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Puma Plunges Into Period-Panty Market

For on-the-go women who enjoy physical activities or just don’t want to worry about their period, a new line of underwear aims to minimize their menstrual anxiety.

German sportswear brand Puma has teamed up with Australian manufacturer Modibodi  to launch a line of underwear to help women stay dry and active during their period.

The Puma x Modibodi collection, which goes on sale in May at a price to be determined closer to launch, is also a boon for the environment because it does away with disposable napkins and tampons that add to already over-burdened landfills.

“The Puma x Modibodi collaboration allows women to stay active without having to worry about leaks, while reducing their monthly waste from period products,” said Erin Longin, global director of Run/Train at Puma.

Studies find that girls’ participation in sports declines as they reach puberty. Girls’ sports activities drop from 69 percent when they are 11 to 12 years old to 45 percent when they are 13 to 15 years old

The new Puma x Modibodi underwear is designed to be reused and replaces the need for disposable pads, liners or tampons while preventing leaks. Using Modibodi’s proprietary Modifier Technology, the underwear has a soft top layer made of merino wool, which wicks away moisture and sweat, and a quick-absorbing microfiber middle layer that locks away fluid and odor. Additional waterproof protection is in the bottom layer.

Modibodi manufactures a host of leak-proof products including swimwear, activewear, maternity wear and reusable diapers, whose selections offer light-moderate protection. Its underwear and swimwear can hold two tampons’ worth of absorbency to the maxi-24 hours version, which can hold up to 10 tampons worth of absorbency.

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New Puma x Modibodi products must be washed prior to use to activate the gusset for maximum absorbency.

After using, the underwear needs to be rinsed, not soaked, in cold water until the water runs clear.  Then users should cold wash it by hand or in a washing machine without fabric softener, and then hang to dry.

Modibodi, founded in 2013 in Sydney, designs its garments in Australia and manufactures them in China with specialist underwear factories, which are OEKO-TEX certified.

All Modibodi’s merino wool is sourced from farms that refrain from mulesing their sheep, which is the removal of strips of wool-bearing skin from around a sheep’s rear end to prevent the parasitic infection flystrike.

Puma and Modibodi join a growing field of manufacturers tapping into this market. According to a research report last year by Transparency Market Research, the period panties category is projected to reach $279.3 million by the end of 2026 from $67.2 million in 2017.

Dozens of companies have been providing this product for years. Among them is Thinx Inc., a New York-based company that has been offering period underwear since 2013. Last year, Kimberly-Clark bought a majority stake in the startup that in the past four years has grown from 29 employees to 100. It seemed a perfect match for Kimberly-Clark, which invented the Kotex brand more than 100 years and also developed the incontinence brands Poise and Depends.

Canadian brand Knix was founded by Joanna Griffiths in Toronto in 2013. She thought the underwear market had too much thrill and not enough function. The company offers everything from leak-proof underwear to activewear for women on the go.

Last year, its parent company Knix Wear raised $53 million in capital after saying it had $100 million in online sales during a 12-month period ending in 2021. With the capital infusion, Knix plans to increase its product lineup and expand its store footprint, currently located in Canada and the United States.

In 2019, three sisters, Jodi, Kari and Lori Caden, founded Proof, a Los Angeles company that makes leak-proof underwear for ages 9 and above in a growing market.

Other companies in the field include Clovia, Anigan, Dear Kate, Flux, Fannypants and Wuka.