The company recently donated 40,000 pairs of Thinx reusable period underwear for teens and adults to Alliance for Period Supplies to address the lack of access to period products.
Credit: Getty Images

Thinx period underwear is on a mission to end period poverty.

Founded in 2011, the revolutionary company provided women with an alternative to traditional period essentials such as pads and tampons with their reusable period underwear.

Now, they are at the forefront of providing affordable period products to young people who are disproportionately affected by lack of access or affordability to menstrual care.

In an exclusive interview with People Chica, Meghan Davis, CEO of Thinx, discusses their donation of reusable underwear to Alliance for Period Supplies as part of Period Poverty Awareness Week, and their hopes for the future of menstrual health.

Thinx Underwear
Credit: Thinx

We are seeing a shortage of menstrual items such as pads and tampons on the shelves across the country and the world. How does using a product like Thinx help women throughout their menstrual cycle?

At Thinx, we're committed to continuously delivering superior reusable period underwear for all kinds of leaks and moisture with our signature, innovative technology. Our technology allows us to prioritize sustainability while also providing a cost-effective full replacement or back-up to traditional period products. Thinx [is] machine-washable and [stays] at maximum performance for 40 washes.

Our comfortable-meets-stylish, moisture-wicking panties come in several different styles, from full-coverage briefs to thongs and 5 different absorbency levels from lightest (holds up to one tampon worth of fluid) to super (holds up to five tampons' worth of fluid) to accommodate [the] individual style and ever-changing needs.

While Thinx [is] designed to fully replace pads and tampons, they can also be worn with tampons or cup period products for extra protection. For more day-to-day wear, Thinx has expanded [its] air collection, offering sweat-wicking, breathable, ultra-thin, micromesh underwear designed for drier, moisture-free days on and off your period. Essentially, Thinx is there to protect menstruators during every phase of their cycle so they can have more dry, worry-free days.

Credit: Getty Images

What do you think is one of the greatest changes that ending period poverty will bring to our society?

Period poverty remains a critical issue in the United States, and the end of period poverty means delivering universal, barrier-free access to affordable, quality period care products. Imagine this: nearly 4 out of 5 teens do not attend class or know someone who doesn't attend class simply because they don't have access to menstrual hygiene products.

For a large percentage of teens, the shame attached to this is exacerbated by the fact that missing class has a direct impact on their long-term trajectory, potentially preventing them from progressing at the same rate as their peers. From a societal standpoint, this also has ramifications that can directly impact college and career choices. It's compounded on a monthly basis with each period.

On the other hand, menstruators who have access to period products are better able to navigate the world without having to worry about how they're going to handle their next period. That said, menstrual equity is more than just access to period products; it's also about making sure that people have the resources, support, and choices to decide how they want to take care of their menstrual health. The reality is that access to period products determines a person's freedom to work, study, and move through the world with basic dignity.

Go With the Flow
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At Thinx, we believe all people deserve access to the products they need to manage basic bodily functions. When we prioritize menstrual equity, we're recognizing that affordable and easy access to period products is an essential part of building a more equitable world for everybody.

Menstruation continues to be a taboo subject. What are some ways in which we can help normalize it and raise awareness of it?

Period talk has been taboo for so long but for us, these taboos go hand in hand with opportunity. Prior to Thinx there had been little to no innovation in period care since the 1930s, and the topic, in general, was very taboo.

Case in point, in 2015 when we launched our first subway campaign, the ads were initially rejected for being "too graphic". But now, here we are in 2022 living in a world where we finally are showing "blood" in period commercials, instead of blue liquid, and scenes about menstruation are prominently part of movies and tv shows. It is important to speak openly about menstruation in order to create a comfortable space for society to normalize it. I truly believe that Thinx helped lay the groundwork for open, unabashed conversations about periods that normalize the experience.

Credit: Thinx

Thinx just donated 10,000 pairs of reusable underwear for teens to Alliance for Period Supplies. What inspired this campaign?

 Thinx donated our reusable underwear to Alliance for Period Supplies as part of Period Poverty Awareness Week to provide thousands of teens with access to essential and sustainable period products. Period Poverty Week draws attention to the issue of period poverty and the negative impact it has on people who menstruate.

One in five students struggle to afford period products, or are unable to afford them at all, and 84% of young people have either missed class or know someone who has missed class due to a lack of access to period products. Our mission parallels that of Alliance for Period Supplies to bring an end to period poverty in the United States, making this donation a blended effort to bring Thinx underwear to those who need it most. On the heels of this donation, Thinx is making another donation to help address supply chain issues some companies are having delivering tampons to retail shelves.

To ensure menstruators have access to effective, comfortable, and safe period products, Thinx is donating more than 30,000 additional pairs of Thinx reusable period underwear for teens and adults to Alliance for Period Supplies. The donation, which has a retail value of more than $800,000 USD, will improve access to essential and sustainable period products among thousands of people with periods.  We're hoping that our donation will give people one less thing to worry about and we believe this action supports our mission to end period poverty.

For those who have always used other products during their menstrual cycle, how do you suggest they get started with Thinx?

We recommend trying Thinx for the first time at home so you can see how they best work for your body and flow. To figure out which styles of Thinx would suit you best, consider how light/medium/heavy your cycle gets throughout the week of your period. Our styles feature five levels of absorbency that range from lightest to Super, represented by a number of droplets.

For example: During the heaviest days of your period, our Super absorbency holds the equivalent of 5 tampons' worth of blood, and for those just-in-case days at the end of your cycle, our lightest absorbency styles can absorb up to 1 tampon worth. While all styles provide long-lasting protection, it's up to your cycle and comfort level to determine which style and absorbency best suit you. For me, I use the moderate brief for Day 1, the super for my heaviest day, day 2, and then Air for days 3 and 4.

For more information, check out our "Know Your Flow" tool on our website here.