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How Sustainable are WUKA Period Pants? | WUKA

WUKA discuss the sustainability of their reusable period pants and period underwear against disposable tampons and why they are kinder to the environment.

How sustainable are WUKA period pants?

We're on a mission here at WUKA, to make a sustainable lifestyle accessible to everyone—because after all, sustainability shouldn't be a luxury and periods products definitely aren't either. That's why our period pants are designed to cut waste and help you have a sustainable period.

Did you know that here in the UK, the average menstrual product will take more than 500 years to break down, thanks to the eye-watering amount of plastic it contains? Many period products contain up to 90% plastic and contribute to over 200,00 tonnes of landfill, not to mention the 2 billion items that are flushed down our toilets each year. 

While a year’s worth of disposable pads and tampons for one person produces 8.9kg of CO2 emissions—which is the same as charging a mobile phone more than 1000 times—a staggering 36% of British women admit to being unaware how big of an impact single-use period products have on the environment.

How can I have a sustainable period?

Okay, so let’s talk about sustainability and periods. Yes, it is possible to have a sustainable period, and to turn your back on single-use disposables for good. 

WUKA period pants have 6x smaller carbon footprint compared to pads and 4x less compared to tampons—so by opting to buy just one pair you can save 200 single-use plastic-riddled disposables from polluting our oceans or going to landfill over a two-year period. 

To date, our customers have saved an estimated 3500 tonnes of Co2. That’s the equivalent of planting 60000 trees! If all 15 million women and individuals who menstruate in the UK made the switch, we’d save 4.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, which equates to charging a mobile phone more than 982 billion times!

How Sustainable are WUKA Period Pants | WUKA

How do we do this? 

  • Our period pants contain no plastic. We use planet friendly materials such as organic cotton, Tencel Modal (made from sustainable beech trees) and Econyl (made from plastic waste from our oceans). Tercel Modal fibres are biodegradable and compostable so they can be returned to the earth when you’ve finished with them.

  • We keep our footprint naturally small. We offset more than we use and are Carbon Neutral and rated by the carbon footprint.

  • We’re vegan and cruelty free. Registered by the Vegan Society and approved by PETA, and we’re protecting water-based animals by cutting pollution in our waterways too.

  • We use plastic-free packaging. Keeping packaging to a minimum and only using recycled card and compostable corn starch to make individual bags to package our period pants in.

  • We’re reusable. The average pair of WUKA period pants have a life-span of two years, making them at least five times less damaging than disposable alternatives. 

Read more about WUKA's carbon footprint here. You can also download the full PDF report on the carbon footprint of menstrual products here to get the lowdown on the environmental impacts of menstrual products. 

What are the benefits of WUKA period underwear against disposable pads and tampons?

Single-use disposable tampons and pads are bad news for the environment, but the differences don’t just end there. 

  1. Better for your pocket. Although WUKA period pants require an initial investment, once you’ve got them you're set for up to two whole years—making an average saving of £156 per year.

  2. No more doubling up. Even on your heaviest days, WUKA pants are designed to fully absorb all leaks and fluids during your cycle, and they won’t slip or move like sanitary pads can. 

  3. No more emergencies. Opting for reusable period pants means you’re less likely to get caught out if your cycle is irregular. No more last-minute dashes to the shop to buy emergency supplies, your period pants can just be washed and put away ready for next time.
How Sustainable are WUKA Period Pants | WUKA
  • Safe for all ages. Reusable period pants are 100% safe for all ages to use. Period. While our understanding of eduction around Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) has improved greatly over recent years, using tampons still carries a risk that period underwear does not. 

  • Reduced risk of infections. Our period pants have a magical gusset, made using lots of breathable, moisture-wicking layers that are not only highly absorbent but also designed to keep you feeling fresh and dry. This cuts the risk of developing an infection because all fluid is kept away from your body, leaving little chance for bacteria to grow, and allowing your vagina’s pH levels to remain stable.

  • Chemical, fragrance and bleach free. Our sustainable period products don’t contain any chemicals or fragrances either, both of which can be found in disposable products—both of which can also be upsetting for vaginal health. Sadly, lots of disposable tampons and pads still contain toxins that can be harmful when used frequently. 

  • Comfy and discrete. WUKA period underwear is easy to use and discreet too. This is especially important for younger women and girls who have felt embarrassed or ashamed at having to hide period products at school. There’s no need to smuggle anything up your sleeve with WUKA period pants- just wear them in place of your usual underwear, and carry on as normal!

How reusable are WUKA period pants?

100% completely reusable and totally recyclable. And, you can use your WUKAs for up to two years before they need replacing. 

Wondering how often you should change your period pants, or whether or not they’re ok for overnight bleeding? We’ve got you.

You know your flow best, so if you tend to be heavier at night-time, then we suggest you go for either a Heavy or Super Heavy absorbency. We recommend you pop them on before you go to bed, then change in the morning.

During the day your sustainable period underwear can be worn for up to 8 hours, but on your heaviest days, we recommend you change them every 4-6 hours. Depending on the absorbency, period pants can hold up to 20ml period blood or fluid, which is the equivalent of around 4 tampons. Our super Heavy rage will hold up to 60ml and can be worn for 24 hours, although for hygiene reasons we recommend no more than 12 hours. 

Period pants can be placed in the washing basket as normal before washing (don't worry, they wont smell or get smears on your other clothes) and then simply be popped in with your next load.

How do I care for WUKA Period underwear?

While we recognise that period pants do require a little more effort than disposable alternatives, the many other personal and environmental benefits far outweigh the few extra minutes it takes to wash and care for your underwear.

Rinsing is optional and hand washing is not essential (although your WUKA underwear will thank you for it). Simply pop them into the machine on a normal wash—30 or 40 degrees) then air dry inside out. That’s it. Read more detailed care instructions here.

FAQs

How do Period Pants work?


Highly absorbent leak-proof layers within a high rise gusset prevent the any blood or fluid from passing through the underwear—keeping you dry for up to 8 hours. Read more about how period pants work here.

I accidentally tumble-dried my period pants, will they stop working?

An accidental tumble dry is not the end of the world and will not ruin your period pants. We do however advise against tumble drying as it can make your underwear less absorbent over time and result in a much shorter life span for your period pants.

Can WUKA period underwear be used for other purposes, such as urinary incontinence or postpartum bleeding?

Yes, our underwear can be used for many purposes from periods to postpartum discharge, endometriosis flow and bladder leaks.

Do my period pants have any antibacterial treatment or PFA?

No. We don’t use any added antibacterial spray or silver treatment, nor do our period pants contain any harmful PFAs. They are safe for you, your health, sea animals and the environment. We conduct independent testing on our fabric to ensure no traces of PFOS or PFOA are present (the most notorious chemicals in most comfortable products).

Where is WUKA designed and manufactured?

WUKA period pants are designed and hand packed in the UK and manufactured in China by a very experienced team who manufacture underwear for many famous brands.

Our manufacturer has ISO standard Audits, BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) Audits, Confidence in Textiles (Testing for harmful substances) and Walmart certification.

We believe that we should treat lightly on this earth and leave no footprint behind. We also believe that fair and equal pay is not optional. We only work with suppliers who are prepared to work with us to improve the footprint of our products and who are transparent with their employment and environmental performance. WUKA was founded with a mission, one that puts social and environmental responsibility at its heart.