Diva Cups are an innovative product that has, since hitting the market in 2003, inspired many competing companies. The medical-grade silicone menstrual cup is safe for most bodies and is relatively kinder on the environment. Primarily, this option is an effective menstruation product that can be bought once and used for decades, diverting from landfills the approximately 250 to 300 pounds of products that the average menstruating person tosses each year. In addition to helping consumers reduce waste, they also engage in various initiatives to promote social, economic, and environmental sustainability around the world, with a particular focus on promoting menstrual equity.
Diva cups are made of medical grade silicone, free of added chemicals, plastics, BPA and dyes. Silicone can come from quartz or sand, a plentiful resource. It has a long lifespan, and although recycling facilities that accept silicone are not available everywhere, it technically can be recycled.
This means that the diva cup can be washed thoroughly and reused indefinitely. Considering that, across the world, 12 billion tampons and pads are disposed of each year, the impact Diva Cups can have on diverting waste from landfills is huge. Because they are made of silicone and not plastic, Diva Cups will naturally break down over several decades. Unlike plastics, which break down into micro-plastics and cause many problems for our planet, especially marine life, silicone will actually decompose fully, in the right conditions.
Packaging for Diva Cups uses 100% recyclable materials and vegetable-based dyes. This is better than plastic, but arguably not as good as post-consumer recycled or compostable materials.
The Diva Cups logistics team performs annual audits on their suppliers to ensure that they engage in sustainable activities. This includes water conservation, recycling, and reusing materials. The cups are manufactured and packaged in Canada. More detailed information on the manufacturing process not available on the Diva Cups website.
Francine and Carinne are a mother daughter duo that launched Diva Cups together in 2003 with the intention of bringing to market a more comfortable and more environmentally friendly menstrual product. In 2018, they became a certified B Corporation. As a company, Diva Cups has launched several initiatives that further their work towards sustainability from social, financial, and environmental angles.
Social sustainability: the Diva Cares Initiative works internationally to educate and reduce stigma around menstruation, promote legislation that will increase menstrual equity, and reduce the barriers to accessing menstrual supplies for impoverished communities.
Fiscal sustainability: Diva Cup partners with and invests in Women’s Voice for the Earth (WVE) and the Women’s Environmental Network (WEN), which “fight to ensure transparency around manufacturing processes and ingredient disclosure in consumer goods”. They are also active members of Sustainable Waterloo Region, a local organization dedicated to promoting sustainable businesses.
Environmental sustainability: The Diva Cup headquarters in Ontario, Canada uses Bullfrog Power, which uses and invests in more sustainable energy alternatives. This includes natural gas, which, while it does have a relatively lower carbon footprint than coal and oil, often has significant negative impacts on water, soil, and human health. Diva Cups does not comment on their carbon footprint from their factories, product transport, or raw material sourcing.