Gladrags is one of the best known cloth menstrual pads. Unlike many other online vendors, gladrags are available at many online stores and some retail (actual) stores. Unfortunately I could not find them locally, so ordered one online.
I bought a colored organic day time pad from Mothernature.com. Gladrags has its own website (and if you sign up for their newsletter you'll receive a coupon for 15% off your next order) but I decided to get my pad at Mothernature.com because their prices for their individual pads were less expensive. The Gladrags website has great deals on kits (and coupled with the 15% coupon it's even better) but since Gladrags individual pads are a tad more expensive than smaller less known brands, and since I only wanted to try a single pad before I invested in more, I got my pad at Mothernature.com. In addition to Gladrag's organic pads, they also sell non-organic pads (which are much less expensive than the organic ones).
I've been shopping at Mothernature.com since my undergrad days, and their customer service is usually great: they ship fast. The only minor qualm I had with this order was that I ordered a burgundy colored pad and they sent me a light blue one. But since I didn't care too much about the color and the blue was a nice shade, I didn't bother contacting them.
At first I wasn't too sure what to think about the concept of inserts. Basically a single pad comes with a thin outer layer called a holder and two inserts. You can either put one or both of the inserts (or more if you buy others) in the holder to cater the thickness of the pad to your needs. I kind of liked the idea that I could control the thickness but at first I didn't get why if after you use it, you have to change the entire pad (holder plus inserts) and not only the inserts (like how you change just the liners in the changeable-liner type pads), then why even use insert pads? Why not just buy all-in-one pads (AIOs) in different absorbencies? Since you change the whole thing (and not only the inserts), the cost of one gladrags pad (holder and inserts) is slightly more expensive compared to AIOs from other companies (but still cheaper in the long run than using disposables).
When I first looked at the pad, I thought I wasn't going to like it very much. The holder (without the inserts in them) looked very flimsy. Also when both inserts are placed in the holder, the pad is much bulkier than AIOs. I think it's still a tad thinner than regular maxis, but it was still kind of thick. But once I used it, I really liked it! :) The pad is actually pretty sturdy once you put the inserts in it. It did not bunch up or move, and it was very comfortable. The organic cotton was soft (but not as soft as hemp, cotton velour, or bamboo velour). A plus about the inserts: I could peak into the pad and see if I needed to change it or not. And though I initially thought the pad looked bulky, it didn't feel bulky at all! You could not see the outline of the pad through clothes. It was also pretty easy to wash. The pads are not made with artificial backing (like fleece or PUL) so it was a completely natural and organic pad.
Overall I like gladrags. The only reason I may or may not buy more is because there are other pads I like more. But they worked well and were comfortable, and if I hadn't tried hemp, bamboo, and cotton velour AIOs, I'd probably buy a kit. I may try their panty liners in the future though (which are basically AIOs). They are a good pad to start out with and more widely available than other companies. Also I really admire their company ethics; their website host is powered by green, renewable energy (carbon neutral). They also offer huge discounts (20%) to students doing a group order. They also guarantee their pads if you order from their website (they are returnable unlike many other pad companies). And I don't remember which company it was, but when I looked at their website last month, they were working with an organic lipbalm company (offering a special deal). They are a great company and I think one of the first cloth pad companies established (they were established in 1992).
For non-pad users, they also offer the diva cup and the keeper moon cup (inserts). For women who have given birth, they also offer a specially designed insert called a moon cup. My sister uses the keeper and she loves it!
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