The Looop Can is a portable, compact and inexpensive washing kit for reusable menstruation pads. It’s a solution for areas with limited-water, lack of period product availability or for those looking to lower their menstruation waste. Designed by design student Cheuk Laam Wong, Looop earned the Gold Prize Design Educates Award 2022 in the product design category.
Innovations in menstruation products are slow to hit the market, creating few options for the large population that menstruates at some point in their lives. This limitation puts particular stress on refugee women, who are forced to choose between necessities like food and baby supplies or period products. Digging into the daily life of refugees and the challenges they face in camps inspired Wong to invent the Looop Can system.
Think of it as a mini manual washing machine. Simply place used fabric pads inside the interior compartment. Manually drive the agitator so the small amount of added water and baking soda can clean the pad. Then hang the pad to dry.
The canisters are made from recycled steel cans and other components are made from recycled polypropylene. Wong estimates the entire setup costs around £3, or around $3.50 USD. It’s an affordable, long-lasting option with an expected five-year lifespan.
Although Looop can be used by any woman, the primary focus is to get them into the hands of marginalized women in crisis situations. Because camps offer little to no privacy and options for sanitation, it can lead to infections. The pad is made to be discreet while in use and when hanging next to other communal laundry. Pads are made of a natural material for reduced risk of skin allergies. The quick-drying bamboo layers dry in hours and are ready for reuse. They can easily be made by volunteers and distributed within the camp or could be a source of income for refugees able to make them.
Images via Cheuk Laam Wong, Rubymaky, Rose Wei and Larry Turner