No More Toxins in My Underwear: A Demand for Stricter Consumer Safety Regulations

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Last week, a necessary spotlight was cast towards exactly what goes into making period underwear. What makes them leakproof? What materials are used? Are these fabrics safe? In short: What exactly am I putting near my vagina?

The materials in question were PFAS. PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a large family of synthetic chemicals that are commonly used as a stain or water repellent. The two most common are PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate). You might have heard about them in the news lately, as recent studies have revealed them to have negative effects on your health and the environment. They’re harmful because they can’t be broken down — which could be especially dangerous if they’re added to underwear, coming in direct contact with an extra sensitive area of your body. 

At Knix, we put a lot of care into crafting great products and a lot of thought towards creating underwear that’s both safe and effective. We’ve been intentional about avoiding stain repellents and fabric treatments (these same repellents are often used on carpets or industrial machines— yikes!). Our Leakproof underwear materials and technology are manufactured in Italy. Not only because it’s of higher quality, but also because the European Union has a substance restriction on toxic PFAS chemicals. 

We are constantly conducting third party product testing, and last week following the news, we worked with a globally renowned independent lab outside of Toronto to test for all possible PFAS.  We are happy to report that Knix products are PFAS free. You can download and read the report here.

However, the recent news brought to light a much larger issue: there are no Consumer Safety Regulations within our industry. Furthermore, there are no universal testing protocols or standards in place to ensure that products are delivering on their claims and advertising.   For instance, of the 40 brands listed on Amazon, only 4 include details about how they are made.

We need YOUR help to change that. 

Here's what we believe:

1. All leakproof period underwear products should provide consumers with transparency as to the treatments and materials used.

2. All leakproof period underwear products should be PFAS and Chemical Free. Especially given the link between PFAS, water repellent and stain repellent properties. 

3. Leakproof underwear brands should be required to provide third-party test results to back up any claims they make around the technical performance of their products (ie. odor repellent, stain resistant, moisture wicking / absorbency abilities etc.).

When we helped pioneer period underwear back in 2013, the industry was in its infancy. But today, these products are popping up everywhere: in your social media feed, on Amazon, and in stores. With an influx of brands rushing to enter the space, promising an array of benefits and features, it’s more important than ever that we can all be confident about what we are putting on our bodies. It’s time.

We’re calling for more transparency and stricter regulations in this fast growing category, and if you believe in this too, please sign our petition.  

CEO & Founder Joanna Griffiths, and the entire team at Knix and Knixteen