After listening to the 28ish Days Later podcast (highly recommended, by the way), one staggering statistic has lingered in my mind:
In the past, women had around 40 periods in their lifetime. Fast forward to today and that number has soared to over 400…
That’s a lot of blood!
Whilst this transformation can largely be attributed to the evolving roles and choices of women, such as pregnancies later on in life and opting for fewer or no children (all significant advancements), this multitude of menstrual cycles translates to a lifetime consumption of approximately 12,000 to 15,000 period products.
Fortunately, companies like WUKA are stepping up with their reusable vegan period pants to provide us with a more eco-friendly way to manage our menstrual cycles.
As a devoted period underwear user for the past three years, I had the chance to put WUKA’s period pants to the test. And there’s no better way to evaluate the performance of period pants than to wear them during one’s cycle, so get ready for all the bloody details!
Of course, there’s a danger that this kind of product will become a luxury item, which raises concerns about period poverty. Therefore, I’ll also explore whether WUKA’s offerings are affordable and what steps they’re taking to address period poverty.
Let’s go with the flow!
Comfy, stylish, effective and unobtrusive. They kept me dry even during my heaviest (I have a relatively heavy flow).
Most WUKA period pants are black, which is to cut down on the amount of dye they use, but they do offer some colour options (I find these shades a little bit unusual, but that’s just me), as well as neutral shades. There’s still a really good range to choose from though (plus, they even do swimwear!).
They’re good value for money, although not the cheapest. Moreover, they’re certified vegan!
Use this discount code for 12% off: 2sisters
When used correctly and maintained properly, period pants are just as hygienic as menstrual pads.
Some brands use antimicrobial coatings on their underwear but our vulvas have their own balanced microbiomes, which already do a great job at keeping any nasties at bay. WUKA, on the other hand, don’t use any sprays or chemicals on their period pants, which is much better for our vulvas and the environment.
I’ve included a section on how to care for your WUKA period pants in my review, so keep reading to learn how to maintain hygienic undies!
I’ve been using period pants for over 3 years now and I’ve never noticed any odour; nor have any of my friends mentioned any smell (trust me, my friends are the type of friends who would definitely tell me). Yes, there is sometimes a metallic smell when I pull down my underwear to go to the toilet but this is the same smell you will experience with disposable menstrual products.
WUKA, for example, incorporates a middle layer of absorbent material that sucks in and isolates all of the menstrual blood, preventing it from coming into contact with your skin and causing any odours.
As long as you follow proper care instructions for your period pants, such as the guidelines I’ve recommended below, they should remain smell-free.
Everyone has a different flow, so you may need to experiment to work out what’s best for you.
As a general guideline, most individuals can comfortably wear the same pair of period pants for 4-6 hours.
Additionally, WUKA provides options with heavy and super heavy absorbency, which can be worn for approximately 12 hours, making these great options for overnight usage.
Personally, I frequently use my period pants as a backup when using my menstrual disc. In such cases, I will happily wear the same pair of WUKA period pants throughout the day without any concerns about leakage or discomfort.
What are WUKA period pants?
WUKA, which stands for ‘Wake Up Kick Ass’, embodies a philosophy that resonates with the modern menstruator: nothing should hold you back on your period. And Ruby Raut, the founder of WUKA, understands this better than anyone.
Ruby’s journey is rooted in her upbringing in Nepal, a country where shame and stigma often shroud menstruation. Young girls are traditionally given old sari rags as menstrual products, which, whilst being environmentally friendly, leave much to be desired in terms of hygiene and comfort. When Ruby moved to England, she discovered a wide variety of period products available, but none that fully met the criteria of being hygienic, comfortable and environmentally responsible.
That realisation marked the birth of WUKA period pants: knickers that feature an in-built gusset that acts sort of like a sanitary pad (but waaaay comfier and more stylish) that can be washed and used again and again.
Looking for more ways to turn your vag into an eco-warrior? Check out our sustainable period products guide!
Why trust my WUKA period pants review?
With my WUKA period pants securely in place, I prepared myself to face the crimson tide! I binged Netflix shows, did yoga, powered through squats at the gym, danced around my bedroom and, yes, even attempted a cartwheel or two – all in the name of a thorough review…rhyme intended!
Alice's WUKA period pants review
First impressions are important so let’s start with the style.
The WUKA period pants are sleek and minimal; they’re much less bulky than other brands that I’ve tried. Whilst I value functionality over fashion when it comes to period products, it’s a bonus that these pants don’t resemble padded cycling shorts!
I particularly appreciate how these period pants seem tailor-made to accentuate my curves. The fit is snug but not suffocating, providing a secure and comfortable feeling as I go about my day.
So, style-wise, WUKA certainly gets a thumbs up from me!
Oh, and they offer inclusive sizes between XXS and 6XL.
WUKA uses three layers of material in the gusset, each serving a different purpose. The top layer is made from moisture-wicking fabric to ensure your vulva stays nice and dry, the middle layer absorbs all of the blood, and the bottom layer is leak-proof to prevent any blood from staining your clothes or bed sheets. But not to worry, because even though the final layer is leak-proof, the material is also breathable, meaning your derrière will still get some air!
Now, three layers of fabric don’t sound like they would provide sufficient protection, especially for those who have had to improvise with cloth or tissues when caught without period products. However, I was pleasantly surprised by just how effective this system is.
My period tends to be heaviest during the first couple of days and I often experience large blood clots. When these blood clots came out, my WUKA period pants did momentarily feel a bit damp. But it wasn’t long before they efficiently absorbed the moisture, leaving me feeling dry and comfortable once again.
Even when I was squatting up and down or banging out some hip thrusts at the gym, my WUKA underwear stayed securely in place and prevented any leaks.
I also like how high the gusset comes at the front, to ensure no blood escapes. It does also offer decent coverage at the back whilst remaining unobtrusive but I’d recommend opting for one of WUKA’s overnight pairs if you plan to wear them to bed. These overnight options are designed with an extended back gusset, ensuring that there’s no chance of blood sneaking its way out via your bum crack when you’re lying down.
I don’t know about any of you but the cost of living crisis is seriously starting to tighten my belt buckles! Of course, many of us bleed approximately once a month, so menstrual products are seen as a priority, However, for many people, period products remain a luxury item.
Period poverty is a pressing issue: one in ten girls is unable to afford tampons or sanitary towels.
A realistic estimate of the average cost of periods when using non-branded disposable products is about £128 a year, or £10 a month. Whilst period pants save you money in the long-term, there is an initial investment:
WUKA recommends that, as a general guide for an average 4-5 day cycle, a menstruator will need about 7 pairs. Starting at £12, 7 pairs will set you back £84 at least. Now, this is pretty good value for money for many of us but, for some, WUKA is not the cheapest brand – if you’re looking for more affordable brands that are still effective, M&S do 3 pairs of period pants for £16, with 20% off as part of their ‘Pants to the tax’ campaign.
Having said that, I honestly think that WUKA makes some of the best vegan period pants on the market and, in my opinion, if you can afford them, I would highly recommend them.
What’s more, WUKA has paired with many fantastic charities and initiatives to ensure that sustainable and more effective period care is available to all, regardless of circumstance or gender.
WUKA seems to be a brand that really sticks to its sustainability goals. In addition to offering a range of eco-friendly materials, from recycled nylon to Tencel and organic cotton, the period pants brand also sends all of its products in compostable corn starch packaging and recyclable cardboard.
To minimise their use of dyes (which can be harmful to the environment), WUKA also sells the majority of their underwear in black.
In addition, you can recycle old underwear at recycling facilities or compost/bury the Tencel/organic cotton pairs in the ground (excluding the waistband).
How to care for your WUKA period pants
Caring for your WUKA period pants is essential to ensure they last longer and stay fresh throughout your menstrual cycles. If you adhere to the following guidelines (as outlined on WUKA’s website), your period pants should last for at least 2 years:
Step 1. Pre-rinse
After use, it’s recommended to rinse your period pants in cold water as soon as possible. This step is optional but ensures the best results as it helps remove the absorbed blood.
Step 2. Wash
WUKA period pants can either be hand or machine-washed. If using a machine, opt for a cool wash at 30 or 40 degrees. Avoid using fabric conditioner as it can damage the fabric and absorbent layers!
Step 3. Dry
Speed up the drying process by wringing out any excess water. Then hang them up inside out in a well-ventilated area to air dry the pants. You can use a towel to absorb some of the moisture if you need to dry a pair quickly but don’t wear them wet since this can increase the likelihood of yeast infections and the pants may not absorb your blood as effectively.
WUKA doesn’t recommend using a tumble dryer since this can damage the fabric and reduce the effectiveness of your menstrual underwear.
Thoughts and top tips
Don’t forget to regularly change and wash your WUKA period pants to ensure they stay as hygienic and effective as possible.
Unlike many other period pants brands, WUKA can be washed up to 40 degrees celsius, which means that we can add them to a normal clothes wash (just don’t forget to exclude the fabric conditioner).
However, don’t be tempted to use hot water to rinse or wash your pants! Cold water helps protect the fabric and extends the life of your period underwear. Plus, using hot water may cause the blood to set into the fabric, making stains difficult to remove!
Where can you buy WUKA
You can buy WUKA period pants from the online store OR pop into your local Superdrug or Sainsbury’s.
Don’t forget to use our exclusive discount code (only available online) for 12% off: 2sisters
The Vegan Sisters verdict
WUKA period pants are stylish yet deliver on comfort. The seamless stretch briefs, in particular, don’t bite into your bum; instead, they hug your skin and don’t show any noticeable lumps where the absorbent padding sits. In fact, they are perhaps the most unobtrusive period pants I have tried, yet they kept me dry even during my heaviest (I have a relatively heavy flow). They also stay securely in place whilst doing all kinds of activities, including yoga, gym exercises and roly polies…
Most WUKA period pants are black, which is to cut down on the amount of dye they use (sticking to their environmental cause!), but they do offer some colour options (I find these shades a little bit unusual, but that’s just me). There’s still a really good range to choose from though, including midi briefs, hip huggers, high-waisted, thongs, boxers, overnight pairs, leggings and shorts. WUKA also offers swimwear, postpartum underwear and incontinence pants, as well as several incredibly useful menstrual products such as wash bags, change bags and WEARABLE HOT WATER BOTTLES?! Game changer!
They’re good value for money, starting at £12 a pair and with several bundle deals to choose from. However, they are also not the cheapest brand on the market.
Unlike other period pant companies, that sometimes offer non-vegan pairs as well, WUKA is entirely vegan and this is listed as one of their values – a big plus for me!
And last, but not least, WUKA deliver their products in compostable corn starch bags and recyclable cardboard.
Tick, tick, tick, tick!
WUKA Period Pants Reviews
Wake Up and Kick Ass!
Discount code for WUKA period pants
Get 12% off when buying direct from WUKA.co.uk using code: 2sisters