Globally, the push towards greener living has certainly seen waves of positive change in the fashion and beauty industries, with brands striving to create products that are not only made sustainably to reduce their environmental impact, but ethically too. It’s certainly something consumers have become increasingly aware of when deciding what and who to purchase from, but despite this, it still feels like going eco-friendly during your period is one of the hardest areas to make the switch—because realistically, when you’re already dealing with waves of nausea, cramps and working to dismantle the pink tax, it’s all hard enough already.
Unfortunately, the reality is, standard pads and tampons are among the most damaging products to the planet, and while most of us might not think about how much of our period products end up in landfill, when taking a closer look it’s incredibly concerning.
“Despite looking and feeling like cotton, most pads and tampons are primarily made of plastic—up to 90 percent for pads—with one pack of pads containing the same amount of plastic as five plastic bags,” explains Kristy Chong, founder and CEO of Modibodi, the Australian founded period and leak-proof apparel brand. “Some also contain bleached wood pulp which may contain dioxins and pesticides.”Chong adds, “The average woman will use approximately 11,000 tampons in her lifetime. Pads and tampons take over 500 years to biodegrade, meaning that the first disposable hygiene product ever used is still in landfill.”
Fortunately, it’s such pioneers in the industry as Chong’s Modibodi that are breeding new ways to cater to the eco-conscious consumer, with ranges of sustainable period management products that mean you don’t need to make major switches to your monthly routine.
Modibodi’s collections of leak-proof underwear are designed to absorb menstrual flow, replacing the need for single-use disposable products, such as pads and tampons. For those who have yet to dip their toes into the world of period underwear, they are designed with anti-microbial and moisture-wicking properties to prevent odours, so it’s not as uncomfortable or confronting as it might seem.
“When just 100,000 youths use Modibodi alone from the start of their menstrual cycle, this would prevent 1.1 billion disposable hygiene products from ending up in landfill—or 1.5 million garbage bags of waste,” says Chong. The local label has long fought against taboos beyond menstruation too, catering to “real people, real bodies, real stories.” As Chong states, “We embrace people of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities and abilities, and we celebrate our bodies for what they do— over how they look. Dialogue and conversation with action need to happen to encourage people to speak up and open up.”
It’s also Modibodi’s extension beyond their philosophy to break down taboos that they continuously support issues around women’s rights and menstrual health, “which are issues I hold close to my heart,” explains Chong. “It was important to me to make this a core pillar from the outset as Modibodi supports people of all ages and backgrounds.”
“In addition to the many organisations that we support including Endometriosis Australia, Days for Girls and UNICEF, we are also part of the Sustainable Period Project in Australia, which is a free resource to help educate teachers and school-aged students about reusable and sustainable menstrual hygiene options.
“We also support organisations such as Bright Girl Health who provide invaluable menstrual hygiene education to students across Australia and also supply students with free pairs of Modibodi. This allows for an early introduction to reusable and sustainable period underwear to help students make informed decisions about managing their period.” On top of their support of both Australian and global organisations, Modibodi launched the Give A Pair campaign, “which provides those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged with Modibodi underwear that is reusable and sustainable, to empower them at the times they need it most.”
The initiative donates two pairs of underwear to shelters and the people who need them most, both locally and globally, with every $25 virtual voucher purchased.
“In 2021, Modibodi has also committed to donating 100,000 pairs of Modibodi underwear in the fight to end period poverty,” Chong adds.
Notably, beyond the humanitarian work the brand has become globally recognised for, they make sure to shine a light on incredible talent across Australia with exclusive collaborations, most recently with contemporary designer Keisha Leon.
“Keisha is a contemporary designer, proud Waanyi, Kalkadoon and Chinese woman, and business owner who is passionate about breaking taboos around social issues, women’s health and period poverty,” says Chong. “We collaborated with Keisha to release a new, limited-edition range of empowering prints. Keisha is an inspiring person, and we are aligned with Keisha’s values in our commitment to helping to end period poverty, so we felt it was a perfect collaboration.”There’s no denying Thinx revolutionised the menstrual hygiene industry with their groundbreaking range of reusable period-proof underwear, designed with their signature three-layer technology that ensures every pair is not only super absorbent but is layered with moisture-wicking properties. The best part? The brand’s collections are machine washable, reusable and made with no harmful chemicals or single-use plastic.
You can also shop consciously at Thinx too, with the brand’s commitment to empowering the next generation of eco-friendly consumers, partnering with schools, after-school programs and non-profit organisations, working with trained professionals to educate reproductive health, human rights and more. The brand also works to make regular donations of period-proof underwear and traditional menstrual hygiene products, which are given to grassroots organisations and local initiatives that distribute them to communities in need. Thinx also works closely with organisations to fund programs and services that help disadvantaged people with periods, including survivors of domestic violence, refugees, and the homeless.Love Luna’s mission is simple, to change habits in the personal care industry that’s currently not doing enough to reduce plastic pollution or the use of harmful chemicals, which is where their range of eco-essentials comes in, with a commitment to bring personal care products that promise premium effectiveness, minimum cost, and the most benefit for the planet.
So, if you’re after a range of affordable, comfortable and sustainable period-proof underwear, look to the Australian-owned brand. The high-quality, absorbent briefs come in a range of colours and cuts, including bikini, midi and full, as well as seam-free for those who like to keep active during their time of the month. Each piece in the range is made from a sleek microfibre with soft cotton inside layer, with Love Luna’s undies providing support for everyone, whether you have a light or heavy flow.Local label Accalia’s products are designed exactly how you’d want your period-proof underwear to be—strong, nurturing and protective, inspired by the mystical she-wolf who nurtured twin brothers Romulus and Remus in Roman mythology. Developed by Australian textile specialists, the Accalia range looks and feels just like your regular, everyday basics, made from comfy nylon elastane with a micro-terry gusset that features leak-proof protection. Not sure which of the collection is best for you? Look to the brand’s value trial pack that gives a taste of the full range, and let’s you decide what works best.