Simple Swaps: Pads to Period Pants

Written by Chloe Foreman

We're making good choices with our simple beauty swaps to save your pennies and planet…

Did you know, according to Bustle, each menstruating woman experiences around 450 periods in their lifetime, and goes through 11,000 tampons and pads? I can’t imagine using 11,000 of anything, nor fathom what that must look like. But I do know I want to find a less wasteful alternative…

While periods may not be the most pleasant part of womanhood, for many of us they play a natural, and slightly annoying role in our everyday lives. And like many parts of everyday life, we just get on with it. We learn the flow of our bodies, we know when to stock up on chocolate and cramp-preventing snacks, and every so often we are caught off guard by that feeling and rush to the bathroom cupboard. We’ve all banded together to replace plastic bags, but did you know that your period products may be making a bigger environmental impact?

Sanitary pads alone have a huge footprint as the majority of pads are 90% plastic, and one normal pack is made from the same amount of plastic as four carrier bags! Plus, the backing strips, applicators and wrappers are not biodegradable and go straight to landfill. Time for a solution? Enter period pants…

Period pants look just like normal underwear without the bulky feeling you can get from disposable pads. They're also a great alternative to the menstrual cup, for those who prefer products that don't need to be inserted. While they were seldom used after the introduction of disposable pads and tampons, due to their growing popularity they are now available in all sorts of cuts with a variety of absorption levels to make sure you remain protected all day, whatever the weather down there. Modern pants contain slim, super concentrated layers that fight bacteria and smells, as well as absorb your flow. You can even find specialist swimwear which is designed to keep you secure in the water, or activewear that deals with more extreme levels of sweat and smells. Unlike disposable pads, I found that I could comfortably wear my period pants all day, and they wouldn’t move around, cause discomfort or stick to my bum! They stayed tight and secure all day and night, plus they are super easy to wash after use since they can be thrown straight into the washing machine. Since I have a mid-heavy period, I picked some pants that I knew could pack a punch! I love that you can find them in heaps of different styles so I'm not stuck wearing ‘granny pants’ all week. If you decide to try out period pants, I know you are bound to love them too, just be sure to pick the pairs that suit your flow.

When it comes to price, of course 4+ pairs of period undies will set you back more than the pack of pads or tampons you use each month. But as we know, often things that cost a little for us have a bigger cost to the environment. Rest assured within a year of using period pants you will already start saving money and never have to worry about being caught off guard on your T.O.M again. Win win!