DURING that time of the month, the absolute LAST thing you'd ever catch us wearing are a pair of lacy knickers – right?
Not only are they not exactly comfortable to wear, you also run the risk of leaking in a pair of skimpy pants – however, one savvy student may have finally solved this monthly dilemma by designing a pair of sexy "period proof" undies.
Sian Hickey, 21, is an undergraduate at the Leicester de Montfort University who has created a range of sexy lingerie that you can wear on your period WITHOUT sanitary towels for her final project.
The student – who is enrolled in one of the UK's oldest and most prestigious Contour Fashion courses – wanted to design an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional period products.
With this in mind, the student created garments which can be washed and reworn without fear of leakage for up to 18 months.
And although period pants are already available on the market, Sian said she wanted to create something sexy and attractive that her and her friends would feel comfortable wearing.
She said: "Period poverty is something I'm really passionate about, and I was researching ideas for my final project but I realised that all the period proof pants that had been done before weren't that attractive, they looked like Bridget Jones pants.
"I wanted to try and make a period proof lingerie that I'd be proud to wear, something that makes people feel sexy despite the fact they're on their period."
The period poverty campaigner debuted her lingerie line at her university's Contour Fashion Show in London last week and is now using her final project to raise money for the charity Freedom4Girls.
The charity's aspires to make period poverty a thing of the past and encourage women all over the world to use more environmentally-friendly products.
Sian added: "We've nearly eradicated period poverty in the UK with the government agreeing to supply all schools with free sanitary wear but there's still a huge waste problem.
“Even if period waste is disposed of correctly, using bins rather than flushing, plastic wrappers and applicators are not biodegradable and just sit in landfill for centuries. Something needs to change."
Although Sian is currently awaiting her final grade, the fashion student has already achieved a First for her innovative final project.
Commenting on the reaction to her lingerie, the student said: "Once you explain how the underwear works and how they are more comfortable than and just as hygienic as disposable sanitary products, disguised as regular lingerie, people see round the issue of absorbent knickers."
What is period poverty?
- Campaigners say many women and girls cannot afford sanitary products, putting their health at risk.
- The average woman spends more than £150 a year.
- In June 2018, MP Danielle Rowley shocked the House of Commons by announcing she was on her period while calling on ministers to help women who are trapped in "period poverty".
- She said: "I would like to raise with you today and to the House, and perhaps you'll excuse me for my lateness, that today I'm on my period – and it's cost me this week already £25. We know the average cost of a period in the UK over a year is £500 – many women can't afford this. What is the minister doing to address period poverty?"
After she's completed her degree, Sian is set to fly out to Stockholm for six months to complete a six month internship with H&M.
She said: "It's been really hard at times, I've questioned myself and thought why have I chosen this as my final project. But the tutors at the uni have been amazing. As soon as I told them I wanted to do a period proof underwear line they were right behind me, and they have really pushed me to get it right.
"I feel so lucky to have been chosen to display my work on the Contour Fashion Show Catwalk too, it has some of the biggest names in the industry there and it's rare that such a technical project gets chosen over the more creative ones."
Donate to Sian's fundraiser Freedom4Girls here.
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