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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.

Introducing WUKA

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!

Related post: 5 fast facts about fast fashion

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?

  1. Wear them for up to 8 hours
  2. After using, rinse them out
  3. Wash with a machine with other dark clothes at 30-40 degress
  4. 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:

  1. Sustainability
  2. Ethical
  3. Charitable

Have I convinced you, will you be buying some WUKA pants? Do you try to have a sustainable period?

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  1. I’ve read a lot about period pants and I haven’t yet tried them out as I just can’t seem to get over the “but will they work” thoughts I have about them. It’s reassuring to read this as I would ultimately like to greatly reduce/stop using period products. Thanks for the review!

    1. Thank you! I felt exactly the same xx

  2. I have never used period pants but if they do work as you said and they feel comfortable I definitely want to give them a try. I don’t find any of the period products out there really comfortable and I think I need a change. Thank you for sharing your experience with period pants!

    1. Sounds great 🙂 xx

  3. I never tried period pants.. but I have definitely thought about getting them. I did try washable pads, but that just didn’t work out for me. They didn’t stay in my underwear, and washing them just made them stiff/uncomfortable (despite following the right instructions). And this underwear is a fun idea, is just that they are so expensive at times so I am a bit hesitant to make the step. But reading your article… definitely will see if I can find WUKA or an alternative located in my country so I can try it out. I am definitely all for comfort + I would love to help out with the environment.

    1. Aw no, I was a bit worried about that leaking with reusable pads too. They are extremely comfy! x

  4. Thank you so much for this informative post! I have been looking into sustainable period options and this is one of them! I’ve always been someone who stocks up when things are on sale, so I still have a lot of product to go through before I invest in a reusable period pant. There are so many brands to choose from and I love how WUKA donates a percentage of their sales to the oceans! That definitely makes them stand out in my book. Thanks again for sharing, I can’t wait to make the switch!

    1. I feel you! Thank you xx

  5. Charity says:

    I’ve never used period pants like this before. I will have to try them out. Thanks for sharing your review!

    1. Thank you, glad you enjoyed x

  6. I’ve heard a lot about period pants and I’m yet to give them a go as I love my menstrual cup! But they do sound like a brill alternative x

    1. Fair enough 🙂 xx

  7. These sound really good and they look very comfy. I may have to get some myself.

    1. They are much better than I expected 🙂

  8. I love period pants, they are such game changers. Can’t wait to try the Wuka ones when they arrive.

    1. So true <3

  9. Oh these look great! I’m very grateful that my period has improved over the years but I would have loved these when I was younger, they’re definitely something I’ll be recommending to others as well so thanks for sharing! x

    1. Thank you x

  10. I’ve honestly been researching period pants for some time now but was put off by some awful reviews. However, this one seems to have good reviews all around! I’m glad you had such a good experience with them. I think I’ll be giving Wuka a try!

    1. Yay, I’m so glad to hear 🙂 x

  11. Love this review! I made the switch to period panties 2 months ago and I love it! They are so much more comfortable than wearing pads and tampons as well as eco-friendly. Glad you enjoyed these! x

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

    1. So true! x

  12. I’ve never thought I’m going to say this, but after reading your post, I think I will give period pants a try. I’m really trying to waste less every day, I’m living pretty intentionally when it comes to protecting our environment, but we can always do better, right?
    You’re so strong dealing with those really bad cramps every month! I wish they’ll fade a little over the next couple of years. (They did for me) Thank you so much for sharing!

    P.S. I loved the bralette part, I can’t remember the last time I wore a regular bra haha.

    1. I felt the exact same as you 🙂 Thank you! I hope so too 🤞 x

  13. I’ve heard of Wuka and I love their sustainability ethos! I really want to try period pants as I think it would suit me so much better! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    1. So great to hear xx

  14. I’ve never tried period pants before but I’ve been intending to make the switch for ages! Sanitary towels can be so damaging to the environment, and it’s such an easy swap to make. I’ll be sure to be on the lookout for these x

  15. I’ve never worn period pants before but I’ve tried reusable pads. I’d love to try some of these when I get my period back!

    Corinne x

    1. Sounds great 🙂 x

  16. I love your honesty here Caroline – I’m exactly the same when it comes to eco-friendly alternatives. Being on the pill my flow isn’t really heavy enough to warrant using a menstrual cup/tampons and with my contamination OCD I often worry about the germs side of things. Despite that I’ve been tempted to try period underwear purely because it seems so much better for the environment – I think it’s difficult to get rid of that fear that they won’t work, but the more reviews I see, the more I think I should give them a go!

    1. I totally feel you, the tampon shock disease scares me too & I was very worried they would leak. I wore them day 1 of my period for 7 hours and had no leaks <3 xx

  17. Amanda says:

    I had no idea they even had these! Thank you for all the useful information! Great post

    1. I know right – so cool! x

  18. I’ve seen so many good things about this brand. I really need to purchase some!

    1. They are amazing x

  19. My boyfriend is the same – he hates blood! He cut his finger at work once, fainted in the lift and had to come home. It’s quite an issue! But anyway, I’ve been sent some WUKA pants before and they’re incredibly comfortable. I love how brands and people in general are really getting on top of how to make periods more sustainable because they really can provide SO much waste! When I was a teenager, sustainable periods wasn’t even something anyone had heard of! So huge strides have been taken and it’s great to see!

    1. I feel him 😣 I agree 🙂 x

  20. These products sound awesome! I’ve beeing using period pants for the past six months and it’s honestly changed my life – I wasn’t even conscious of how much waste my period was causing until it wasn’t!

    1. I feel you xx

  21. That is amazing that this company donates to different charities. I think that is awesome. I have never personally tried period pants but would love too.

    1. I know right! x

  22. I have heard so many good things about Wuka I really need to get me some to try out! Thank you for sharing them Caroline x

    1. Thank you Simona xx

  23. i have always wanted to try a pair but am so worried about leakage! I think as a woman though you can never really get rid of that doubt ahaha!

    1. I feel you! x

  24. I have been looking at getting a pair of period pants. These sound amazing, I will have to try them. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you x

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