will be available for purchase on summer 2011.”
To celebrate International Women’s Day (and the new cup colours) they ran a competition where the first 60 women to tag themselves in a photo at 9am (Finnish time) would win a new purple cup. This was posted in the morning my time, and I quickly went to check a world clock and kept that up all day, eagerly awaiting the start time! and… I WON ONE! WOOOOOOOOT! I’ve said many times how I wished Lunette would make a purple cup, and I’m extremely happy they have and that I’ll be one of the first women in the world to try one.
Of course, there will be pics and much swoonage when it arrives!
I’ve seen some speculation that the Green Donna cup is essentially an exact copy of the Lunette, but being made cheaply in China.
The Lunette company certainly thinks so, and made a statement to this fact in a menstrual cup community on Live Journal
Although it’s not our policy to comment in different forums but this subject is too important for us not to comment 🙂
Some of you might already be aware of the situation with Lunette and Green Donna and the fact that Green Donna seems to be exact copy of our cup. It actually is our illegal Chinese copy and therefore we would like to know if you find out any information of the Green Donna, especially the places where it’s sold and who is selling them. The company behind Green Donna is violating our ipr-rights so this matter is really important for us. You can send an email to us to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks a lot for your help!
Heli from Lunette Finland office”
Also, it seems MPower is also considered to be too similar to the Lunette, with Heli from Lunette posting this:
“Lunette was the first menstrual cup sold in South Africa and around year after we started to sell there, Mpowercup was launched. We knew that it was our cup that was the base for it and we have seen the designer even saying in the forums that “I actually copied the Lunette exactly so the size difference should be marginal”. We didn’t mind about that too much since South Africa wasn’t never a big market for us but now their cups were sold in the EU which is still our main market. Therefore we asked Teresa to stop selling them (as a importer her company is responsible for the product in the EU) because we (and our lawyers) believe that Mpowercup is violating our intellectual property rights such as our model protection.”
Read the entire statement here – http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=12568096&id=262280740292&comments or it’s reproduced here for those anti-facebookers 🙂 – http://community.livejournal.com/menstrual_cups/2212344.html
I have this as my personal cup (as well as having a sample so I can take it around to show people [don’t want people holding/playing with the cup I actually use] I only have the larger size. I’d love to have a sample of the smaller Lunette to add to my cup collection, but I can’t justify buying one.
Testing it out – I find the stem to be very comfortable. At first, when I was new to the cups, I could feel it – not uncomfortable, but just aware it was there…. but I find that because it’s flat and thinner than the hollow tube stems, it just flexes and bends with your body, so I don’t get poked by it at all. So I happily leave it untrimmed. I like to use the stem to pull down on the cup when getting it out, so I really do like to use the stem, and I’ve found the short Diva stem and trimmed other stems to be not ideal for me. The only thing that I don’t like about the Lunette stem over the others is that it’s too flexible to be able to hold the stem and turn the cup (if you do, only the stem turns :)) But since I used the Lunette first, I’ve learned not to use the stem to turn the cup (You can turn the cup to help it make a seal by the way)…. just hold the base of the cup, or not turn it at all. The stem being solid also means no blood can go up into the stem, so that’s a cleaner aspect. I’ve never had a problem with Lunette. I often have it fill past the rim (I have a very heavy flow, and tend to leave it in all day) without leakage.
I also like the smooth sides. The smoother, no ridge top makes it slide in/out easier than the bumpier other cups, which I like, and there is less areas to collect blood. While you have to remember what the 2 lines for measuring actually correspond to (they are unmarked), I like that they are just lines and not writing too, as it’s all less places to collect blood…. and I don’t bother measuring flow anyway since I normally just let it fill up. Unlike the other cups that have the name/website on them in raised letters, Lunette’s are in slightly indented larger letters, so again, less chance of catching blood in the lettering.
Gear – The one I bought came in a green/yellow synthetic material pouch, with a ribbon drawstring… but the fabric is very stiff and doesn’t close as nicely as a cotton does. I really don’t like it…. I immediately made my own bag for it, and unfortunately threw out/lost the original one (I’d like to have kept it for the sample). I think this it was in a plastic bag like you’d see hanging on display in a store. The sample I received I think was just put in a plastic bag, (no pouch). But I do find their flyers pretty with the floral stuff.
The sample I received.
Personal observations – I haven’t had all that much correspondence with Lunette, I asked for a sample, and I believe I got a prompt e-mail back saying yes… (it was before I wrote up the reviews, so I wasn’t paying enough attention)… though I have had quite a few correspondences with Henna from kuukuppi.com/leastore.com who is very friendly and lovely to deal with, if you’re buying a Lunette I do recommend getting it through those stores (they are run by the same person)
I’ve rated all the cups I’ve tried. They can be found here: https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/my-comparisons-and-ratings
Country of origin: Finland
Lifespan: Claims will last up to 10 years
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes: “1” (small) & “2” (large)
Dimensions: Size 1 = 4.1cm wide, 4.7cm Long, with 2.5cm stem. Size 2 = 4.6cm wide, 5.2cm long and 2cm stem
Capacity: Official capacity – Size 1 = 25mls, Size 2 = 30mls. My Test – Size 2 = 26ml to airholes, 34mls to level with rim
Stem: Flat (solid) tab
Measuring Lines: 7mls and 15mls
Cost (RRP): $39.99 USD [Currency Converter]
Been around since: “Autumn” 2005. Coloured cups started with the blue Selene in 2008.
Unique Design?: Yes (This cup design was created by this brand, but has been copied by and “influenced” other brands)
Other Details: Currently available in purple, yellow, orange (coral), blue and clear. (Green has been discontinued)