I’ve been a fan of The Clever Cactus for a while now and have previously purchased several items from her online store including baby wipes and reusable water balloons. The funky prints and great eco-friendly ideas really stood out to me and, as you know, I love to support a small local business, so I was absolutely thrilled when Steph messaged asking if I would like to be a brand ambassador for her. This is the first of my reviews for her and we have kick-started our collaboration with me trying out her CSP (cloth sanitary pads) and liners range.
About The Clever Cactus
The Clever Cactus brand was started by Steph way back in 2012 under a different name and saw her working from her hallway! She mainly focussed on the baby side of things, making changing bags, toddler bags, wipes and so on but she felt she wanted to be able to cover more. Over the next few years, the brand developed and expanded and saw the birth of The Clever Cactus. From 2017, her range had expanded to include many more eco products including reusable kitchen roll, face wipes, handkerchiefs, washable wipes and of course CSP. Steph also offers a variety of items from other popular eco brands both online and in her shop in Camberley which opened in 2019 after she successfully won it! Yep, she went up against other businesses to pitch to the local council in order to win the first 6 months free and her shop is now a permanent fixture in the town bringing a touch of reusables to the locals as well as refills to help them to take their first steps towards reducing their household waste. Oh, and she also displays some very handy eco-cleaning tips from a certain somebody you know! (The Clever Cactus has since sadly closed it’s doors)
CSP and Liners Review
When I first opened the package I was greeted by these brightly coloured, funky prints. I mean, who doesn’t want a fun period?! After all, her motto is “Put the FUN back into functional!”
In this amazing bundle, I have CSP in standard size for regular flow, in standard size for extra protection, in petite size for regular flow and a nighttime CSP. In liners I have standard and petite sizes plus I was sent a waterproof lined pouch for when I am out and about as well as a mesh wash bag.
The range of prints is one of the things that makes me love The Clever Cactus. They are so bold and striking and I like each of these for different reasons; dinosaur print for nighttime? Why not?! Cheeky sloths and bright flamingoes? Yes! These are really up my street.
The main first noticeable thing about The Clever Cactus CSP is the thickness. The ones I have been using for the last 18 months do an amazing job but they are very slim and I wondered how a thicker pad would make a difference. On the first feel, the pads seemed to be very cushioned, well-padded, the material felt soft and of high quality. They are made a cotton outer layer, a zorb absorbent layer and fleece liner. Having not heard of zorb before I looked it up:
“It is the leading brand of super-absorbent fabrics, is thin, cost-effective, hypo-allergenic and baby safe. It traps more and holds more liquid and dispenses it quickly, to reduce compression leaks”
Steph told me that the Zorb she uses absorbs more than ten times the same weight of what bamboo or terry can do. Due to this absorbency, you should feel confident that your period will be comfortable and leak-free (as long as you change your pad as and when required). The nighttime and extra protection CSP both come with the addition of ripstop which is a waterproof layer to aid during those heavy flow periods.
The CSP fit nicely around your knickers and fasten with a simple popper. All of the options I was sent fit well in all of my variety of knickers with no movement or twisting which is a problem I have encountered in the past with other brands. The regular pads are also longer than my other brands which gives you extra coverage in protection against leaks. They were all super comfortable and I loved how thick they were. In terms of absorbency, my periods have been far lighter since I had my second child and also since I *started using CSP* so these pads worked perfectly for me in all areas of the day and the night. *(there is a lot documented on this online and studies show that the chemicals in disposable pads actually contribute towards heavier and more painful periods).
I loved that I could start my period with the extra protection pad (when your period tends to be heavier), move on to the regular CSP and also have the option to switch to the ultra-protective nighttime version. At the very end of my period, I tried out the petite regular pads which are slightly shorter in length but just as absorbent. They are the perfect choice for when you still want that protection but don’t want to wear a full pad. In the week of my period I had no leaks, no odours and was very comfortable throughout.
I haven’t ever come across reusable panty liners before so these were a nice surprise inside my review package. They are made to the same high standard as the CSP and are made up of cotton, cotton wadding and fleece. The liners are great for that little bit of extra protection you may need at particular times of the month but are lovely and comfortable in comparison to the disposable ones that often make you sweaty and sticky (that’s the problem when having plastic down there!) Again, they were discreet, padded and did their job well.
Waterproof Lined Pouch
The waterproof lined pouch is a great alternative to taking a larger wet bag out with you. It is pretty, padded, lined with the waterproof layer ripstop and could be used for far more options that just for your CSP. It’s a very handy size for holding breast pads, reusable makeup pads, reusable wipes and so on.
Before using your CSP and liners it is advised that you give them around 3 pre-washes to help with the absorbency.
Once used you will need to remove your CSP and always rinse them under a cold tap in order to prevent staining. If you don’t like this idea, you can always quickly rinse them under a showerhead. With the black fleece, it isn’t like you see anything anyway but you do have the option to order these with a white fleece if you would prefer. You can then place them inside the wash bag (which protects the material in the drum) and wash them with your normal load on a 40° wash.
I found that all of my CSP and liners washed beautifully, dried very quickly indoors and still looked good.
Identifying Them All
You may be wondering how I managed to keep track of what was what once all of the CSP and liners were unpacked… This is so clever. All of the items are colour coded by their poppers!
Pink – Regular CSP
Red – Extra Protection CSP
Blue – Nighttime CSP
These CSP and liners from The Clever Cactus** have been carefully thought about and made with every woman’s needs considered. From heavy flow to light flow, nighttime to types of underwear used (you can also purchase liners for thongs on her website) as well as what we may need at other times of the month, they do everything. With this one package I feel completely kitted out and ready for each future period plus I will never have to worry about running out. Plastic free periods for the win!
**The Clever Cactus closed in 2021 but you can purchase the same CSP and liners from Ocean Stitch here.
*I was sent these products in exchange for a full and honest review. All opinions remain my own. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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