A beginner's guide to period pants

While every day might be Earth Day at Unfabled, today (Friday 22nd April) marks the official ‘Earth Day’ - an annual global campaign leading the fight for a more environmentally-friendly world. And, we are all for it! If there’s any day calling you to make a change - even if it’s the smallest change - in order to be kinder to our planet, then today is the day.

So, how can you live a more sustainable lifestyle? Whether you’re an old-timer when it comes to sustainability or you’re wanting to take those first steps toward building a more eco-friendly routine, it’s time to consider introducing period pants into your life.

What are period pants?

In short, period pants are a reusable alternative solution to plastic, non-biodegradable period products, like mainstream single-use tampons and pads. As it says on the tin, period pants are pants that can be worn to absorb your period, protecting you from any leaks that life might throw at you. 

Imagine this, you wake up in the morning and you find yourself facing a heavy flow? Whether you’ve just started your period, have recently given birth and need a little extra support or simply want a little peace of mind that you’re protected against any leakage, instead of stressing about changing tampons or pads, you can literally put on your undies and go about your day, feeling nothing but comfort and confidence. Wash them, wear them, wash them again and reuse them. Genius, right?

How do period pants work?

OK, so period pants are slightly thicker than normal knickers  - although you’d never know it, they feel the same as your normal pair of undies. In fact, they look like normal pants from the outside, so you can wear them without having to worry about them cramping your style. 

Period pants are made from absorbent material that acts as a moisture barrier, holding up to four tampons’ worth of flow, preventing any leaks. This makes them a practical, convenient period care option - and one that’s sure to save you the pennies in the long run.

How often do I need to change my period pants?

On average, for hygiene reasons, you should put on a new pair of period pants in the morning and then change them again when you go to bed - yes, that’s right, you can even wear them at night too! 

Of course, if your flow is a bit heavier, it’d be best for you to change your period pants more regularly. If you’re looking for your next pair, be sure to pick a product that best suits you and your flow - take FLUX Undies for example, which offers period pants for lighter flows, as well as a pair for heavier ones.

Do I wear period pants with other period products?

Honestly, this is totally up to you and depends on your flow. It might be that you only need a pair of period pants for your flow - especially if you’re wearing heavy flow period pants, you should have enough coverage to go about your daily life without any worries. Alternatively, you could use period pants in addition to a menstrual cup, tampon or pad to provide some extra coverage, just in case.

Remember, when it comes to the period products you use, it’s completely up to you. Whether you use period pants alone, or simultaneously with another product, do what’s right for you and your body to ensure you feel like your best, most confident self all month long.

How do I wash period pants?

When it comes to washing your period pants, there are multiple options. You can:

  • Take them off, rinse them under the tap and chuck them in the washing machine
  • Hand wash in the sink using normal soap
  • Wash them in the shower (yes, for real!) - we find a lot of period pant converts prefer to take them in the shower with them, so they can give them a good swoosh around before popping them in the washing machine

It’s important to remember that they should be washed on a 30/40-degree wash, not to use fabric conditioner (as this could damage their absorbancy over time), and lastly, allow them to dry naturally. Also, try to wash your period pants (or at least, soak them) straight after they’ve been worn. 

Do period pants not smell?

One of the most common worries people have when it comes to period pants is whether they’re hygienic or will smell. You’ll be pleased to hear that period pants have antimicrobial technology built into their fabric, which stops any nasty bacteria and germs from building up - this, in turn, stops any unpleasant smells, so you can feel fresh all day long. This innovative design also means that if period pants are washed well, they shouldn’t be left smelly or stained.

Ideally, you should feel dry when wearing them - so if your period pants start to feel damp, it’s time you change them. It’s totally normal to change your tampons or pads based on how your flow increases and decreases during your period - and the same rule applies to period pants. As with all period products, finding the perfect period pants for each day of your period might be a case of trial and error while you get to know which period pants suit your body. 

What happens if I’m out and about?

Whether you’re planning a night out with the girls, preparing for a full day at work, or heading to the gym, don’t let living a busy lifestyle stop you from buying a pair of period pants. Just slip an extra pair in your bag, along with a small laundry bag or Out and About Bag, and you’re good to go.

A top tip from us, if you’re new to period pants, start off wearing them at home, so you get to know your flow and soon start to recognise when your period pants need changing. 

How many pairs of period pants will I need?

We find that you’ll need between 5-7 pairs of period pants. This can vary depending on the length of your cycle, or if you wash them straight after wearing them. Of course, period pants aren’t necessarily just for your period - they can also be used to help with any bladder leaks, postpartum bleeding, or to absorb discharge - so if you are planning on pulling on a pair throughout the month, it’s worth investing in a few more. 

How long do period pants last?

On average, period pants will last around 2 to 5 years - but be sure to follow their wash and drying instructions to get the most out of each pair.

Are period pants right for me?

If you’re feeling hesitant about period pants, you might want to start wearing them when you have a lighter flow, or even just for peace of mind, as backup protection during heavier days. 

It might be that you’re looking for a comfortable alternative to single-use period products. It could be that you’re looking for the perfect type of period care that also cares for the planet. Whatever the reason behind you wanting to try period pants, if you’re feeling tempted, we can’t recommend them enough. Period pants could be the game-changer you’re looking for. 

Why make the swap to sustainable period pants?

When it comes to single-use period products, you can’t avoid the facts, with up to 15,000 tampons or pads (as well as their wrappers) ending up in landfills and oceans over a person’s lifetime. That in itself is enough to make the switch to reusables. 

But beyond the fact that they are an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic products, period pants can also be less irritating and more comfortable - plus, when they’re on, they’re on, so you can wave goodbye to frantically digging around the bottom of your bag for a tampon or pad.

If it being Earth Day wasn’t enough of an excuse to make the change, then what is? At Unfabled, we proudly believe that you can care for the planet while caring for yourself. 

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