Since launching Blushproof - friends, family, strangers - they all ask the same question, "What the heck are period panties?!?". This was especially true more than a year ago when I started researching the product. I've always hated pads and tampons and as I was starting perimenopause, I was dreading using these products sporadically. That's when I came across period panties.
Amazingly, there was a store in Joburg importing them from the US. I had to try them!! It turned out, they were much better than I expected. These looked and felt like normal panties but had an additional 3 layers in the gusset or crotch. They were perfect for my sometimes hectically heavy and sometimes non-existent flow. Where were these when I was younger? It was after trialing them for a while that I decided South Africans needed to know about this amazing invention and I also decided that I wanted to be one of the ones to educate the "masses". Of course, I could have gone the easy route and simply applied to be a distributor but the overseas products were just too costly for our South African market and I wanted to make something PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN.
Enter Blushproof Period Panties - or ANY absorbing panties for that matter! They're generally made with a "shell" which is the actual panty and a gusset which is the absorbing part. This absorbing part has 3 layers.
The first layer touches your skin and is made of wicking fabric which draws your flow away from your body and into the gusset.
The second layer is made of absorbing fabric (think Glodina bath towels but MUCH thinner) which sucks up your flow.
The third layer is a very thin waterproofing layer which stops your flow from leaking through onto your panties and clothes / bed sheets / you name it - we've all been there.
After about a year of research, I found the right fabrics for the job and started importing them from the US and Taiwan (sadly, we don't make these fabrics in SA). Why I chose these specific fabrics was because of their certification in terms of being anti-bacterial, anti-odour, moisture wicking, hypoallergenic and sustainably made - all things that are key in absorbing panties. People want to know that what they're putting close to their "valuable asset" is not going to irritate, cause smells or lead to infections, so fabric is KEY.
From there it was days and nights and many tears spent on designing styles and trying to get sizing right - what a challenge - but worth it to see that we now have something for everyone!
There's been a massive uptick in people starting to know about period panties and in different suppliers entering the market (although most are imported from China, which is fine too) and I'm starting to find that people actually know what I'm talking about before I have to explain.
So, why are period panties so amazing? They completely replace disposable sanitary pads and tampons. No more products ending up in landfills (did you know pads take 500+ years to biodegrade so the first pad you ever used is still out there somewhere?! EEUUWW - just saying). They can be used, rinsed, washed and hang out to dry, ready for the next use. Culturally, period panties still have a long way to go in term of being accepted by all cultures but I think South Africans of all colours will get there. They're also amazing for teens in rural areas that don't have access to sanitary products (although cloth pads are probably better suited since they need less water to be washed properly).
I'm really challenging people to widen their horizons and consider trying our firm favourite, Bikini style period absorbing panties. They're so much better for the planet but also so much better for your vaginal health and your pocket. Just think about it... that's all I'm asking.
Much love, Thandi