Reimbursement for reusable sanitary pads

Alongside H LEMAHIEU and the Collectif FACON DE FAIRE, which brings together 180 French textile manufacturers, we have signed a letter addressed to Elisabeth Borne, concerning her announcement to reimburse the cost of reusable sanitary pads. We are asking her to ensure that this subsidy scheme gives preference to products manufactured locally and with a lower environmental impact.

Read the full letter:


Madam Prime Minister,

On March 6, you personally announced the reimbursement of reusable sanitary pads for women under the age of 25, in pharmacies and starting in January 2024. We welcome this measure, as it addresses both the growing issue of menstrual insecurity among young women, and that of raising awareness of the need to adopt healthy, ecological solutions.
Les Mouettes Vertes and Lemahieu, together with the "Façon de Faire" collective of 180 French manufacturers, would like to use this letter to request that some form of preference be given to reusable protection made in France. Our companies, like the French textile industry, manufacture items that meet the environmental and reindustrialization challenges of the entire textile sector in France. In every region of France, many jobs are involved.

The menstrual lingerie market is mature and substantial, and we've been manufacturing for a number of local and committed brands since 2018.
Local production is in sharp decline today, however, in the face of competition from global companies that manufacture in low-cost countries and regularly raise questions about their international or geopolitical ambitions (China, India).
We hope that the reimbursement of washable sanitary protection will give an advantage to healthy products with a lower environmental impact (organic cotton panties produced locally emit 2 times less CO2). This measure will boost French reindustrialization. It will simultaneously help the most vulnerable women, initiate changes in usage towards greater ecology, and promote French economic and industrial activity.

Otherwise, this measure will benefit the vast majority of foreign companies who are able to offer menstrual panties without any guarantee of their health, social and environmental impact, which translates into a lower price. It would also fuel our dependence on them, and undermine our national sovereignty, as we have already seen in the case of medicines and masks during the Covid crisis.

At the time, the entire French textile industry demonstrated its extreme agility in the production of high-performance masks made from reusable fabric, but unfortunately its success came to a halt when world trade resumed. Once again, we do not wish to see the developments led by our local industry replaced by ever less virtuous products.
It is essential that French companies committed to meeting the challenges of reindustrialization, employment in our regions and environmental impact do not face head-on competition from less cost-efficient foreign companies. Otherwise, virtuous initiatives will quickly dry up, and the economic imperative will prevail, deepening the problems of sovereignty, lack of industrial jobs and amplifying ecological disasters.
These themes are also those presented in your general policy statement of July 6, 2022:
"The two keys to sustainable purchasing power are full employment. It's the ecological transition"
"the ecological revolution we want to lead: it's innovations, new sectors, jobs for the future"
Taxpayers' money must be used first and foremost to serve the interests of our Nation, and we hope that the methods of application of the measure you have proposed will take this into account.

Please accept, Madam Prime Minister, the assurances of our highest consideration.

Aymeric Mautin
President of Les Mouettes Vertes and Treasurer of Façon de Faire

Martin Breuvart

Chairman H. Lemahieu and President of "Façon de Faire

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