The Tampliner: Femcare’s latest innovation
Tampliner inventor Callaly is the first company to make significant innovation to femcare (a £25bn-a-year market) in 80 years – and they’re offering 50% off the first box bought. But, still, not everyone is familiar with the product.
For those of you in the dark, it’s an all-in-one consisting of an organic tampon, organic mini-liner and a virtual applicator connecting the two. Essentially, a tampon + pantyliner = tampliner. What’s not to love if it saves women from thou who has forsaken them since time began…leakage.
It seems what crinkles people’s faces and creates an ‘oh’ moment is the fact that the mini-liner is folded between the labia. So, BALANCE spoke to garment technologist and Head of Product at Callaly, Ewa Radziwon, to help you decide whether ‘tampliner’ will be a word you add to your vocabulary this year or not.
Radziwon says: “The Tampliner was invented by Dr Alex Hooi, who has been a senior gynaecologist for more than 35 years. In the course of his work, Alex had heard thousands of women talk about their frustration with femcare products.
“The choice was too limited and everything on the market seemed to be either uncomfortable, inconvenient or prone to leaks. More worryingly, the industry was unregulated to the extent that people were putting sheddable, unsterilised materials inside their bodies.”
She adds: “I was studying at the London College of Fashion when Alex got in touch looking for a designer and seamstress to help make prototypes for the Tampliner®. I thought, “Why not?” Femcare deserves as much design innovation as fashion does, even if it is slightly less glamorous!”
In terms of benefits, the obvious is there’s no need to use a tampon and separate liner. “Our mini-liner tucks between your labia instead of sticking to your underwear, so once you’ve found a comfy position for it, it stays put,” says Radziwon.
Another appeal is no stains on underwear. “Everyone has leaks sometimes, and it doesn’t mean you’re somehow dirty or not winning at adulting. On the other hand, it can be annoying to find yourself scrubbing at your own knickers every day when you could be studying for your masters or raising your children or whatever you’d rather do instead,” she says.
Apparently, another benefit is for “when your leggings are tighter than your bank manager”. Fantastic. “There’s nothing shameful about having periods, and nothing wrong with people in your yoga class getting a flash of pantyliner silhouette while you’re doing your downward dog. But for those moments when you really want a completely no-VPL effect or to showcase your favourite lacy underwear, tampliners might be the answer,” says Radziwon.
The environment also benefits. “If you’re a tampon user, it’s worth knowing that the virtual applicator on a tampliner is a quarter the width of a human hair and will biodegrade much faster than a hard plastic applicator.
“Oh, and our wrappers are biodegradable too. Our products are disposable, which has more environmental impact than reusable products. But as far as disposables go, we’ve really done our best to make them as Earth-friendly as humanly possible while also putting your health first,” she says.
Radziwon adds: “There might be places and times – festivals, board meetings, cubicles – when you don’t fancy Lady Macbething it, and that’s when tampliners come into their own. When you insert a tampliner, a special transparent membrane (aka the virtual applicator) protects your fingers from getting covered with blood. As you remove it, the same membrane wraps neatly back around the tampon, ready for the bin.”
BALANCE also spoke to a user and non-user about the tampliner to gauge attitudes towards the product.
Leanne Asiedu, 24, says she always used a combination of pantyliners/pads with a tampon. She likes the products she used but found having to buy several types a hassle and expensive. She thought the tampliner looked interesting, so gave it a go.
She says: “When I received the tampliners the company actually forgot to send me instructions on how to use it but I still managed to figure it out so I would definitely say they are easy to use. They were just as absorbent as other tampon brands that I’ve used and I would say overall it’s a good product.
“They’re nice because you can wear them with thongs whereas usually, you can’t use liners/pads. Going to the toilet was a bit of a hassle if you haven’t got the liner part of the tampliner positioned correctly.”
She adds: “I would definitely use a tampliner again, however, I’m not sure how cost-effective they are and so far I have only seen them online which is not always suitable if you need sanitary products last minute. Right now, I would probably use the tampliners for days when my clothing choice is limited etc.”
Ella Doyle, 23, says tampons are her go-to as they feel clean and discreet – but on heavier days will wear pads with them.
She says: “For me, the downfall is the possibility of leaking, and the risks tampons carry like toxic shock. I often worry about leaving them in too long (i.e. overnight) but don’t really have an alternative, so will double up a pad which isn’t comfortable. They can sometimes cause me discomfort especially if not inserted properly. Plus it’s much less sustainable than something like the Moon Cup.”
She adds: “The idea of a tampon and a panty liner in one would be ideal for me. I always feel a little wary of trying something utterly new for menstruation but it seems to make a lot more sense than something like the sanitary underwear that was advertised for a while. Apparently, the tampliner can be left in overnight and I wouldn’t need to use a pad as well.
“I would definitely be willing to try it. Any brand that wants to completely rethink the menstruation products that we’re used to is a positive thing when feminine care is so overlooked!”
Callaly’s mix-and-match products can be delivered every 4, 8 or 12 weeks as part of their commitment to “eradicating the toilet-roll-in-your-pants-waddle-to-the-corner-shop”.
Radziwon says the trickiest thing about using the tampliner is, much like with the tampon, using them for the first time. If you’re intrigued, this guide may help.