According to the ABC, the average menstruating Australian will use more than 10,000 disposable menstrual products in their lifetime. And according to the Department of Health, more than five million Australians live with continence problems.
What’s the problem? Well, for biological functions as natural and commonplace as menstruation and leaky bladders, the market is unfortunately inundated with a lot of unnatural products. Most disposable pads and diapers are partially made with synthetic materials that can take hundreds of years to biodegrade, and even cotton tampons frequently come in plastic wrapping.
That means a whole lot of products headed to our landfills that will still be around during the lifetimes of our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren… you get the idea.
If you’re looking for eco-friendly alternatives to menstrual and incontinence products, Australian sustainable underwear company Modibodi has developed the world’s first pair of biodegradable and leak-proof underwear.
Leak-proof underwear isn’t new, with Modibodi having developed a leak-free prototype back in 2012 that is capable of holding up to 15ml (or the equivalent of three full tampons). However, this latest product is the first pair of leak-proof undies that are also designed to biodegrade, preventing textile waste from piling up in the landfill.
The Modibodi biodegradable briefs took more than two years to develop and are made from a combination of natural and bioengineered synthetic textiles woven together in a super fine rib knit construction. This allows for stretching without having to use the non-biodegradable material elastane.
Once you feel that your pair of undies has reached the end of its life (which Modibodi estimates will happen after around 100 washes), you can bury them in the soil to biodegrade. Degrading begins after around four to six weeks, and the majority of the briefs should be broken down after six months. After five years, any remaining bits should have completely disappeared.
The underwear is available for purchase through the Modibodi website and comes in two styles: bikini, which retails for $42.50 per pair, and full brief, which retails for $45.50 per pair. The range of sizes starts at a 6 or 2XS up to a 20 or 3XL, and a size guide is available on the website.