In one of my seminars we were introduced to the brand THINX and the recent launch of their first ever store in the UK. For those of you who have never heard of the brand, THINX is a feminine hygiene company that focuses around period-proof underwear. This concept of period-proof pants evoked a range of emotions within me, and so I decided to do a blog post on it to spread some awareness and also find out what other people thoughts were.
In an article on Bustle I read that on average 11,000 throwaway tampons and pads are used in a lifetime, and so this takes a great toll on our environment. Being products that contain our human waste tampons and pads aren’t recyclable, and despite being biodegradable they are extremely slow in the process of breaking down. The Ocean Conservancy collected 27,938 used tampons and applicators on beaches around the world in just one single day in 2015, as a result of them being flushed down the toilet. It has also been estimated that one sanitary towel has the same environmental impact of four plastic bags.
The dilemma of period poverty is also one that surrounds the conversation of period products, referring to the lack of access to pads and tampons. For many people period poverty is thought to only exist in third world countries, however studies have shown that one third of the UK population have experienced period poverty in recent years.
With all this in mind the idea of washable and reusable underwear came into play. THINX first launched in 2014 with their 4 layer technology for period protection, layer one is a moisture-wicking cotton that is a natural fibre closest to your skin for added softness and breathability, layer two is an anti-microbial lining which is used to fight bad odors and bacteria, layer three is a super absorbent fabric that holds up to 2 regular tampons worth of blood and layer four works as a leak resistant barrier that keeps you fresh and dry. When I read about these four layers before seeing the underwear, I imagined these massive thick ‘granny pants’ but when I looked on the website they actually looked no different to the normal underwear that I put on when I am on my period. Whilst on the website I also discovered a section called ‘build a set for your cycle’ in which you could create your own pair of pants to fit your own unique and individual cycle, which I found to be incredibly thoughtful and something I really liked about the brand.
The brand as a whole I’m very impressed by, they have definitely thought about their audience very well which is evident as you go through their website. THINX allows the conversation of the menstrual cycle to be an open and positive one, without it every being overly seriously, something I think is very important when trying to engage with a younger audience. It caters so well to women as whole, in terms of size, colour, weight, age and in this case period flows as well.
I will be 100% honest, when I first heard of reusable period pants I thought how disgusting and unhygienic, but when I really did my research and discovered the effects of tampons and pads on our environment as well as the people who suffer as a result of period poverty, I did become a lot more open minded. I still don’t think I would comfortable wear them at the moment, but this definitely is something for the future.
Please let me know your thoughts and opinions below. Would you be willing to wear them? Or do you find them absolutely disgusting?