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Period undies are the environmentally friendly solution to disposable pads and tampons; they’re easy to wash, relatively cheap, and massively reduce your single-use waste.
They became something of a cult buy in Australia last year when pandemic panic buying saw women flock to reusable period options in droves, and now Kmart is getting in on the action with the release of a new line of period-proof undies starting from just $12.
They’ve got two options, both with four built-in layers for absorbency; a high-waisted full brief, designed to replace three to four tampons on heavy days, and a bikini brief for moderate days, or the equivalent of two to three tampons.
Coming in sizes six to 20, they can be worn instead of pads or tampons, or in addition to them, depending on your flow.
Kmart’s line also includes bladder leak undies that come in full and bikini briefs, as well as a maternity cut. These are slightly more expensive at $18 each, and have a five-layer, odour-free design that can hold up to eight teaspoons of liquid.
Bonds has also recently launched a range of ‘bloody comfy’ period undies in light, moderate and heavy absorbencies and five different styles.
They use a five-layer wicking system and cost between $20 - $30 a pair, and are currently being discounted by 20% if you buy two pairs.
While the Kmart and Bonds ranges are pretty basic, other brands that have been around a bit longer stock every kind of period underwear imaginable.
Australian label Modibodi’s period and leak-proof undies come in seam-free, lace-trimmed and curvy designs, and they even have a line of vegan briefs made of nylon and spandex and a swimsuit (which is currently 50% off).
With a pair to suit every size, shape and ability, their range of cuts includes bikinis, full briefs, boylegs, sleep shorts, thongs and detachable briefs that have a hook and eye fastening on the side to allow you to remove them while remaining seated.
You can also shop by flow, which ranges from super light - which is the equivalent to half a tampon - to overnight, which replaces three to four tampons.
Modibodi are also waiting on a patent for their most absorbent offering, their Maxi-24hr briefs, that are designed for women with particularly heavy flows and can hold up to 50ml per day - which is what the average woman loses over the course of five days.
Most pairs cost around $30, with their stock ranging from $21 - $50 for different styles and absorbencies, and they also offer bundle packs like this set of three currently on sale for $66.
To get the most use out of them, you have to rinse them immediately after use, and then pop them into the washing machine on a cold cycle, preferably in a delicates bag, and avoid using the drier and fabric softener.
While every woman’s flow - and therefore experience - is different, this Aussie shopper left a glowing review saying, “24 hrs and I’m hooked. So comfortable. They don’t leak, don’t slip. No pad rash.”
“Easy to wash. Yes the rinsing at first was a bit eh, but then I changed my mind set. I’m super happy that I’m not using products that would go into landfill. Proud that I can tell my daughter I’m doing my part.”
The products on offer at Thinx rival ModiBodi for their diverse range of styles, colours and levels of absorbency, but are at a slightly higher price point.
An average pair costs around $45 and a three-pair bundle pack goes for $118, plus as they’re US-based, international shipping is little more expensive.
In addition to the regular underwear styles, Thinx have a range of period activewear including shorts, leggings and leotards, that are made for all kinds of physical activity from yoga to bike riding.
They also have a line designed specifically for teens and tweens, and for bladder leaks, and all their underwear can be chucked straight into the wash on a cold cycle.
“This period underwear is amazing!” one shopper said in a review, “I had put off this purchase for a while because I was hesitant about the cleaning process and the price.”
“The cleaning process turned out to be so easy, there is really nothing to stress about. They also stayed dry for the whole day. Definitely worth the price, and I will be buying more in the future!”
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