Here’s a reason to consider menstrual underwear

You've got your keep cup for takeaway coffee, take your lunch to work in a reusable box, ditched the straws and always remember the darn reuseable bags at the supermarket.

But for many women there's a single use product given scant thought to – the estimated 11,000 pads, tampons and panty-liners a woman will go through in a  lifetime. A roughly 124 kilograms of landfill pollution.

According to a report by CHOICE, the tampons, pads and liners industry in Australia is worth $260 million dollars a year, and an individual may spend $60 to $120 each year on them.

A campaign image from Modibodi.

Last month a recent scientific review conducted into menstrual cups found them to be safe, cheap and environmentally friendly. However knowledge of the cups remained relatively low among women.

The same could be said for menstrual underpants, underwear which absorbs blood and wicks away moisture. Depending on your flow the underwear can be used to replace pads and tampons or used as extra protection to avoid leaks. They can also be used for bladder leakage. A slew of companies in this field have started-up around the world including the US based Thinx and the Australian company Modibodi.

Kristy Chong , CEO and founder of Modibodi says environmental concerns are one of the key drivers behind women's uptake of her products. Particularly, she says, among younger women.

"[R]eplacing the need for single-use products is a huge motivator
for many of our customers," she says.

The underpants are washable and re-useable and can last up to two years.

"In 2018 we launched RED by Modibodi, a teen range for first period and teen years. A RED
by Modibodi survey found that for almost 80 per cent of our customers (young girls), the primary
reason for using the product is to replace disposable period products which is fantastic to
hear," says Chong.

"As at May 2019, an estimated two million garbage bags of disposable hygiene waste have
been prevented from ending up in landfill or flushed into our waterways by Modibodi

Maria Molland, CEO of Thinx Inc says the company ran a survey last year finding that 97 per cent of women were concerned about the environment and 67 per cent would be interested in trying an environmentally friendly feminine hygiene product.

Molland says Thinx, which recently launched Thinx Super, a version of the underpants which can hold up to 4 tampons worth of blood has been experiencing "more interest than ever before."

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