Thinking About Underwear: Thinx

There are a lot of products out there that operate on the buy-one-give-one (BOGO) model — probably the best known are TOMS Shoes and Warby Parker — but none of them have really sparked my interest, mostly because the “buy one” of the BOGO model hasn’t been something I needed or wanted. After all, it’s not efficient to buy something you don’t want just to give someone else something they need; easier just to contribute directly.

However, I was recently contacted by THINX, which makes women’s underwear and sells it on a BOGO model. Their schtick is that the underwear has built in “protection” (of the anti-leak sort, it’s not electrified or anything) and by buying a pair, you send reusable washable cloth menstrual pads to a girl in the developing world. (Not sure why this is a big deal? Read this. Check out some of Rose George’s writing on this issue, too.) And I figured, hey, everyone needs underwear …

They sent me a couple of (free) pairs to try out, and they were very nice, as underwear goes. I tend to wear either super-cheap Target brand or Hanky Panky, and quality-wise, the Thinx pairs were closer to the higher end of the scale.  They sent me a couple of pairs in size large (42 hip; their sizes go up to a 47 inch hip). They were comfy, and although I didn’t get much of a chance to put the leak-protection to the test, Thinx seemed like an excellent option for women who have irregular cycles and hate having to wear liners every day (or for women who have mild stress incontinence and a bad case of the sneezes). They’re supposed to be antimicrobial as well, but I haven’t yet found my microscope since we moved and wasn’t all that excited about checking that particular claim personally …

The most-absorbent pair (the hiphuggers) are very expensive (>$40); the rest are about the same as a pair of top-of-the-line undies. If you amortize the cost of liners over the life of a pair of THINX … you’re probably better at this kind of math than I am. They do feel very sturdy (not in the “sturdy as a euphemism for ugly” way, honest) and I imagine they would hold up pretty well. They look … exactly like normal underwear. (I wore them to the gym and no one pointed/laughed in the locker room.)  And they only come in black, which makes sense given their purpose. The lining material makes you think they wouldn’t breathe well, but I didn’t notice any problems at all. I think they’d make great travel underwear — they wash and dry fast, and they seem like they wouldn’t feel horrible after a fourteen-hour  plane ride.

My verdict: if you need this particular underwear functionality, Thinx are for you. If you just want to have nice-looking underwear, Thinx may also be for you, and either way, you help girls go to school, so bonus!

PS: In addition to sending me two free pairs, Thinx also offered me an affiliate ad, which you’ll see in the sidebar. If you’d like to buy them directly, the link is here.

5 thoughts on “Thinking About Underwear: Thinx

  1. Thanks for this, I’m really glad to hear that someone is addressing this problem!
    I’ve had a vague sense of “I’ll bet this is really a problem for girls and women in developing countries” ever since a 14 day canoe trip into the wilderness was … complicated … by an unexpected period and no supplies. (After 14 months of no periods, I didn’t think I needed to pack any!) Oh. My. Word.
    Anyway, even though I don’t need any underwear, I’m going to buy some.

    Like

  2. Affiliate link clicked, starter pair ordered! Thanks very much for the tip; underwear is a perennial source of bafflement for me.

    Like

  3. They won’t honor their return policy. They sent me the wrong size and won’t even answer my emails or calls. NO refunds NO returns is their policy with me even though it was their mistake.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s