I was lucky enough to be sent an Mpower cup!
The lovely www.femininewear.co.uk sent me one!!!!
(it’s worth noting that they are apparently going to be changing their cup design, so the new cups may be different to this)
I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet… but some observations from just handling the product. To be honest… I don’t know if I managed to get a faulty example of this product. But based on this cup I have – I would not recommend anyone purchase this product.
I like the box… it’s got shiny stuff on it, and I like the logo (and I like the name – “empowering” – I like that aspect). That’s the good stuff…..
I don’t like the pouch… the denim is quite stiff and it’s just a single loop of ribbon, so I guess you’d have to just tie a knot in it to keep it closed (the denim is too stiff for it to stay pulled closed).
The cup itself does look “cheap” – VERY cheap…. You can see the extra silicone from the mould… particularly around the rim. Now this would be easy to just rub off yourself I imagine, but if you’re comparing it to other cups where this isn’t present…. it just makes this product look a little less well made.
One of the holes already has a 4mm crack running down from it. This is a cup that I had not even folded yet, and came in a box that didn’t appear to have been squished… It’s a good mm deep split for a few mm, then gets shallower. One of the other holes seems to be developing a split (a bit less than 1mm). Another of the holes appears to have been drilled halfway through and then slightly repositioned and drilled again, because you can see the hole starts off bigger, is drilled about halfway through and then continues through a fraction over.
The ridges on the stem are the other thing that lets this cup down. While they look fine, I noticed on mine here (which is a proper retail version, not a sample or seconds quality)…. it almost looks like the ridges were applied later, since they are almost like a rubberband stuck to the stem. I can actually lift them up. 2 of the 3 ridges are stuck down on one of the flat sides of the stem, but not stuck down on the other, the other ridge is only stuck down at the narrower “side” sides… if that makes sense. I imagine these ridges would completely fall off within a few uses.
Here I’m lifting it up with a pin – the line you see where it should be is the ridge on the other side. Where it should be stuck down is completely unmarked – so it’s obviously never been stuck down.
I can lift it right up to the other ridge
Edit — Now after taking those pictures and putting the cup into the box with the other cups I have, and rummaging a little through the box to find another cup to compare squishiness with while writing up about the Fleurcup, I’ve now noticed that the bottom ridge of the stem has broken off. Just from gently brushing against other cups in the box. Now you can say that’s because I was poking about with it before, but I have no doubt it would have broken off after the first time it was used – regardless of me playing with it. I can’t say I’m impressed. Even though it’s not really an essential part of the cup, this shows a lack of quality of this product, and to me, that’s unacceptable.
And… I also noticed a brown inclusion (speck) in the cup… I’ve tried to scratch it off, it’s most definitely not something *on* the cup, it’s *in* the silicone. Again, it’s only a minor thing, but personally I’d prefer a cup that doesn’t have a weird brown speck in it….
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
Country of origin: South Africa
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes: “Light” (small) “Standard” (Large)
Dimensions: Light =39mm diameter, 45mm long without stem, 60mm including stem. Standard=42mm diameter, 50mm without stem, 65mm including stem.
Capacity: Light=18mls, Standard=27ml
Stem: Flat Tab
Measuring Lines: No
Cost (RRP): R265
Been around since: October 2008
Unique Design?: No (Appears to be created using another cup brand design)
Other Details: In an e-mail from the company they told me: “I specifically chose a non-coloured silicone for my MPowercup as my pharmaceutical grade manufacturer advised against a colour. Colour silicone is readily available but he would not 100% guarantee it for this particular application. I did not want to take a chance so went with clear as in catheter tubing and ICU tubing etc is also clear.”. They also are running a program to give the Mpower cups to impoverished women in South Africa.
As of July 2010 – Due to a possible design conflict with Lunette, the MPower is apparently going to be redesigned.