Updated: Jan 1
What is the perfect gift for a menstruating woman who is an environmentalist? Period underwear. It has been on my wish list for about a year now, and finally the Universe has decided that it’s time for me to graduate from disposable feminine products to investment underwear pieces that will last me for years to come, thus moving me one step closer to a plastic free life.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with period underwear, it is exactly what it sounds like - underwear that you can wear during your period. It is made out of the same material as regular underwear except for the the gusset which contains extra layers of material that absorb menstrual blood and also deodorize in some cases. You wash it like you would with regular underwear, and it comes in all kinds of style to suit different occasions.
It is probably obvious why period underwear would be a more appealing option than the old fashioned pads and tampons. It saves you from feeling like you are wearing a diaper all day, and let’s face it, tampons are not only uncomfortable but also carry the risk of toxic shock syndrome. The biggest attraction for me, though, is the environmental benefits. Not only are there plastic components in feminine hygiene products, the chemicals used for processing the cotton fibers are harmful to our environment. Do you think what’s bad for the earth would be good for our health? I think not. In fact, many of them are found to be carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, and the last thing you want is to have these toxins close to the absorptive surfaces of vulva and vagina. Furthermore, there are billions of pads and tampons that get disposed of every year that just end up sitting in a landfill with parts that will outlive both you and I. If that image doesn’t make you throw up a little in your mouth, I don’t know what does.
So yes, I have been made into a period underwear convert. The event that happens monthly no longer elicits a groan but a sense of glee that comes from knowing that not only will I be kept comfortable throughout the entire menstrual week but also doing something good for the planet. I can’t think of a better win-win situation. So gals, do yourselves a favor and try a pair (or two), and guys, stop buying lacy underwear for the important women in your lives. Trust me, they will be delightfully shocked at how practical the gifts are and appreciate the fact that you are able to solve the pain points of menstruation and climate change all at once.