Excellent eco-friendly, non-toxic period pads and pantyliners.
- Packaging is made with 100 percent recycled paper
- Pads are made using certified organic cotton with a wheat-based absorbent core
- Company was acquired by Unilever in 2016
- Pantyliners: Chlorine-free wood processed pulp, polyolefins, adhesives, silicone-coated paper. (*Process chlorine free pantiliners. Peel strip whitened with chlorine containing chemicals.) Pads: Chlorine-free processed wood pulp, super-absorbent polymer, polyolefins, adhesives, silicone-coated paper.
Country of originManufactured in: Quebec, Canada Ingredient Origins: Globally Sourced
Seventh Generation pads are very similar to those offered by Natracare and Organyc and are an excellent (generally) non-toxic choice. However, the pads are sold in plastic packaging and some chlorine is used in the bleaching of the paper strips on the backs of the pantyliners and pads. Seventh Generation say on their website that they’re aiming to be plastic-free by 2020, and the current packaging can be recycled along with other soft plastics such as plastic bags.
The regular pads are a little thinner and slimmer, making them more like conventional pads. That said, they are up to the task of providing overnight protection unless your flow is very heavy, and the wings keep them in place without bunching up or sticking together.
Seventh Generation packaging is made with 100 percent recycled paper, and the pads are made using certified organic cotton with a wheat-based absorbent core. The pads are free from fragrances, deodorants, or chlorine processing. This means that the pads have an organic cotton smell, unlike the plastic, synthetic smell of Always and other conventional brands.
While Seventh Generation products are generally very good and have great eco-credentials, it’s worth noting that the company was acquired by Unilever in 2016. Unilever have a terrible environmental record. The acquisition of these smaller, eco-conscious companies could, as some argue, signal a move by Unilever to up their game when it comes to the environment, or it could be read as a cynical business-minded move to cash in on a growing market. Whether there is a positive, negative, or neutral influence from Unilever on Seventh Generation remains to be seen, with Seventh Generation claiming to maintain their independence, albeit while making profits for Unilever.
Disappointingly, the paper strips on the back of the pantyliners and pads are bleached through a process involving chlorine. As the packaging states ‘Chlorine-free’ with an asterisk, Seventh Generation also lose a few points on our Leaf rating system for transparency and consistency or product quality and ethics.
The Maxi Pads from Seventh Generation are quite thick, wingless, and a tad too short for many folks. They tend to bunch up if you’re moving around, and without wings, this increases the likelihood of leaks. As such, the Ultra Thin Maxi Pads with Wings are probably best for overnight, although the better option would be to switch to reusable pads from Lunapads or Glad Rags.
Seventh Generation Free & Clear Pads are available in a variety of sizes and absorbencies:
Free & Clear Regular Pad: 12 x 24-pack (288 pads)
Free & Clear Regular Maxi Pads: 12 x 24-pack (288 pads)
Free & Clear Overnight Maxi Pads with Wings: 6 x 14-pack (84 pads)
Free & Clear Ultra Thin with Wings Regular: 8 x 18-pack (144 pads)
Free & Clear Ultra Thin with Wings Overnight: 12 x 14-pack (168 pads)
Free & Clear Ultra Thin Super Long with Wings: 6 x 16-pack (96 pads)
Seventh Generation only offer one type of pantyliner, with light absorbency:
Free & Clear Pantyliner: 12 x 50-pack (600 pads)