The time to change how we deal with our periods is long overdue.
It is no shock that the amount of waste created by single-use products is phenomenal – so why do we see it as the norm for menstrual products, especially as the UK sees 200,000 tonnes of waste a year from just pads and panty liners?
In Australia, the average woman uses 10,000-12,000 disposable menstrual products over their life – not ideal when these go straight to landfill where they take 500-800 years to biodegrade.
Modibodi Review Snapshot
Materials | Recycled nylon, bamboo, merino wool, Tencel and organic cotton. This review is focused on their biodegradable period underwear which is also made with a biodegradable TPU film, polyamide yarn with enhanced biodegradability.
Carbon Goals and Achievements | Currently mapping their carbon footprint with partner Carbon Neutral. Working on streamlining their distribution model to move more product via shipping (vs air). Modibodi has also conducted a life-cycle assessment (LCA) to to identify the environmental impacts of their products.
Supply Chain | BSCI-certified suppliers and factories. Modibodi’s code of conduct is based on ILO standards for fair working conditions.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | All-gender, size inclusive (3XS to 6XL) and adaptive products with easy side openings.
Pay It Forward | ‘Give-A-Pair’ program contributes period underwear to NGOs
Our personal Modibodi review | We found the biodegradable period underwear from Modibodi to be soft and strong, well-fitting with good absorption.
Who is Modibodi?
Since 2013, global original period and absorbent apparel brand, Modibodi®, has been the UK’s number one leak-proof brand.
Female founded and designed with compassion, Modibodi offers a sustainable solution to disposable products. Modibodi uses proprietary innovation and patented technology to ensure each and every one of their designs is market leading – saving billions of single-use disposable hygiene products from ending up in landfill.
Modibodi products are sustainable and designed to be reused. Their efficient design also means no leakage.
The brand is striving to become a Carbon Negative business by the end of 2023. They have a Preferred Materials Standard whereby they will change their materials to create a lower impact on the environment.
They will be changing to fabrics that consider emissions, water use, chemicals and the health of people – changing 90% of their fabrics to this new standard.
Modibodi also creates a positive impact beyond encouraging people to use eco-friendly sanitary products with the wide variety of charity work they do.
For example: they have donated 10,000 pairs of period underwear to women who have experienced domestic violence, and also have partnered with The Katalyst Foundation which provides the women of Fiji the opportunity to continue to go to work and school throughout their menstruation.
Finally, Modibodi also allows customers to donate period underwear to women and girls around the world suffering from period poverty, as a part of their Give A Pair Contribution.
What we cover in this Modibodi Review
1. The issues with single-use sanitary products
The majority of period products that are available are single-use and made from a lot of plastic.
On average around 11,000 period products are used in a lifetime. Imagine the environmental impact if everyone started using reusable products.
The average pair of reusable period undies lasts around two years, saving money and preventing waste.
Once thrown away, these products end up in landfills or the ocean – and most stay in the environment for a very long time.
And that’s just for those that are thrown away.
A shocking 1.5 to 2 million menstrual items are flushed down the toilet in the UK, which leads to severe sewage blockages.
Moreover, the Marine Conservation Society revealed that on average, 4.8 pieces of menstrual waste are found per 100 metres of UK beaches.
It is estimated that sanitary pads are made of 90% plastic, with a pack of menstrual pads being the equivalent of four plastic bags.
Although tampons are made of only 6% plastic, the packaging that they often come in is unsustainable and frequently unsterile.
Ultimately, single-use period products are incredibly unsustainable and make a lasting, negative impact on the environment.
Luckily, there has been a recent rise and popularity in the amount of eco-friendly period products that are available in the market.
Why biodegradable period and pee-proof pants are a game changer
The first of its kind in the industry, the biodegradable period underwear mean that there is drastically less impact on the planet.
After years of blood, sweat and science, Modibodi has taken steps to end the lifecycle problem of textiles developing a product that not only reduces waste, but doesn’t cause harm to the planet.
It has created leakproof periodwear which are 97% biodegradable (only the elastic isn’t).
So, what are they made of that makes them biodegradable?
Over two years of testing, biodegradable period pants are made from a blend of natural and bioengineered synthetic materials:
- Merino wool
- Tencel – made from sustainably sourced wood
- Biodegradable TPU film
- Polyamide yarn with enhanced biodegradability
- Organic cotton
The gusset of the underwear is made from Merino wool, which is naturally highly absorbent and wicks away moisture.
Bamboo is used to absorb fluids, and a biodegradable TPU film acts as the waterproof layer to seal in the fluids.
The polyamide yarn makes up the elastic of the pants, with a lifespan of approximately five years in the landfill (ten times faster than standard synthetic fibres).
Modibodi provide six different absorbency types:
- Moisture Wicking
- Super Light Absorbency (1 tampon)
- Light – Moderate Absorbency (2 tampons)
- Moderate – Heavy Absorbency (2 – 3 tampons)
- Heavy – Overnight Absorbency (3 – 4 tampons)
- Maxi – Absorbency (8 – 10 tampons)
But now let’s put them to the test…
Our Detailed Modibodi Review
The focus of this Modibodi review is the Biodegradable Bikini with the period and pee-proof rating of light-moderate, given it is their most sustainable option. This absorbency rating means that the underwear is able to hold 2 – 3 tampons worth of liquid.
Other Modibodi period underwear reviews:
Over the years, our writers and testing team have tested the following products from Modibodi. We share our quick take based on our personal experience with these specific products (which are not from the Modibodi biodegradable range):
- Classic Full Brief with heavy-overnight absorbency: best for your standard go-to night time period underwear. It will not let you down
- Classic Bikini with light-moderate absorbency: perfect for everyday wear but runs a little small so we recommend sizing up
- Sensual French Cut with moderate-heavy absorbency: our absolute best for comfort and style
- Classic Thong with super light absorbency: perfect for combining with a period cup on a tight pants day
- Sensual Hi-Waist Bikini with moderate-heavy absorbency: best for feeling a little less bleh given the lacey touch but note the lace seam did start to separate after several washes
Biodegradable Bikini Modibodi Review: First impressions
My underwear arrived in paper packaging that was both recyclable and biodegradable, and had all the things to know about the underwear detailed on the back of the packaging.
Once out of the packaging, I was surprised as to how soft the underwear was, yet also surprised at how thin the material was. This section of the underwear is made from Tencel and Merino Wool.
I was used to period underwear feeling a bit like swimwear; I’m sure this is due to the materials used but may also be due to the lower absorbance than I’m used to.
Despite the thin material the underwear has a good stretch to it, although with the stretching the underwear does become more transparent.
I was pleased to see that the thick gusset covered a large area of the underwear highlighting Modibodi’s conscious design to prevent leakage.
The gusset was also the complete opposite to the rest of the material, in that it had hardly any stretch to the material. This means that the gusset should withstand many washes, and should not become thinner over time.
The care instructions for the underwear states that the pair requires a rinse under cold running water before being machine washed, which also should be a cold wash.
It also states that they should not be bleached, soaked, tumble dried, ironed, or washed with softener.
On the website, ModiBodi suggests that the periodwear should be washed in a laundry bag to help protect it.
Seems easy enough. Now, how did they fit?
Biodegradable Bikini Modibodi Review: The Pre-period fit
Hesitant at first, I was pleasantly surprised at the fit of the underwear. I was originally sceptical of the thin waistband, which I thought might cause discomfort, but they genuinely fit like a glove.
I have previously struggled with my body proportions and underwear fitting me, so I was pleased that the stretchy material meant my entire rear was covered.
- Check out what other period underwear we have tried
Moreover, despite the material difference between the gusset and the body of the underwear, the gusset discretely blended into the body of underwear.
To elaborate, normally the gusset can cause some discomfort, or hyper awareness of its presence, just as a sanitary pad can. The Modibodi pair didn’t create that effect.
However, this could be explained by the fact that I tend to wear period underwear with super high absorbency. But here I feel like the gusset fully covers me so I would be surprised if there are any leaks.
The soft material really does make the Modibodi biodegradable period underwear a truly comfortable fit. I also really loved the style and felt that they flattered my body nicely.
Overall, the underwear has passed the pre-period test. But how will they fair while I’m menstruating?
Biodegradable Bikini Modibodi Review: Period fit
Before using the undies it is vital that they are washed before use. This not only ensures a clean pair, but unlocks the absorption of the underwear.
While I was trialling the Modibodi briefs it was extra important that they were absorbent and comfortable as I was at Roskilde Festival so I was really testing their comfortable and leakproof qualities.
As stated previously, they fit me perfectly, and this did not change whilst I was menstruating. Likewise, the gusset did not become uncomfortable, or even noticeable, whilst I was wearing them throughout the day.
I was wearing the pair on my first day of menstruation, which is one of my heaviest days, and I found that the pair lasted for most of the time that I was out and about, around six hours.
I found that using the underwear made it so much easier to be active while out and about compared to sanitary pads and tampons – which also tend to create discomfort.
The underwear also saved me from using the festival toilets more than I needed to, so that was a relief.
- Find out more ways to be sustainable at festivals
In comparison with other period underwear that I have used, I found them only slightly different in appearance. The absorption held up despite the gusset being thinner than what I’m used to, as well as being a softer material.
Overall, I was impressed with the underwear, especially given my original apprehension when assessing the materials.
Biodegradable Bikini Modibodi Review: Final thoughts
Pros: soft and strong materials | well-fitting | good absorption | sustainably sourced | ethically made | almost entirely biodegradable
Cons: thin material | slightly more expensive than their standard collection | currently available in limited patterns and styles
Modibodi biodegradable period pants start at £34 for full briefs.