Vegan, biodegradable condoms
Sarah Welsh, co-founder of HANX
New to REV is HANX natural lubricant
Sustainable Sex with HANX
At REV we believe in sustainability in every aspect of our lives – so we figured this has to include sex. It’s a lot easier courtesy of the label pioneering biodegradable, discreetly packaged contraceptives. In light of our partnership with HANX, we asked founders Sarah and Farah to give us the lowdown on eco sex. From better birth control to compostable condoms and questionable natural alternatives to lube, read on for answers to everything you ever wanted to know provided by the experts as both of these women were NHS doctors before starting HANX.
Is regular birth control bad for the environment?
The most environmentally friendly contraception options are those that are hormone free, such as condoms. What’s more, the active ingredient in combined oral contraceptive pill (oestrogen) is a pollutant that can harm wildlife in waterways. Ethinyl estradiol (synthetic oestrogen) can result in “intersex” fish and is very difficult to remove from wastewater, which carries the hormone into waterways. The packaging of contraceptive pills is often in foil and plastic, with negative environmental impact. However, it is worth noting that any effective method of contraception is positive for the environment, as the impact of birth control is minimal in comparison to the impact of another human impact on the planet.
Why is regular birth control not great for my body?
The synthetic hormones in many contraceptive choices (mainly the pill, but also the mirena coil, implant and injection) can cause havoc with women’s bodies. Side effects include acne, weight changes, vaginal irritation, reduced libido and mood changes. The effects of birth control are wide-ranging and variable from person to person, depending on many including genes, lifestyle and susceptibility to hormones.
What are HANX condoms made from?
Our condoms are made from 100% natural latex that is certified Fair Rubber. Our manufacturing process uses the minimal chemical input necessary whilst ensuring they’re safe.
What is a natural alternative to lube? (for instance can we use coconut oil?!)
We often get this question and we’re all for keeping it natural but please don’t use coconut oil as a lubricant, it can disrupt the pH of the vagina making you more susceptible to infections. We know the reason so many people use natural alternatives is because there aren’t many natural lubricants available. Luckily we have a vegan, water-based, clean scented lubricant. It’s long-lasting, hypoallergenic and contains a derivative of vitamin B5. We spent almost a year developing it and we’re very proud of the end result, it feels amazing and is super kind to the body.
Are there any chemicals on HANX? Are there any chemicals on normal condoms?
Our condoms are free of the chemicals glycerin and benzocaine which most regular condoms contain. Glycerin is a type of sugar that is often found in the lubricant on condoms. Benzocaine is a numbing agent which makes men last longer. Both of these can disrupt a woman’s natural balance making her more prone to yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
What happens if you don’t put HANX in the compost or don’t have a compost option? Will they still break down as quickly? Is the packaging sustainable too?
Our outer cardboard packaging is recyclable, and natural latex condoms are biodegradable. A compost environment tends to offer the perfect conditions for breaking down biodegradable matter because it’s warm, moist and close to the soil. Once you’ve put your HANX condom in the compost it can take up to 3 months to start to break down. If you don’t have a compost option, don’t worry the condom will eventually biodegrade though how long it takes is entirely dependent on the waste removal system and the conditions of its process, e.g. light, temperature and proximity to soil.
How did you decide to have such luxe packaging for condoms?
We felt that the current condom offering was not something we felt positively about. The HANX luxe packaging is subtle, and fits well good next to your beauty and healthcare items. We thought it was about time people felt positively and sexy about buying carrying and using condoms!
Do HANX have the “thin” feel so that both parties are happy?
Our condoms are ultra thin to enhance the feelings you experience with your partner, rather than distracting from them. So you can focus on all the great parts of having sex and let us take care of the serious part.