We all know what it means to have safe sex. But what does it mean to have responsible sex? Be it during moments of intimacy or not, it could be safe to assume that very few of us think of how the average prophylactic was produced, where it came from, and its environmental impact.
Since 2007 and from a small team of three, The French Letter Condom Company Ltd has brought ethical condoms to the European market. French Letter Condoms (which was named from the British colloquialism “french letter” for condoms) reaches a market where choice of condom brand is possible and where sustainability, even in the bedroom, is relevant. But what exactly what makes a condom “ethical,” and importantly, can they be as good as the rest?
Condoms are normally made of synthetic latex, sourced from unsustainable farm practices in developing countries where the work conditions are not ideal. There is also the matter of environmental problems relating to disposal and decomposition of condoms. In this regard, many environmental groups have pointed out the damaging impacts of their use, for example, animals mistaking litter as food, smothering of reefs and asphyxiation of sea dwelling organisms, as well as the extensive time period required for the biodegradation of latex. Condom wrappings are typically non-biodegradable and there are also condoms made of plastic materials, such as polyurethane, which also do not biodegrade at all.
Martin, one of the three owners, says that French Letter condoms are certified to ensure the highest manufacturing standards in quality, as well as offer an ethical bottom line. The condoms are made from latex derived from organic farms across India and Sri Lanka are endorsed by “Fair Deal Trading,” with each packet of condoms sold contributing to the improvement of wages and healthcare standards for rubber tappers and their communities.
Usually, the wide ranging benefits of condoms are considered to outweigh their negative effects on the environment. In fact, some have seen the condom, in and of itself, as the “single most important environmental innovation.” French Letter strikes a balance between a growing product demand and meeting a sustainable business objective to ensure the product arrives to sale in a responsible manner. For this, French Letter condoms add another element to the interesting list of sustainable initiatives to be considered as we, according to the Greenpeace Eco-sex guide famously says “get it on for the good of the planet.”
French Letter’s product range, which is manufactured in Germany and certified to meet European standards includes scented, studded, and silky light condoms for example, offering an array of products competitive with most conventional brands. According to the company founders, their product offers “the opportunity of making love with an eye on fair play.”
If you want to try and buy visit: www.frenchlettercondoms.co.uk
Sources and for more information check out:
Greenpeace’s Eco Sex Guide