The period is a timeless biological function, an emotional reality and a social construct to which Thinx poses incredible disruption. However, aside from its incredible engineering , which has been validated through positive reviews, the product has especially been successful through its universal consideration of women and the issues they face outside of privileged and developed economies.
This underwear company founded by social entrepreneur, Miki Agrawal, was established to provide women with a more comfortable, reliable and liberating product which they can use during menstruation.
Critically Acclaimed Product design
Thinx's innovative engineering, which they have patented as "Thinx QuadTech," rests in a layered structure of four micro-layers. The top portion of the four layers essentially pushes all fluids into a secondary and super thin absorption layer woven underneath.
According to the company's FAQ page, this structure and engineering allows for a pair of their underwear to hold up to "2 tampons’ worth" of fluid which on average equals about 5 teaspoons. Very importantly, the website holds true to the idea of the individuality by stating that one's confidence in the product on the "heaviest" of days depends on the biology and flow of the user.
The brand currently features 6 different models of underwear in different styles which are designed to master 4 different levels of fluid output.
Moving Us past a Somewhat Masculine Status Quo
For centuries and until recently, the solutions being offered to women have been incredibly masculine and remedial.
Even as privileged women in developed economies have been able to upgrade from primitive solutions such as leaves, rags and social isolation, they have been stuck with tampons and various pads which are incredibly impersonal.
Above: Miki Agrawal Discusses her Social and Personal Approach to business
The previous and current genre of feminine products (even that name is problematic) relies primarily two unpleasant types: the pad and the tampon.
Pads focus on absorption and are bulky. All day a user is reminded of its existence and remains "in the way" both functionally and mentally. Meanwhile the tampon's focus is on blockage through insertion. While it is seemingly more stealth than the pad, it often requires replacement throughout the day, thus disrupting and fracturing the daily routines of its users.
These methods are however not just dismissive, over-simplistic and masculine in their engineering, but they are also prohibitively expensive for women that are not economically privileged.
The Intersectional Nature of Thinx's Origins, Product and Mission
She was in South Africa when she met an adolescent woman who told her about her ongoing "shame period" during which she is disallowed from attending school because she is on her cycle.
Thinx most recent marketing Campaign, At least on the face, Was incredibly Inclusive
The fact that this young woman and an estimated 2 billion other women would compulsorily miss 25% of her schooling, due to a combination of poverty and biology, bothered Miki so much that she decided to build a business model around this problem.
Miki Agrawal and her company use the sale of every one pair of Thinx to provide 7 menstruation cloths to women in under-developed economies so that they can avoid those 2+ months of missed classroom time.
Moreover, the production of Thinx underwear, employs economically insecure women in Sri Lanka.
Intersectionality Helps us All and Leads to More Innovation
The intersectional feminism of Miki's solutions rests in the reality of women creating and designing a well-engineered product that optimizes the lives of both woman who can afford to purchase their product and those who cannot.
Thinx is, in-part, such a effective product for so many women because it is designed by team of women and led by a woman co-founder that dare to see in and beyond their individual realities and past their own privilege.
And as more brands like Thinx and Bevel pull us up from the confines of power and privilege, we all will be able to enjoy products which are better designed and allow us all to be simply and more human.
Medvis Jackson is a web designer at Hindsite, curator at Kulchah and avid cricket fan. You can follow him @medvisjackson for his random thoughts.