Eco-friendly options for menstruating people have been growing in popularity in recent years.
From menstrual cups to biodegradable pads and tampons, the public has been crying out for sustainable products to avoid the waste that a lifetime of managing periods can cause. Every day, 700,000 disposable period products end up in Irish landfills.
Period underwear options have been on the market for some time now, but often at a high price point. For example, one pair of Modibodi underwear can cost €35 and a pair from Thinx can cost €35.75.
More than one pair seems practical from a hygienic point of view so while over time there is a cost-saving benefit to the underwear when compared with regular purchases of disposable sanitary products, the initial price point can exclude many on lower incomes.
There have been some strides in making reusable period products more accessible to all, with supermarket chain Marks and Spencer recently adding a selection of €17 pairs of period underwear to their range.
Now, period underwear are even more purse-friendly with the news that Penneys is selling single pairs for €7 or a triple-pack for €19.
A photo of the underwear on display in a Co Limerick store went viral after being shared by staff member Craig Morrissey on his Style In The City page on Facebook, with hundreds of commenters praising the selection.
“Brilliant, particularly great for people with disabilities. So glad Penneys are offering this product as they can be very expensive,” one person wrote.
Another said: “Amazing to see Penneys stocking these. The online ones are very expensive…”
Penneys says the new range of period underwear has been designed to ensure effective absorption, reduce the smell of any odours and to be easily washed and reused. They can be worn for up to eight hours and can hold the equivalent of up to four tampons.
They are designed to replace tampons, cups and pads but may also be worn with these products for extra protection if needed.
Starting at €7 for single items, the 17-piece collection comes in three shapes: mini, midi and hipster, and two flow types: medium and heavy flow.
The underwear comes in colours including black, mocha, and pink.
“At Primark, we believe that period products should be accessible to anyone who needs them, and we are delighted to be the first high street retailer to offer period underwear at this price point,” says Paula Dumont Lopez, Primark’s group product director.
“Our period underwear gives our customers an alternative to other period products which often end up in landfills. We want to give our customers the option to have a more sustainable period and to help them be kinder to the environment.”
The new period underwear range is in stores now.