Most condoms today are made of natural latex rubber, so it would seem that all condoms should be perfectly safe and ethical.
But ingredients are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to manufacturing processes, and classic condoms have three strikes against them:
1. The dairy derivative casein.
3. Unethical and unsustainable manufacturing processes.
It’s gross but true. Almost all latex condoms are treated with the milk derivative casein. The casein is used in the manufacturing process to smooth out the latex for a smooth and natural feel. But the casein presents a problem for both vegans, and anyone with a dairy allergy.
Twenty years before vegan and natural was hip, GLYDE was at the forefront of innovative solutions that do not include unethical byproducts. GLYDE casein free condoms are treated with natural thistle extract, to the same effect as casein: it softens the latex resulting in condoms that are super smooth and silky.
N-9 is a highly toxic surfactant that breaks down sperm walls to make sperm immobile. However, N-9 breaks down more than just spermcells. It also been shown to cause micro abrasions in vaginal tissue, which is probably why many women complain of burning, irritation, and even repeated yeast infections after using N-9 condoms.
The fact that so many condoms are manufactured with N-9 begs the question. Does N-9 really add pregnancy prevention power to the condom?
If you think about it, a thin layer of spermicide on the shaft of a condom is probably not going to do much in the event of a condom mishap. Sperm is pushed forward, towards the cervix, so if spermicide needs to be anywhere, it would have to be at the tip of the condom.
If you feel strongly about adding an extra layer of protection to your condom, applying a natural spermicide alternative like ContraGel directly to your cervix is probably a safer, and even more effective measure. Although of course ContraGel is not intended to be used without a diaphragm or cervical cap, its sticky consistency and low PH does effect sperm motility, and in the case of a condom mishap, it could be a saving grace.
When the Vegan Society certifies a product, it takes the entire manufacturing process and supply chain into account, so you can be sure if the Vegan Society are happy, you will be happy.
Latex is made from a milk like substance tapped from rubber trees, a delicate process that must be carried out with utmost respect the environment. The Malaysian rubber plantations and the trees that are the source of the latex are organic and sustainable. There are no genetically modified materials, and when a tree grows old and stops producing the latex milk, replacement seedlings from the original trees are replanted to continue the natural cycle of life.
Whenever the raw materials and labor for products we use are sourced in less developed countries, there is a risk that the human beings who work hard to bring us these products are under-appreciated, underpaid, and and working in neglectful working conditions. GLYDE is proud of it’s Fair Trade practices, so you can feel confident knowing that your pleasure is not coming at the expense of your fellow man. Fair liveable wages are paid to all GLYDE workers; men and women enjoy equal pay.