Period underwear is a great option for someone considering a more sustainable alternative to disposable pads and tampons, because you can wash and reuse it for years.
But not all period underwear is made equal, some are far more sustainable than others.
In order to catch and hold blood, period underwear brands use absorbent fabrics to wick away and make sure blood doesn't leak. These fabrics are usually made from polyester or nylon, both of which are plastic-based synthetic fabrics.
It's usually best to avoid buying plastic-based fabrics, because they can be unbreathable and release microplastics when washed - not great for body or planet. We have a list of the most sustainable fabrics if you're curious.
There are a few period underwear brands who are dedicated to sustainability in all aspects. Here are three of the best ones we found:
Canada-based brand Aisle is a certified B-Corporation that's been selling period underwear products since 1993. The company is woman-owned and has won multiple awards for being great for the environment.
Their period underwear technology uses Truetex™ fabric, which absorbs up to 4 tampons worth of menstrual fluid. Their period underwear has multiple layers, which uses Tencel™, recycled polyester, organic cotton, and other materials.
Tencel™ is a more sustainable wood-based fabric that is highly breathable.
Their pads are manufactured in a local woman-owned facility in Vancouver, and their underwear is made in a factory in Cambodia which has been vetted for worker and environmental safety. Overall a great choice if you're looking for an ethical and sustainable period underwear brand.
Saalt is another B-Corp woman-owned brand, started by founder Cherie who wanted to reduce the dependence of people who menstruate on disposable period products.
The company sells both menstrual cups and sustainable period underwear in different absorbencies and cute colours and styles.
Their moisture-wicking technology uses both recycled polyester and Tencel™ Modal fabric.
Saalt is definitely a company with social impact in mind, because they donate 2% of their sales towards initiatives that reduce period poverty and increase menstrual education around the world.
WUKA is a UK-based period brand that believes "in breaking down taboos and that periods and sustainable living are not a luxury."
They use fabrics like organic cotton, Tencel™ Modal and Econyl fabric (which is made from regenerated ocean waste). They are also vegan and use plastic-free packaging.
They have period underwear in almost every style you can think of, and four flow strengths to choose from. A great choice if you want maximum customisation abilities for your time of the month.
We hope you like some of these options for your next period underwear buy. If you're looking for sustainable underwear to get you through non-bleeding days, check out our hemp underwear which is four times more breathable than cotton and uses up to 80% less water to grow.