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I never thought that I would be writing this post. You know me, I love all things eco-friendly! But, and I’m going to be completely honest here, I’ve never properly considered making my period more sustainable. I am one of those people that is extremely squeamish of blood – I have been my entire life. In fact, once a girl in my class had a very heavy nosebleed and I nearly fainted (I couldn’t see, but didn’t end up actually collapsing). If you mention any kind of medical or hospital procedure, I will feel sick and start to feel faint. I can’t help it, it’s just who I am.
So, when my first period came along, it’s safe to say I panicked. I just had my 13th birthday and was very confused as to why it had started this early when none of my friends periods had arrived! Ever since I started my period, they have tended to be a medium-heavy flow. But mainly, I have had excruciating pain – it’s not unusual for me to feel faint and/or very nearly collapse (this tends to be at least once every period). For me, keeping up with ibuprofen, having a nice hot wheat pillow to rest on my stomach and keeping warm helps the pain. I’ve come to dread my period, so much so that I started to have very bad anxiety right before – often due to worrying about the pain. It sucks.
Due to the amount of pain and because my periods are on the heavier side, I’d not thought about an eco-friendly alternative. I’ve heard about menstrual cups but I really don’t like the sound of that – I am not a fan of tampons so using a cup was a definite no. Plus, there’s the whole squeamish thing too. Another option was reusable pads. I’m interested in this but I’d definitely want the inside part to be dark.
One thing I didn’t think of was period pants.
WUKA was found in 2017, is a female-led and the UK’s first reusable and leak-proof period wear. WUKA stands for Wake Up Kick Ass which I think is just brilliant! Nothing should hold us back on our period – it’s such a natural thing that half of the population go through once a month.
WUKA are on a mission to make sure that a sustainable lifestyle is accessible to all by replacing single-use pads and tampons with comfy period underwear. As well as eliminating the taboo surrounding periods.
They promise to be body positive and sustainable at the same time:
- Eco-friendly products & business practices
- Less waste
- Leak free periods
- The entire range is approved by The Vegan Society and the organic cotton is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard
- They use upcycled Nylon which is made from ocean and landfill waste
- Very comfortable underwear to make you feel confident!
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Not only are they sustainable and body-positive, but they also donate to a wide variety of charities! What more could you want?
- They donate 1% of their sales in their Seamless Range to Surfers Against Sewage, where they take action in protecting the oceans
- Throughout December 2020 they donated one pair of period pants with each pair purchased, to Days For Girls. They were given to people who menstrate in Nepal, after the earthquake in 2015 and educated them on periods as well.
- Over the Black Friday weekend, they donated one pair of period pants with each pair purchased to The Hygeine Bank. It is a charity in the UK and Ireland which gives people who menstrate access to basic hygiene products to make them feel confident and healthy.
- WUKA donate period pants as a resource to City To Sea, which is a programme for KS2/3 PSHE teachers and nurses to keep them up to date with periods.
Along with all of the above, WUKA has had previous charity partnerships with the NHS, Solace Women’s Aid, Butterfly House, as well as many more which you can read about here.
Now, onto what I think!
My review of WUKA’s sustainable period pants
I went with the medium flow bikini period pants* that are part of the Ultimate Collection. The Ultimate Collection pants are made from sustainable fabrics as well as the cotton being organic. This means that it was grown without chemical pesticides, chemical fertilisers and GM seeds. You can wear them for up to 8 hours, apart from on your heaviest days (where you would go with the heavy flow pants*). They hold at least 15ml, or if you don’t know how much that is (like me!), it’s 2-3 tampons worth.
I’m not going to lie, I was a bit apprehensive about wearing these sustainable period pants as I thought they would feel a bit strange. But, they are the comfiest pants I’ve ever worn! If I didn’t have any cramps (which unfortunately I do), I wouldn’t even notice that I’m on my period. That’s how comfy they are! I was also very surprised at how much blood they hold – which I found out when rinsing them afterwards…but we’ll talk about that later.
You also do not have to worry about them being obvious. You know when you go to the toilet and sometimes worry about people hearing your pad open? No more worrying about that 🎉. The blood isn’t even that visible on the pants, probably because they are black but I still expected there to be a stain and there isn’t.
But how do the period pants work?
So, the part of the pants where you would have a pad, is high at the front and back, to prevent any leakages. They have 2 extra layers, on top of the pants themselves.
Top layer – Moisture-wicking layer draws the flow away
Middle layers – Absorbent, leakproof and breathable layers to lock the blood in to keep you dry
How do I wash them?
- Wear them for up to 8 hours
- After using, rinse them out
- Wash with a machine with other dark clothes at 30-40 degress
- Air dry them, don’t use a machine dryer!
My review of WUKA everyday bralette
I also had the opportunity of trying out WUKA’s everyday bralette*.
No exaggeration – it is by far the comfiest bra I’ve ever worn! It’s so soft 😍 – actually 3.5x more soft than cotton.
During your period, you might have more tender breasts, I definitely do, so it’s nice to just wear something comfy. They are wire-free and unpadded which means that they fit perfectly to your body. The style is a crossover with a wide band at the bottom for the most support.
They are made from responsibly sourced wood pulp from managed beech tree forests, as well as being FSC certified to ensure sustainable and ethical production.
I’m definitely going to buy a pair for when I’m not on my period! Highly recommend.
3 big reasons you should choose WUKA:
Have I convinced you, will you be buying some WUKA pants? Do you try to have a sustainable period?