Periods are part of life but that doesn't stop them from being a downright nuisance. And that's for those of us lucky enough to live in a developed country, where tampons and a packet of painkillers are only ever a quick trip to Boots away. In communities around the world, women and girls are obliged to make do with whatever comes to hand – sometimes scraps of dirty fabric – often within cultures that treat menstruating women as 'unclean' or 'untouchable' and force them to live apart from their families for the duration of their period. Even in the UK, there are women who simply do not have the money to pay for sanitary products.
It's clear we need a more affordable and sustainable solution. Enter WUKA period wear. Founded by environmental scientist Ruby Raut, WUKA (which stands for Wake Up Kick Ass) makes ultra-absorbent, machine-washable underwear that is designed to be worn throughout your period, eliminating the need for disposable sanitary products – and the mountains of waste they produce. WUKA claims that the pants, which start at £9.99 a pair and are available in UK sizes 4-26, can be worn for up to eight hours a day or all night long, and hold the equivalent of four tampons' worth of menstrual blood.
Even better, for those of us on the go, WUKA also offers handy sets of pants, complete with a free wash bag for your spare pair. Sure, they're marketed for teens and heading back to school, but we'll be slipping ours in our work bags; perfect for flexible working.
Too good to be true? We gave six members of Team R29 UK a pair of WUKA pants to try out during their period. Here's how they got on.
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