At The Egalitarian, we believe in supporting women-owned businesses who do great things for our planet, and Power of Pants (POP) do just that. Our editor Holly, tried some pairs of POP’s period underwear to give you the low-down about switching from tricky tampons and plastic pads to sustainable and eco-friendly pants, which may seem scary, but really isn’t at all.
I remember having an epiphany one day about how much waste I was creating with normal period products, and literally thinking to myself: “what am I doing?”. I also experienced increased levels of anxiety worrying about toxic shock syndrome due to using tampons, the uncomfortable feeling of plastic pads sticking to and chaffing the inside of my thighs, and the general feeling of “for f*** sake, I am due on my period”. Once I thought about it, like really thought it, there was no going back. I instantly started thinking and talking about alternative period products. My goal was to have as close to zero-waste periods as I could. This was a couple of years ago, and I was genuinely surprised to see that there was little variety in the products offered. I settled on trying some period pants, which is basically just underwear with special lining inside (very similar to a pad but with no plastic) that you can wash and re-wear. I tried a few various products from different brands and could never quite settle on one. Something was always a bit wrong. They were a bit too tight. Too chunky. Not absorbent enough. Quite unattractive (we’re talking granny vibes). I was bored and fed-up of trying to look for the right ones and was close to giving up on the pants mission.
I suggested to the egal team that we should do a post on our social media pages about sustainable period products. After conducting some research I came across POP, a fairly small, woman-owned business by a lady called Nik, who was very present on her branded social media and seemed to genuinely love and believe in her products. After some chatting, I decided I wanted to try some POP pants. And I do not regret that decision one bit.
To start off, these are my top 3 fave things about POP pants:
I was firstly pleased to see that the items arrived in a funky coloured (POP’s signature bright blue and pink), recyclable cardboard box. Inside the box were the products, neatly packaged like a little present from POP to me in dotty tissue wrap (again, brownie points for recyclable materials used). I received them a bit before I was due on my period, and instantly tried them on. They were immediately comfier and more flattering than any of the products I had tried before, so much so that I started strutting around the flat in my pants going “don’t I look cute?!” to my boyfriend, who replied with “oh they are nice!”. First test passed. I couldn’t believe how much they looked like normal cute underwear instead of the usual ‘80-year old in the prime stage of comfort in life’ style.
I wore the Power Pants on day 3 of my cycle when I was on a medium flow and had a whale of a time. I am typically a size 10 and ordered a size small which is more like a UK size 8-10. They were a little snug on me, which was exactly what I spoke to Nik about beforehand as I wanted them to be a bit tight to give me some extra security to avoid any pesky leaks. If you wanted some with a bit more stretch (as a size 10), I’d maybe go medium. The pants were comfy, fitting and the lace detail at the top added that little bit more style and cheek than all round black. The thing I loved most about these was the absorbency. I’ve found with other products that the liquid can just sit and isn’t absorbed into the material, keeping the blood in close proximity to skin, causing all kinds of hellish consequences. I didn’t suffer from this at all with these pants, they were dry every time I went to the bathroom, and I could barely see where I had bled. For those worried about any smell, there was none whatsoever at any point. They were thick enough that bleeding through them would be difficult, but not too thick that it felt like I was wearing a nappy (like I have found with some other brands), which is a good security for anyone with a heavier flow. I was able to go about my full day at work up and down from my desk, around the room and all the standing up in between without any worries about leaking at all. All in all, they were just a great example of simple and effective period pants.
The Seamless Gym Buddy was the star of the show. They were more lightweight than The Power Pants but still supported me on a medium flow. They were thin enough to wear casually and going out and felt more-or-less like wearing normal pants. The selling point here for me was the fact that I didn't have a VPL (visible panty line). I was able to wear them with tight fitting trousers and dresses alike (unlike other bulky period pants I have tried), which meant I felt entirely comfortable being out and about in them. The nylon material made them smooth on the skin and again like The Power Pants, the bamboo charcoal and polyester mix of lining meant that liquid was absorbed quickly and easily.
The products are important, but the business matters too
The products themselves did a brilliant job of being period pants, but for me, and for people who care about sustainable and reliable businesses, we want to know that we are getting great quality products that are made sustainably and fairly, with decent hard-working people leading the way. And POP does that to a T. The face of the business is Nik, an outgoing and friendly woman who I had no trouble chatting away to on zoom for an hour! She is clearly driven, ambitious and cares a lot about her brand and her products. She ensures her products are ethically made, sourced, and created with sustainable materials that leave less of a stamp on the environment. The commendable charity work that POP does is another huge reason to invest. On the website, POP outlines that:
“We recognise there is much work to be done. Period poverty is still an issue in the UK with 1 in 10 people who can't afford to buy menstrual products. We want to help.”
POP donate one pair of period pants for every 10 sold in support of Bloody Good Period who provide menstrual products to asylum seekers, refugees and those who can’t afford them. So, when you buy POP products, not only are you feeling good, but you’re doing good too. What more could a bleeding gal want?
If you’re interested in having a look at these products and more, head to https://powerofpants.com/collections/pop-something-in-your-bag-today to secure some bloody good products and help out not only POP, but Bloody Good Period too. Use our discount code here: EGAL10 for 10% off too. Don’t forget to follow POP on Instagram at @powerofpants and most importantly, enjoy! Have a wonderful, comfortable and sustainable period!