What does it mean for a condom to be vegan certified?

There are plenty of people out there who don’t want any animal byproducts in their condoms and we don’t think they should have to compromise. So we made them without the animal byproduct that is used in almost all condoms, a dairy byproduct called casein. Then we had a third party test our product. We’re happy to say we got the all clear and are certified by the Vegan Awareness Foundation. We have other certifications, too. Check them out.

How are Sustain condoms different from other condoms? What exactly is a “sustainable” condom anyway?

All of our condoms are free of chemicals of concern that can be used in things like fragrance and spermicide. They’re also made of latex from one of the most sustainable rubber plantations on the planet, and manufactured in an award-winning environmental factory. We’ve reduced the latex protein level because it can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Sustain condoms are also third party certified Fair Trade and vegan. Sustainable means the way the rubber is grown and manufactured is gentler on the earth. Sustainable also means the people who grow and manufacture our latex are paid a living wage and work reasonable hours—and no child labor, ever.

Can I use body oil, gels, or other non-water based lubricants with Sustain condoms?

No! Please do not use these. Back away from the body oil—and be careful if massage is part of your warm up routine. Latex condoms can potentially be destroyed by these substances. Go for water- or silicone-based.

Are Sustain condoms reusable?

No, Sustain condoms are not reusable! Do. Not. Reuse. After each use, you or your partner should dispose of the condom carefully in the garbage. Don’t flush it down the toilet.

Can I use Sustain condoms for anal sex?

Sure. Why not? That said, once that condom goes on, you’re going to need some extra lube on the outside of it. It will reduce the risk of slipping or breaking. In order not to compromise the latex, the lube should be water- or silicone-based.

Can I use your condoms underwater or in the shower?

Use a little common sense and you should be good to go. As in: salt in seawater = ok. Chlorine or ozone in a swimming pool = could compromise the latex. Bubble bath, oils, and other shower/bath goop = can also compromise the latex. Watch out for slippage. Otherwise, splash on.

Does Sustain make non-latex condoms?

Nope. Currently all of our products are made from natural latex.

Are thinner condoms more likely to break than other styles?

All condoms, thick or thin, must meet the same reliability and safety standards. So, if you like it thin, go for it.

How do I know if I’m allergic to latex condoms?

If you have to ask, you’re most likely not allergic. We’ve reduced the latex protein levels in our condoms because it can cause an allergic reaction in some people. If you’re concerned you’re having a reaction, please see your doctor. And don’t waste time; not all rashes are allergies.

How do I know which condom style to buy? What’s the difference between the products?

It can be stressful to figure this out. Whatever condom type you prefer, we’ve got you covered. People come in all shapes and sizes, so we have several fits plus an ultra thin option to satisfy everyone. The most common complaint women report is that condoms fall off during sex. Why? People upsize, buying condoms that are too big for them or their partners. It turns out only 10 to 15 percent of the population actually requires a roomier fit. To be safe, purchase the right fit—we have both tailored and comfort. Also, for more information on sizing, see this diagram: Sustain Size Chart.

What do the numbers on the back of the foil mean?

These are lot numbers and expiration dates. A Sustain Condom has a shelf life of at least 3 years, but we encourage you to use it before then.

What are three things I should never do with a condom?

1. Stick a pin in it.

2. Bite it (well, hard enough to tear it).

3. Leave home without it.

I heard latex condoms smell funny and some are low odor. Are Sustain condoms low odor?

Some condoms manufacturers, in order to ensure that there is absolutely no risk of odor, use an odor masking chemical. This may present health risks for the workers producing them. We’re all about limiting the use of chemicals of concern wherever we can. We did an unscientific survey of condoms with and without the odor masker (tough job, but someone had to…) and no one could tell the difference. The short answer is Sustain Condoms don’t smell any better or worse than other condoms. But who’s sniffing?

Is it safe for me to use lube with Sustain condoms?

Yes! Lube is a good thing. But don’t go getting creative in the kitchen; water- and silicone-based lube is one thing, but certain oils can mess with the latex. And that’s a bad thing.

How does Sustain test its condoms for quality?

We’re serious about quality control. We do our own testing. Condoms are actually controlled by the FDA as a Class II medical device, which is meant to ensure that all condoms sold in the U.S. perform to particular performance standards. All of our condoms are electronically tested to seek out holes or areas of thinning and to ensure quality and performance. Selected condoms are tested through two other means.

My friend and I are having a debate - can you settle it for us? Is it up to the man or the woman to buy condoms?

It’s up to anyone who is sexually active and responsible—women or men. Condoms are an important thing to have on hand no matter who you are. You never know when the urge will strike and you don’t want to be without. Traditionally men have been the main purchasers. We’re more than happy to have women turn this trend around. Also, not all sexual relationships involve a man and a woman. Just saying.

My boyfriend doesn’t want to use condoms. What should I do?

Dump him.

You’re big on sustainability. So why isn’t the lube used on your condoms organic?

Good question! We would prefer to use an organic lube and suggest you use one on the outside of our condoms if you’d like a little extra slip. The FDA currently only allows one lubricant to be used inside the foil wrapper and that’s silicone—a petroleum product. We’re going to try to get the FDA to approve an organic vegetable-based lube, but it’s not a quick task.

Why should I use a latex condom?

So many reasons! You should use a condom to protect your health and the health of your partner. Latex condoms, if used properly, are they only form of contraception that will reduce your risk of acquiring STDs, STIs, and the AIDS virus. They are also 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. So, wrap it up!

Where and how are Sustain condoms manufactured?

Our condoms are manufactured in Southern India at our amazing award winning environmentally friendly manufacturing plant. Read all about it here.

What’s a nitrosamine?

Condom manufacturing can be a toxic endeavor. Some chemicals added during manufacture are highly toxic and some carcinogenic chemicals are formed during the process. We have eliminated the addition of the toxic chemicals and we have redesigned the manufacturing process to prevent the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines. These form when liquid latex is heated up to the point at which it becomes solid and an accelerator is added to the mix to speed up the process. It’s critical to have these out of the condoms because bodily fluids can cause them to be released while you’re having sex. There are no detectable levels of nitrosamines in Sustain Condoms.

What’s the best way to dispose of condoms?

The best way to dispose of a condom is to carefully toss it in the garbage. It’s not good to flush used condoms down the toilet. And P.S., if you’re a houseguest, try not to leave it where your host, or, say, your mother has to deal with it.

Do Sustain condoms contain parabens or glycerin?

No, Sustain condoms do not contain parabens or glycerin.

Lots of people are concerned about parabens, common personal care product preservatives that may be linked to breast cancer and fertility issues, with good reason. They’re also concerned about glycerin, a common base for personal lubricants, which can damage or irritate vaginal  and rectal epithelial cells, potentially increasing the transmission of STIs such as herpes and human immunodeficiency virus . Many condom brands claim to be paraben and glycerin free. But guess what? To the best of our knowledge, no condoms are ever made with parabens or glycerin, meaning all condoms are parabens and glycerin free. We don’t think it’s helpful to claim that our condoms don’t contain a chemical that no other condoms do either. Parabens can be present in spermicidal agents, but our condoms don’t contain spermicide.

What ingredients are used to manufacture Sustain condoms?

Sustain condoms are made by mixing various chemicals with our natural Fair-Trade rubber latex. The chemicals initiate a process called vulcanization that is essential to develop the required mechanical properties of the final product. A few of the chemicals listed below will be left in the condom at very low levels but most will be eliminated during the manufacturing process. None of these ingredients pose any health risk or concern. The chemicals include: Fair Trade Latex, Ammonia, Potassium Oleate, Potassium Hydroxide, Emulgin B2 / Vulcastab LW, Vultamol, Sulphur, Zinc Oxide, Irganox 1330 Bentonite Clay, Zinc dibutyl dithiocarbamate, Silicone lubricant, Calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate powders.

What kind of chemicals of concern can be in condom lubricants?

Some of the chemicals used in spermicidal lubricants that are considered potentially harmful to your health include nonoxynol-9, benzocaine, and propylene glycol. Benzocaine has been banned for use in cosmetics in Canada. Propylene glycol is suspected of causing immunotoxicity. Nonoxynol-9, a spermicide, when used frequently or in high dosages may cause cell damage to vaginal skin cells or cause inflammation of the vagina and/or cervix. There is no spermicide in Sustain’s lubricant.

What are the dimensions of Sustain’s condoms?

For more information on sizing, see this diagram: Sustain Size Chart

Will a condom guarantee that I won’t get a sexually transmitted disease (STI)?

No. Consistent and correct use of the male latex condom reduces the risk of sexually transmitted disease (STD) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission. However, condom use cannot provide absolute protection against any STD. The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of STDs are to abstain from sexual activity, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. However, many infected persons may be unaware of their infection because STDs often are asymptomatic and unrecognized.
In other words, sex with condoms isn’t totally “safe sex,” but it is “less risky” sex.

HIV infection is, by far, the most deadly STD, and considerably more scientific evidence exists regarding condom effectiveness for prevention of HIV infection than for other STDs. The body of research on the effectiveness of latex condoms in preventing sexual transmission of HIV is both comprehensive and conclusive. The ability of latex condoms to prevent transmission of HIV has been scientifically established in “real-life” studies of sexually active couples as well as in laboratory studies.

Are Sustain lubricants safe to use during pregnancy?

Yes, our lubricant is safe for all phases of pregnancy. Although we don’t artificially bump up our lubricant’s pH for sperm to have a longer life, our product also does not kill sperm on contact.

Are the lubricants organic?

Yes, our lubricant is made with 95% organic ingredients, including organic aloe vera. We are NSF certified, which means that all of the ingredients must be organic compliant.  We are also Made Safe certified.

Natural, organic lubricants require a preservative to ensure that bacteria don’t begin to grow once the tube is opened. Sustain uses Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate, the most natural, food grade preservatives approved by leading natural product retailers for use in body care products. Unfortunately, these preservatives, which are used in trace amounts, are not available in an organic formulation.

Is it safe to use Sustain lubricants with latex condoms?

Yes, our water-based lubricants are designed for use with all types of condoms including latex, polyisoprene, and polyurethane condoms. They’re also safe to use with toys.

How long does the lube last? Can I make it last longer?

Our personal lubricants are water-based and bio-matched to mimic the natural secretions of the vagina. They provide a clean and natural glide. This is reactivated by a drop of your own internal moisture. If you feel the need to extend the glide further, just add a little water.

Is it okay to ingest Sustain lubes?

All of our lubricants are edible and delicious. All of our personal lubricants are made with aloe vera, xanthan gum and agar (seaweed) to create a smooth and long lasting glide.

What are the ingredients in Sustain lubricants?

Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (reconstituted Aloe vera) is a miraculous topical healing agent with a smooth and silky texture, perfect to complement intimate pleasures.

Xanthan Gum is a commonly used food grade ingredient that thickens organic Aloe vera into a delightful sensual gel.

Agar is a jelly-like substance, obtained from algae and seaweed.

Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate are natural, food grade preservatives approved by leading natural product retailers for use in body care products and are used in trace amounts.

Lactic Acid is made from simple carbohydrates and helps maintain an optimal pH level.

Natural flavors: organic-compliant food-grade flavors derived from natural products.

What’s NOT in Sustain lubricants?

Most lubes contain these four ingredients, none of which are found in Sustain Lubricants:

Propylene Glycol– Used as a humectant. Found in automatic and hydraulic brake fluid. Used to make industrial anti-freeze and de-icing solution for cars, airplanes, and boats. Used as a solvent in paint and plastic industries. Also used to make polyester compounds. May be harmful by ingestion, inhalation, or through skin contact. Irritating to the eyes and skin.

Methylparabens and Propylparabens– Used as preservatives. Parabens are currently under scrutiny as they have been identified as estrogenic and disruptive of normal hormone functions; many studies are linking them with breast cancer tumors.

Polyethylene Glycol/PEG– Used as a thickener. Strips the skin’s natural moisture. An eye irritant, possible carcinogen and can produce severe acidosis, central nervous system damage and congestion.

Glycerin– glycerin is a sugar alcohol compound. We don’t use it in our formulation because of concerns that it’s typically petrochemical based and additionally could increase the chances of getting yeast infections.

Why are Sustain lubricants only 95% organic?

Three of the ingredients we use to formulate our lubricants are not currently available as certified organic ingredients. These three ingredients comprise less that 5% of our formula. The ingredients are:

Xanthan gum, a commonly used food grade ingredient that thickens organic Aloe vera into a delightful sensual gel

Agar, is a jelly-like substance, obtained fromalgae & seaweed

Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate are natural, food grade preservatives

**Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate are two natural preservatives needed to prevent bacteria in the product and are approved for use in all personal care products sold by Whole Foods.

How much lubricant should I use at a time?

Wetter is better! Lubricants add both more time and glide when you’re having sex, so use it generously. Most often one application is sufficient, but don’t hesitate to apply a second time.

Is the lubricant scented?

Both lubricants are lightly flavored with organically compliant food grade natural flavors. Because we use flavors, both the flavor and the scent lightly enhances and is not distracting.

Is the lubricant sticky?

Nope. Our water-based lubricant is made with aloe. It goes on smooth and moist and dries without any sticky residue. All of our ingredients are good for your skin and feel good both during and after sex. Try it for yourself.

What ingredients in the lube might someone have a reaction to?

Most people do not react to any ingredients in our lubricants, although we have heard of some allergic reactions to aloe. Our preservative system is one of the most gentle on the market and is included in our formulations at the smallest percentages possible to provide solid protection without overuse of chemicals. Usually, when someone experiences an uncomfortable (warming or burning) reaction, it is the body reacting to the lower pH of the product. This may cause irritation when the vaginal pH is higher than normal.

What is the correct storage/temperature range for the lubricants?

The personal lubricant should be kept out of direct sunlight and at room temperature between 60 to 80 degrees.

What is the pH of the lubricant and why does it matter?

Our personal lubricant’s pH is between 4.3 and 4.8, which is close to the healthy vaginal pH of 4.0. When your pH is above 5 or 6, this creates ideal conditions for bad bacteria to grow and overtake the healthy lactobacilli that need a much lower pH to thrive. In this situation, the lower pH of the lubricant might create a warming or even burning sensation. Many women do not realize this.

What makes Sustain lubricant a more natural choice than others?

Our lubricant is made without any harmful petrochemicals or parabens and contains no glycerin. It is also isomolar, which means that it is bio-matched to the natural salt balance of the body and doesn’t disrupt the healthy ecosystem that provides a natural defense against bacteria.

Are the Post Play Wipes reusable?

One and done—just like condoms. Think of our wipes as more like a tissue than a handkerchief.

Are the Post Play Wipes unisex?

These bad boys are for sex. Every sex. (And all kinds of sex).

Can I use the Post Play Wipes to clean up after vaginal and anal sex?

Vaginal, anal, oral…missionary, doggy, cowgirl…whatever kind of sex you have, our wipes are meant to tidy up after it!

Can the Post Play Wipes be used for anything else?

Don’t let the name post-play fool you into thinking these aren’t multipurpose. Go ahead and use them on your hands, face and anywhere else on your body that needs freshening up. Use them in the bathroom, or even as a baby wipe; just remember to toss them in the trash rather than flushing them, and to never use them internally.

Can you flush the Post Play Wipes?

You can compost ‘em and you can trash ‘em, but you really shouldn’t flush ‘em.

How are the Post Play Wipes different from other wipes?

Easy…they’re not made with those yucky hazardous or harsh chemicals that you’ll find in other wipes. Here’s a rundown of the nasty stuff we refused to put in our product:

Polysorbate 20: a chemical that helps keep other wipes moist is also an allergen that can cause serious eye and skin irritation…eye think not.

Tocopheryl Acetate: a synthetic form of Vitamin E that can potentially cause cancer.

Glycerin: though some wipes claim to use glycerin as a skin conditioner, it can actually dry out sensitive areas that need moisture to fight off bacteria and infection.

Fragrance: many wipes contain scent chemicals and ingredients that have been associated with allergies, irritation, and even potential effects on the reproductive system.

Formaldehyde: used as a preservative in wipes, it is a serious allergen and irritant, and is a potential carcinogen as well.

How big are the Post Play Wipes?

The perfect size: 6” x 8” (15cm x 20cm)

What are the ingredients in the Post Play Wipes?

Made from cotton, they are super absorbent and are made with ingredients that won’t just clean, they’ll actually do your body one better:

Oryza Sativa is a rice extract that helps to smooth, soften, and nourish skin.

Butyrospermum Parkii, commonly known as shea butter, contains lots of Vitamin A, E and F, all great for rejuvenating and protecting skin.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera) soothes irritation and inflammation.

Tocopherol, natural Vitamin E, repairs and enhances damaged skin cells.

Organic Honey acts as a powerful antioxidant, and improves cell function, brightens skin cells, and protects against irritation and inflammation.

Citric acid is a natural pH buffer, which helps to maintain a healthy vaginal pH. It also soothes, moisturizes, and enhances the activity of antioxidants.

Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil smells yum and may even have antibacterial properties.

Note: these wipes do not prevent against STIs…that’s one of the things our condoms are in charge of instead!

What absorbency levels do Sustain tampons offer?

Sustain tampons follow the standard absorbency rules set by the FDA: Light tampons absorb up to 6 grams of liquid, regular absorbs 6-9g, super absorbs 9-12g, and super+ absorbs 12-15g.

What absorbency levels do Sustain pads offer?

If you have a heavier flow or are looking for overnight protection, we suggest using our Night pads. For your medium flow days, go with the Day pads.

What absorbency levels do Sustain liners offer?

Sustain liners only come in ultra-thin, we suggest using these for your lightest flow towards the beginning and end of your cycle or any other time you need back up!

What are the ingredients in Sustain tampons?

Sustain tampons are made of 100% GOTS Certified Organic cotton. Our applicators are made from bio-plastic.

What makes Sustain tampons different?

Our tampons are made without: rayon, polyester, fragrances, deodorants, glues & adhesives, phthalates, pesticide-treated cotton, chlorine or chlorine dioxide processing, polypropylene, polyethylene, myreth-3-myristate, synthetic zeolites, alcohol ethoxylates, glycerol, glycerol esters, polysorbate-20, or antibacterial agents.

What are the ingredients in Sustain pads and liners?

Sustain pads and liners are made of 100% organic cotton. The adhesive is made from hotmelt synthetic rubber.

Are you approved by the FDA?

YES.

How do I use a pad?

First, unwrap the pad from the packaging. Then, remove the backing to expose the adhesive and place the pad in your underwear with the sticky side down. Remove the smaller backing from the sides of the pad to expose the adhesives of the wings.  Unfold the wings and wrap them around the underside of your underwear so that they stick.  

How do I use a liner?

First, unwrap the liner from the packaging. Then, remove the backing to expose the adhesive and place the liner in your underwear with the sticky side down.

How often should I change my tampon?

The FDA recommends that you change your tampon every 4-8 hours. You should never leave a tampon in for more than 8 hours and always make sure to use the lightest level of absorbency possible.

How often should I change my pad?

We recommend changing your pad or liner every 4-6 hours, though really you can change it as often as you need to.

Can I flush Sustain tampons?

While Sustain tampons are biodegradable, we do not recommend flushing them because tampons can cause blockages in your plumbing or septic systems.

Why do your tampons have plastic applicators?

Plastic applicators are what the majority of women in the U.S. use to insert their tampons. However, plastic isn’t great for the environment, so our applicator is actually a bio-plastic applicator, which neutralizes the environmental impact from this product component.

What is the difference between a day pad and a night pad?

Nights pads are longer and a bit wider than day pads for additional protection while you sleep. Both are made using the same ingredients.

Do Sustain products contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

No, Sustain products do  not contain GMOs.

Why organic cotton?

Conventional cotton is one of the dirtiest crops in the world. Non-organic cotton is heavily sprayed with toxic pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. These chemicals stay in the cotton in residual amounts, which are then exposed to the delicate and absorbent vaginal tissue. Organic cotton is grown without chemical pesticides.

How much does shipping and handling cost?

Shipping and handling is free for all orders over $10 and $2 for all orders under $10.

*Note: Pricing may differ during specified promotional events.

Did my order go through?

You will receive an email confirmation to let you know your order was received.

Do I have to pay to ship merchandise back to you?

No. Please call or email our office for instructions.

Where can I buy Sustain products?

Thanks for your interest! Head on over to our Find Us page.

What’s your exchange/return policy?

If for any reason you are unhappy with your purchase of Sustain Condoms we will provide you with a 100 percent refund. Please call or email our office or send us the UPC code from the box you purchased and mail it along with your address to Sustain Condoms, 212 Battery Street, Burlington VT 05401.

What forms of payment does Sustain accept?

Sustain accepts Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

What is 10%4Women?

We’re so appalled by the lack of reproductive health care and family planning services in the United States for so many women that we’re donating 10 percent of our pretax profits to these women who currently lack access. Please read more about this initiative here.

Subscriptions: Everything you need to know

Sustain Subscriptions

Ultra Thin Subscription: You can decide whether you’d like to receive your 10-pack of condoms every 30 days or every 60 days. We will ask for your credit card information at checkout, but don’t worry! Your first 10-pack is free, and you will not be charged for it. We offer this free pack as a courtesy to our new subscribers. Sustain will not grant a refund/cancellation when a renewal order is placed, is being processed, or has shipped, which, depending on the service you choose, occurs automatically every 30 or 60 days after signing up for your subscription.

Essentials Subscription: This is a bi-monthly subscription, meaning you will receive this pack every 60 days. Sustain will not grant a refund/cancellation once a renewal order is being processed or has already shipped.

Shipping

All subscriptions come with free shipping, every time. Initial orders and automatic renewal orders will arrive in 3-5 business days.

Subscription Renewals

Every 30 to 60 days, depending on your subscription, you will receive a subscription renewal confirmation email, which indicates that you have been charged for a renewal order that is being processed, and will ship within 24 hours. Sustain will not grant a refund/cancellation once a renewal order is being processed or has already shipped.

Subscription Cancellations

You can cancel your subscription at any time. However, Sustain will not grant a refund/cancellation when a renewal order is placed, is being processed, or has shipped, which, depending on the service you choose, occurs automatically every 30 or 60 days after signing up for your subscription.

Here’s how to cancel:

Log into your account by clicking on the ACCOUNT tab in the upper right hand corner on our website. When you log in you will see your subscriptions and recent orders. Click on the subscription number you’d like to change or cancel. In the Actions row you can choose to cancel the subscription, change your address, or change your form of payment. If you do choose to cancel a subscription, you will notice a ‘Pending Cancellation’ notification. Our Orders team has received your request, and will confirm cancellation.

Click here for a cancellation walkthrough.

Credit Card Charges:

Ultra Thin Subscription: We will ask for your credit card information at checkout, but your first 10-pack is a free trial, and you will not be charged. For a monthly subscription you will be charged & sent another pack 30 days after your initial order, and then every 30 days after that. For a bi-monthly subscription you will be charged & sent a pack 60 days after your initial order, and then every 60 days after that.

Essentials Subscription: You will be charged when you place your order, and every 60 days after that when another pack will be sent to you.