CUTE CLEVER CARING

FAQ

Where can I purchase Öko Creations products?

There are three easy ways to purchase our products:

1) Öko Creations products are available through the list of retailers in the “Where to buy” section. Do not hesitate to buy and order our products through our list of retailers. Can’t find what you are looking for at your local retailer or you have no Öko-retailer in your region? Let us know!

2) If you are in Canada or United States, it is possible to order online via this website by opening a customer account. Payment must be made by PayPal. If you wish to pay directly by Visa or MasterCard, please phone or fax us directly. Fees will apply for the shipping, but local pick-up is possible at our workshop by appointment.

3) It is always possible to send your orders directly by contacting us by phone, fax or email.

For international orders (outside of Canada or USA), please contact us directly to place your order and for more information about the shipping fees.

Why is hemp ecological?

Hemp is cited everywhere as being the most “green” fibre there is. Why?

Naturally low polluting

Hemp constitutes one of the least polluting fibres in existence. The hemp plant requires no fertilizer or other treatments to grow. In fact, it grows faster than weeds, covering the ground in about 8 days and choking out weeds without the need for herbicides. Futhermore, hemp is seldom attacked by insects.

Soil regeneration

Hemp roots go deep into the ground, draining, aerating and regenerating the soil. By leaving the plant in place after a harvest, hemp will feed the ground by decomposing and returning a strong proportion of nutritive elements to the earth.

Durability

 Hemp fibre is the most resistant in the vegetable world. Considered a first necessity good alongside such items as bread, in the 18th century, hemp was used for such things as ship sails, ropes, fishing nets, clothing and stockings. Textile hemp is extremely easy to wash and is not damaged by high temperatures.

 Local Farming

Hemp adapts itself to all types of soil and almost all climates. Contrary to cotton and bamboo, it grows well in Québec and in the rest of Canada. Only legally farmable since 1998 in Canada, we are presently witnessing a renaissance of its farming and the emergence of a market for hemp products, notably food (hemp seeds and oil), cosmetic (hemp oil) and construction (hempcrete) products. In the field of textiles, small initiatives are taking place now to make  Canada-grown hemp a possibility in the near future.

Versatility

Few products are as versatile as hemp! It can feed us, clothe us, house us… and it can even be transformed into paper, fabric, flour, construction materials, car components and soaps, and all this without dangerous chemicals!

Excellent yield

Hemp produces a much higher quantity of fibre per hectare than any other type of plant. For example, we can obtain 250% more hemp than cotton on a given surface, and 1.5 times more hemp than flax. On top of this, hemp farming gives 4 times more paper than trees.

 Other qualities of hemp

-Very absorbent and hypoallergenic
-Blocks ultraviolet rays
-Has bactericidal and fungicidal properties
-Mixed with cotton, hemp becomes soft and silky
– Fibre can be transformed without chemical agents, by mechanical techniques and by retting (soaking of fibre in water)

Sources:

•Le chanvre canadien, Agriculture et Agro-alimentaire Canada, 2011
•Habillez-moi de chanvre, Conseil national de recherches Canada, 2004
•Équiterre; Guide du vêtement responsable, 2009
•Goldminc, M et Aubert, C; Vêtement, la fibre écologique, Terre Vivante, 2001

 

What fabrics are used to make Öko Creations products and why are they “green”?

The choice of our textiles is the fruit of research and experimentation. We search for textiles that have minimal impact on our planet and health, are of great quality, and, of course, please our customers! Therefore, we are constantly at the forefront of what supplies are available on the market.

Our research has brought us to the following textiles: hemp, organic cotton and organic merino wool. These are natural and minimally polluting fibres.

The choice of hemp is described in detail in the question “Why is hemp green?” We would like to add that since hemp cultivation is suitable to Canadian climates, we find it critical to promote its use.

We also use certified organic cotton, knowing that:

Traditional cotton represents just 2.4% of cultivated lands, but 25% of the insecticides used worldwide.

Traditional cotton cultivation causes the intoxication of 1 million people and the death of 22 000 people each year (mostly workers).

Traditional cotton is the 3rd largest consumer of irrigated water in the world after rice and wheat, before fruits and vegetables, in a time of water scarcity. Organic cotton requires much less water than traditional cotton, although it remains more demanding than hemp.

Child labour in the cultivation of traditional cotton is common.

Multiple chemical treatments for preparing and finishing are used on traditional cotton fibres.

We use organic merino wool for the following reasons:

It is an incredibly renewable resource! A merino sheep can produce 8000 km of wool per year: that means 1 km an hour!

Organic wool means that rigorous standards are adhered to at all steps of wool production, from how the sheep are raised (no anti-parasitic or hormone treatments, organic feed), to the care of their pasture (number of sheep per square metre), the washing of the wool (biodegradable detergents) the machinery used for transformation and the products to maintain these machines, the types of dyes used, etc.

Merino wool is considered the finest and the softest of wools, non-itchy and ideal for bundling up a newborn and keeping her warm!

Wool regulates body temperature, keeping us warm in winter and cool in the summer.

Wool is naturally breathable, unlike synthetic fibres

Organic, virgin wool is naturally hypoallergenic and mite-resistant.

By absorbing 30 to 40% of its weight in liquid thanks to the lanolin it contains, wool can be used as a water resistant barrier.

We also use recycled polyester that we consider “green” because it is made from used polyester.

Sources:

•Équiterre; Guide du vêtement responsable, 2009
•Environmental assesment of textiles, danish ministery, 2007
•Goldminc, Myriam et Aubert, Claude; Vêtement, la fibre écologique, Terre Vivante, 2001
•Cotton and the environment, organic trade association
•Protégez-vous en partenariat avec ethiquette.ca; Guide acheter vert, 2008

 

How should I care for my Öko Creations inserts and liners?

The hemp used in Öko Creations inserts and liners is prewashed before sewing. Therefore, your Öko-inserts and Öko-liners will practically not shrink and their shape will remain intact after a first wash.

For hygienic reasons, Öko Creations inserts and liners should be washed at least once before a first use. They can then be washed at least 2 more times in order to make them absorbent (the natural oils in the natural fibres can prevent good absorption). You can certainly decide to make  this step optional, and you can skip it for ecological reasons (washing an item that is already clean), but keep in mind that your inserts and liners will not be at their maximum absorbency if you decide to skip this step.

For maintenance, we recommend the following no-soaking method:

Use a diaper bucket or a breathable wet bag.

Put your inserts and soiled liners directly into the bucket or wet bag after removing solids, either by using a biodegradable disposable liner or by discarding solids into the toilet and rinsing afterwards. We do not recommend more than 2 days of storage.

Machine wash

Do a first rinse in cold water, then do an entire wash cycle. The wash cycle should be done in at least warm and sometimes hot water. Put less detergent than the quantity recommended by manufacturers so that no residues remain on the inserts and liners, which would largely reduce their absorption. Never use fabric softener or bleach.

Dry in the sun (natural whitening agent) during the summer, by tumbling or by air in the winter. It is normal that the cloth be more rigid when air dried. A few minutes in the dryer can make it soft again.

 

 

How do I care for my Öko reusable pads?

The hemp cloth used for Öko pads is prewashed before sewing. Therefore, your Öko pads will practically not shrink and their shape will remain intact after a first wash.

For hygienic reasons, we recommend you wash your pads at least once before a first use. Note that the absorbency of your pads will increase with subsequent washes.

For regular care, we recommend:

Before washing: Rinse your pad in cold water immediately after use when possible. Hot water makes the blood coagulate and therefore makes it stick more to the fabric.

Let air dry if not washing immediately, or continue soaking in a container of cold water where you can place your daily pads until washing time. Soaking in cold water reduces stains. Warning: we do not recommend soaking more than two days and it is essential to change your water at least one a day.

Washing: machine wash your pads with a normal cycle in cold or warm water. It is not necessary to wash your pads by themselves. If they have been properly rinsed, they can simply be added to a normal load. Do not use fabric softener or bleach.

Drying: Your Öko-pads can go in the dryer. If stains are a concern to you, please note that the heat can fix the stains by “cooking” them into the fabric. It is normal that the fabric be a bit more rigid after air drying. A few minutes in the dryer can make it soft again.

Stain-removal: Sodium carbonate (washing soda) is an excellent stain remover and can be added to the water during soaking. Certain natural stain removers that contain peroxide can be efficient. The sun remains an excellent stain remover and anti-bacterial agent… as long as you’re brave enough to hang your pads out for the neighbours to see!

Ironing: Pads can be ironed at medium heat if desired.

 

Why are my Öko reusable pads undyed?

Because the fibre is kept its natural colour, Öko Creations pads lower your risk of irritations (contact dermatitis), allergies (to irritant products) and thus infections (vaginitis) associated with dyes, caustic chemicals (used to make fabrics colourfast) and synthetic or non-organic fabrics. The natural colour of ecological (hemp) and organic (organic cotton) fabrics in our Öko Creations pads ensures your safety and comfort.

Can I use my Öko Creations pads when I am out of the house?

Öko Creations pads can be used at home as well as when you’re out and about! To simplify this, we have created an attractive waterproof transport pouch permitting you to discretely carry a clean pad and later replace it with the soiled one. Don’t rinse the soiled pad until you are home. Do so with cold water (a bit of salt can be added to the water) and rub very lightly. Soaking would then be appropriate to soften the driedy blood.

Then proceed normally as indicated in the washing instructions.

Why should I choose Öko-pads?

If you are looking for the following, then this product is for you:

Fewer leaks: Our hemp fleece is ultra-absorbent and each of our products (except the Öko-minis) has a breathable waterproof layer that prevents leaks.

Prevents irritation: The fabric that comes into contact with the skin is made of natural fibers that haven’t been bleached or dyed. The risks of irritation, allergy and infection are therefore reduced.

Reduced ecological footprint: A single woman will throw away approximately 12 000 sanitary products in her lifetime and they can take years to decompose. By using Öko- pads, you will not be contributing to those numbers!

Economical: No more buying disposable pads every month! One Öko-pad can last up to 6 years. Think about the savings!

Easy care: Sure, it’s not easy as throwing a pad in the garbage can, but it’s not all that complicated either! Our cute Öko-case makes the use of washable pads very easy even when you’re on the go.

Cute: Who said that sanitary pads had to be ugly? You can choose from a variety of cute patterns that will brighten up your day!

 

Which Öko-pad best suits my needs?

Öko-mini: Discreet and unbelievably comfortable, the Öko-minis are made with two layers of absorbent hemp fiber (but no waterproof layer) and offer light protection during your period when combined with a menstrual cup or tampon or for any other day in between for light vaginal discharge.

Öko-mini-thong: Specifically designed to fit thongs, these minis are made of two layers of absorbent hemp fiber and two layers of organic cotton. They do have a waterproof breathable layer and they offer light protection during your period or any other day in between.

Öko-liner: Made with two layers of absorbent hemp fiber and a breathable waterproof fabric, these panty liners offer great protection for your period’s medium flow days. They are thin, comfortable and effective.

Regular Öko-pad: Made with three layers of absorbent hemp fiber and a breathable waterproof fabric, these pads offer a great protection for your period or against light bladder leakages while still being quite thin and comfortable. Heavy flow.

Long Öko-pad: Made with three layers of absorbent hemp fibre and a breathable waterproof fabric, these pads are longer than our regular pads and have two pairs of wings that attach around your underwear. The wings hold the pad in place and make it extremely well suited for night time as well as daytime flow or for bladder leakages. Very heavy flow.

 

 

Öko Creations offers 4 types of nursing pads. Which ones are for me?

Here are the 4 types of nursing pad sets offered by Öko Creations:

• Hemp nursing pads (3-ply) without waterproof layer (4-pack)
• Hemp nursing pads (2-ply) with synthetic waterproof barrier (polyurethane laminated polyester, 4-pack)
• Hemp nursing pads (2-ply) with natural waterproof barrier (organic merino wool; 4 hemp pads and 2 wool topper pads per pack)
• Organic merino wool topper pads only (2-pack)

It is important to mention that the properties of hemp make all of our nursing pad models very absorbent. However, these three considerations can help you choose the right pads for you:

1) Milk flow: The pads with waterproof barriers will be more leak-proof than those without if you have a heavy milk flow.

2) Breathability: Although polyurethane laminated polyester is a fabric that “breathes,” the hemp pads without waterproof barriers and the pads with natural wool barriers “breathe” much more because they have a higher capacity for evaporation. The skin remains dry and perspiration evaporates, which helps to keep it healthy. In the case of redness, blisters or nipple problems, breathability promotes healing.

3) Practicality: The hemp nursing pads both with and without waterproof layers can be machine washed and dried. The merino wool pads, however, cannot go in the dryer and should be washed delicately, at the most once per week. The sets containing wool toppers need special care: the wool layer is not sewn directly onto the hemp pads since the two cannot be laundered together. To use, simply place a wool pad on top of the hemp pad when placing in your bra.

 4) Versatility: The nursing pad sets containing the wool toppers are more versatile. In fact, since they are separate, they can be added or removed depending on how much protection you need. For example, the hemp pads in this set can be used by themselves at home, and the wool layer added to prevent leaks during outings. The wool toppers can also be used on their own for ultra-discreet protection from a light to medium flow (they are very thin). According to ancient wisdom, wool applied directly to the breast helps prevent blocked milk ducts and mastitis by keeping the breast warm. If you only need nursing pads for this purpose, you can buy Öko Creations’ organic merino wool pads separately.

 5) Thinness: The pads with a natural or synthetic waterproof layer are thinner than those without, which are made with an extra layer of hemp for increased absorbency. The thinnest option for light to medium flow is a set of merino wool pads applied directly to the breast.

 

How should I care for my Öko Creations nursing pads?

Öko Creations hemp nursing pads (with and without waterproof layer) can be machine washed and dried. They can easily be included with your regular wash with like colours. Do not use bleach or fabric softeners. They can be ironed at a medium temperature.

For the merino wool nursing pads, see the FAQ question on Öko wool product care.

Your Öko Creations pads should not smell after being washed. If you notice a milk smell which persists after a wash, that can be due to a reduction in the breathability of your pads because of detergent residue, which prevents proper absorption or breathability. In this case, make sure you are not using fabric softener, reduce the amount of detergent used, try switching to a different brand of detergent and/or machine wash your pads three times with hot water and no detergent.

It may also be that you require a fibre with a higher degree of breathability. In this case, we strongly suggest choosing our merino wool pads instead of the pads made with synthetic fabric.

 

 

How should I care for my Öko Creations wool nursing pad toppers?

Öko Creations wool products do not need to be washed after each use if there is no major mess! In fact, organic merino wool is naturally anti-bacterial. If there is a smell after a single use, it will disappear (after drying when the product is wet). As you can see, wool is a very practical choice!

However, it is important to maintain your wool items according to our instructions. You can wash your wool delicately by hand, or by machine if you have a “wool” cycle.

For hand washing, proceed as follows:

-Fill a washing basin with warm water;

-Place the wool item in the basin. Rub very gently with a soft soap or a no-rinse lanolin wool soap (Eucalan, for example);

-Let the item(s) soak for at least 30 minutes;

– Rinse if necessary;

-Wring out water gently without twisting too much;

-Place the article(s) flat between two bath towels. Press down in order to remove the excess liquid;

-Dry flat, far from a heat source;

Take note that excessive agitation and heat can felt the wool.

You may need to lanolize your Öko nursing pad toppers if you notice them becoming less water resistant. The easiest way to do this is to use a lanolin/wool soap, which will combine two steps in one: washing and lanolizing. It is also possible to find pure lanolin by itself. In this case, after washing, soak a second time with lanolin, then proceed as usual.

 

What are the advantages of using Öko Creations makeup removal pads?

There are many advantages to using Öko Creations hemp makeup removal pads when compared to disposable pads or other pads on the market.

Durable: Since they are made of a strong fibre, they do not rip in your hand during use like disposable pads do when whet.

Efficient: Öko Creations makeup removal pads efficiently remove all types of makeup: lipstick, mascara, foundation, etc.

Versatile: Besides makeup removal, Öko Creations makeup removal pads have many other uses: face washing (The right size for children!), applying floral water, caring for small cuts and scratches, caring for feet, as ultra-light nursing pads… in fact, you can use these washable pads for anything you would use disposable pads for, and more!

Green: Because they are reusable and because they are made from green fabric (hemp and organic cotton), Öko Creations washable makeup removal pads allow you to reduce your ecological footprint!

Economical: No more disposable pads to buy!

 

How should I care for my Öko Creations makeup removal pads?

The hemp fibre used in Öko makeup removal pads is pre-washed before assembly. Therefore, your Öko makeup removal pads will practically not shrink and will hold their shape after a first wash.

Rub the pad in cold water after use if it is soiled. Let it air dry (hanging or lying flat) if not washing immediately. Include in your regular wash. Using a lingerie bag will help you easily find your pads afterwards. Tumble or air dry. Note that the heat from the dryer can fix stains by “cooking” them. The pads can be ironed at medium heat if desired.

How should I care for my Öko Creations washable handkerchiefs?

Very easily! The washable Öko Creations handkerchiefs can simply be added to a regular load when lightly soiled. In other cases, they can first be lightly rubbed under cold or warm water in order to remove stains, air dried if a washing is not immediate and then added to a regular load if desired (not necessary if the handkerchief has been completely hand washed). Tumble or air dry. Note that the high temperature in the dryer might fix the stains by “cooking” them. Can be ironed at medium heat. The handkerchiefs becomes more absorbent from wash to wash.

Are Öko creations products certified organic or fair trade

At the moment, completed Öko Creations products are not certified organic. However, both our cotton textiles and merino wool textiles are certified organic. These textiles are mainly certified by the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and have different origins. Our organic cotton usually comes from Turkey, India and from the United States, while our organic merino wool is also an American product.

Our products are also not certified Fair Trade, but they are all made in Canada and the well-being of our employees is very important to us. They are well paid and work in flexible and comfortable conditions. Our offices are spacious and filled with light. The atmosphere is warm.

Although not certified Fair Trade, our suppliers visit most of the textile manufacturing sites to ensure that working conditions are fair. The fact that the textiles are organic, and therefore do not contain harmful chemical products, is without a doubt beneficial to workers’ health!