Despite the fact that women have menstruated since the beginning of time, many parts of the world still don't have adequate materials to deal with women's monthly periods.
It's estimated, for instance, females in Uganda miss nearly 11 percent of the school year due to their periods. Without access to feminine hygiene products, they're confined to their homes.
Even stateside, menstruation management presents a host of problems, most notably, the incredible waste created by disposable feminine hygiene products.
It's estimated 12 billion pads and seven million tampons are chucked into landfills each year, and that's just in the US.
Add to that the physical discomfort of pads and (sometimes) tampons, and it's clear we're long overdue for a feminine hygiene revolution.
Thankfully, that day isn't too far off. Sisters Radha and Miki Agrawal, along with friend Antonia Dunbar, recently launched THINX, a company specializing in machine-washable, absorbent underwear that eliminates the need for traditional feminine hygiene products.
Originally designed as a back-up system for traditional period management system, the absorbent underwear is designed to hold as much liquid as a standard pad and comes in thong, hip hugger and cheeky styles.
Most importantly, they're totally leak-proof when used correctly -- making them a welcome replacement for pads and tampons.
They're a bit pricier than most underwear, running at $24 to $34, but in the long run, they can save women thousands of dollars per year in disposable feminine care products.
CEO Miki Agrawal told Forbes,
I want to change the culture around women's most normal time of month — and not while wearing grandma panties or pads that feel like a diaper.
The founders hope to help women in the developing world who may not otherwise have access to feminine care products. So, they teamed up with Ugandan nonprofit AFRIpads, and for every pair of THINX sold, they'll donate enough money to the organization for seven pads, each time allowing one female to attend school while menstruating.
The company is, in a word, genius.
Tampons were invented in 1931 and aside from adhesive strips and wings on pads there hasn't been any major innovation in 85 years. It's time to change that — and to change the taboo.
As far as I'm concerned, THINX may just revolutionize menstruation entirely.