n recent years, there has been a complete overhaul in the period care space. While there was once a hugely limiting selection, you can now find all manner of solutions to suit your preferences – particularly when it comes to opting for more eco-friendly practices with the likes of moon cups and reusable sanitary pads.
According to the Akatu Institute, a woman can accumulate about 200 kilos of waste alone in disposable sanitary pads, which take more than 400 years to decompose in landfills. The new crop of time-of-the-month specialists have taken a cold hard look at the tampons and sanitary towels that dominated the supermarket shelves and revolutionised the market with alternatives that are not only kinder to the planet but for your body too.
Period pants are one such solution that are a godsend for when Aunt Flo pays her monthly visit. These are reusable underwear kitted out with super-absorbing padding that can hold up to 12 hours worth of flow. They go in the washing machine and can be worn time and time again, saving waste and your precious pennies.
But not content on solely transforming your underwear collection, the likes of Thinx, Pantys and more have taken it one step further with activewear complete with period protection built in.
In a UK-wide poll of 2,000 women conducted by Populus, 54 per cent of participants said they stopped exercising due to their menstrual cycle, with that number increasing to 73 percent among 16 to 24-year-olds. But this doesn’t need to be the case. These tailor-made leggings come with leak protection as standard so you can jump, squat and lunge to your heart’s content, while feeling safe, secure and odour-free.
Constructed with stretchy, sweat-wicking fabric, these leggings are designed to move with your body and always with the optimal fit. No fear about VPL: with the best options listed below, the padding disappears underneath your clothing to give you a streamlined appearance without broadcasting the fact you’re on your period.
Focus on your fitness without fear of leakage with our edit of period-proof leggings.
Exercise with confidence and comfort with Wuka’s addition to its period pant collection. Focus on giving your A-game with the label’s activewear collection that is made up of leggings and pants, the latter of which are available for all types of flow, from light to heavy. The trademarked Wuka Perform uses recycled polyester with an internal pant so you can stay active without the fear of leaking.
The leggings will remove bulky, padded VPL caused by pads, instead boasting a seamless construction. Even though they appear light and fitted, they come complete with a super absorptive moisture barrier that can hold up to two to three tampons worth.
The pants are made from an eco-friendly recycled nylon that has a lovely, silky skin feel and sits at a midi length with full coverage so they won’t ride up or fall down as you train.
Size: XS to 3XL
Modibodi was one of the first period and pee proof underwear brands to market and is leading the pack with some seriously stylish and sustainable pieces. The activewear is designed to help you concentrate on the exercise at hand and not be in constant fear of leakages as well as sweat stains. From the outside, you’d be none the wiser but internally, there’s a gusset that replaces pads, liners or tampons.
The leggings are made from a moisture-wicking Modifier Technology that will keep you dry throughout your session. This is layered with sustainable merino wool that may not be your typical activewear fabric, but it has impressive fast-drying properties, while also being antibacterial and odour-repellent (that’s why it’s becoming more and more common in bedding).
The leggings have a moderate to heavy level of flow absorbency with a chafe-free design. They will keep you feeling fresh and clean as you train and are made from recycled fabric so you’re not only preemptively preventing more waste from being added to the landfill but you’re taking it away too. They are made to withstand 2-3 tampons worth so if you’re dropping into a morning spin class or spending the day in the comfort of your activewear, you should feel confident.
In the collection, you may notice the Active Brief. This is a reusable period pant designed specifically for workouts with a construction that draws sweat away, is breathable and has good coverage across the booty so it doesn’t ride up as you gym, run or cycle. It also comes in a pack of five.
Size: XS to XL
Pantys is a B Corp absorbent underwear brand that was founded in Brazil and has since taken over the world. It’s the first clinically tested label that uses sustainability and innovation to bring the outdated period market into the new environmentally-conscious age. The fitness collection is hardly distinguishable from your average gym kit – just with the helpful addition of a padded panty liner that is invisible from the exterior.
The velocity leggings have got you covered for all manner of exercises – from low intensity yoga, to HIIT classes. They are crafted to be fast drying, comfortable and have an adaptive fit. The material is also biodegradable and has SPF50+ protection to shield you during your outdoor workouts.
The brand’s leak-proof fitness wear goes beyond just leggings. There’s a pair of runner shorts, a t-shirt and a knicker style designed specifically for training with an ultra-lightweight design yet heavy flow protection. What’s more, the range is carbon neutral.
We have long been a fan of Thinx due to the label’s ability to produce ultra-thin, barely-there period underwear that still boasts the level of absorbency as its competitors. They come in attractive designs and are the type of comfy lingerie you’d probably be wearing anyway. The brand was also one of the first to expand its offering into the fitness sphere. The apparel has pieces for working out and training as well as some seriously cosy sleep shorts and even a leotard.
There are period leggings, training shorts and cycle shorts. The leggings have all-day appeal whether you have a workout on the cards or not. They are sumptuously soft, breathable and are designed to adapt to the contours of your body to optimise the fit and feel snug. You really wouldn’t know they are packed with absorbency properties and yet they can hold up to three tampons worth of flow. Practically-speaking, they excel too with side pockets and a place to store a heating pad to soothe cramps as you train.
You may not have thought that shorts were an option while you’re on your period but Thinx puts them back on the table with an absorbent, leak-free design that is also super comfortable. They are actually the product with the most amount of absorbency in the range – holding up to five tampons worth. The cycle shorts are the least absorptive with just two tampons of capacity but they should see you through your class and come in two shades of grey or black.
Size: 2XS to 2XL
It may come as a surprise that a sportswear giant like Adidas has ventured into the world of period pieces. Yet the brand has been innovating since its inception and that hasn’t stopped now. Adidas has also put an emphasis on future-proofing its collections with more environmentally-friendly constructions, particularly with its Parley partnership where they craft the label’s traditional three-stripe embroidered activewear using recycled ocean plastic. Opting for reusable period fitness wear that prevents sanitary waste is a further extension of its commitment to the planet.
The Techfit period proof range is made up of leggings with 7 / 8 length, biker shorts and shorter shorts, all of which are crafted with Flow Shield – a three-layered pad that is absorbent and leak proof. The brand does suggest wearing alongside a tampon, pad or cup for added security and then let the pieces keep everything secure and in place with their snug fit.