Freeing menstruation, one period at a time
A North-American brand is determined to give women options besides the good old tampon. Thinx offers briefs for women during their periods while helping to empower girls in Africa.
In a lifetime a woman will have an estimated average of 450 periods. Every month, for about a week, we have to deal with all that comes with it. The tampons in our bags, the strange hormone imbalances that make our moods swing and our appetites rise. The options available seem effective but they are many times unreliable - the simple fact that women have to worry about their periods during their daily routines is uncomfortable, to say the least. This is one of the main reasons why entrepreneur and former professional football player Miki Agrawal, her twin sister Radha, and friend Antonia Saint Dunbar co-founded Thinx, the new underwear designed for women having periods.
Although the reactions to this new product are most of the time reluctant, Thinx has made progress in the field of creations for menstrual use. In the entire 20th century only three innovations were commercialised: the first tampon in 1931, the sticky pad in 1969 and the menstrual cup became widely available in the 1980’s but, even today, many women are still intimidated by it. Thinx wants to join the short list of innovations as a major statement while empowering females around and globe by making their lives simpler.
The feminine hygiene industry is expected to hit 10.5 billion pounds next year, according to Forbes, as it is dominated by big corporations such as Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. Thinx wants to approach things differently and uses the power of purchase to support their mission: giving girls in Uganda the opportunity to go to school every day.
According to Thinx, “around 100 million girls in the developing world fall behind in school just because of their periods, forcing many of them to eventually drop out.” In fact, just 43 percent of girls in developing nations attend secondary school, according to the United Nations, and in many of these countries the lack of sanitary products is a big barrier to the education of a lot of girls, keeping them away from school for “that time of the month.” Part of Thinx’s revenue goes to Afripads, an organization that trains women to sew and sell washable, reusable cloth pads, turning local women into entrepreneurs and giving young girls the opportunity to afford a sustainable pack of pads, making school attendance an uninterrupted reality.
Designed by women in New York City, made by women in Sri Lanka and available all over the world by online shopping, Thinx offers three different designs, each of which with antimicrobial, leak-resistant fibres incorporated to absorb the same amount of menstrual blood as two tampons. The menstrual briefs promise to keep the area dry at all times due to the patented technology and the prices range from 17 to 27 pounds.