The menstruation industry is not something to be sneered at: it’s worth at least $15 billion. However, since the invention of the tampon in 1931, and there has been little innovation since. That is, until period pants started entering the market. Following the launch of NY-based period underwear brand THINX in 2012, there have been numerous feminine hygiene pants to hit the market.
One of those is FLUX Undies, founded by Paige Fashoni in 2017. The entrepreneur decided to take the plunge into business after becoming fed up of her heavy periods. “It got to the point that I dreaded my monthly period and often couldn’t leave the house due to serious cramps and embarrassing leaks,” she said. “I didn’t really like the feeling of pads and did not like the thought of inserting something into my body like tampons, so I was also quite stuck with options. I knew there had to be something easier for women to use and something better for the environment and our bodies.”
In the middle of her research, Fashoni realized the extent of the taboo around periods, particularly in developing countries, and so pledged to donate a reusable cloth pad to girls for every purchase.
Many of the period underwear brands are designed to be worn as a back-up for tampons, but FLUX Undies are made to completely replace sanitary products. Currently, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million pads are flushed down the toilet each day in the UK alone. Each disposable takes up to 500 years to decompose. FLUX Undies eliminate this waste completely.
They also have a range for customers with mobility issues.
“They hold up to four tampons’ worth which is more than other brands on the market. We also offer five styles including our unique Detachable style that allows women to change their underwear without stepping foot off the ground and was developed for those with disabilities and/or mobility issues.”
Fashoni is determined to be more than “just another brand”, and is making a stand through her company’s marketing. The underwear isn’t just practical either; mesh, high cuts and thongs mean the underwear is fashionable as well as useful.
“We want to be a hub to empower people and offer advice around issues from hygiene to self-care to body image. As a company that places huge focus on representation and inclusivity, we use unedited photos from shoots, and women of every shape, size, color, religion, sexuality, and ability are used to represent FLUX Undies.
“By doing this, we are hoping that other brands will recognize the importance of inclusivity and representing every type of person, rather than a minority, in the images that go out to young girls and women every day.”
Fashoni was able to launch her company following a successful Kickstarter campaign, but said she had “underestimated” the amount of work it takes to design and make a product from scratch.
“I’m a massive perfectionist so it took months of trial and error with different fabrics and processes to get to the final product and approve that for mass production. I then also experienced problems with sourcing and importing fabrics from overseas.”
However, she said positive feedback from customers has made it all worth it. “We received an email from a woman who very sadly went through a miscarriage and wrote to us to thank us for the undies and said ‘thank goodness’ should had them during that time as she was at least able to feel comfortable whilst dealing with the tough situation.”
Source: The Period-Proof Underwear That’s Actually Sexy
By Lucy Sherriff, Contributor
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