Memphian Crissy Clements is offering women an eco-friendly, affordable alternative to disposable feminine hygiene products.
With companies like THINX — maker of absorbent "period panties" — popping up, some women are choosing to forego using disposable feminine products in favor of heavily lined underwear with moisture-wicking capabilities. Others are turning to them as a complement to disposable products.
- Crissy Clements
But THINX are rather pricey, and Clements wanted to offer women a cheaper option. So she launched 4period.co, a Memphis-based online retailer of feminine hygiene undergarments. For comparison, a five-pack of 4period underwear costs $60, and a single pair runs $15, while the single pairs of THINX can cost up to $38.
Clements is the company's sole employee. She took a few minutes to talk with the Flyer about her company. — Alexandra Pusateri
Flyer: Why did you start 4period?
Clements: Originally, I wanted to only make [and sell regular] black panties. I ended up getting hooked up with a manufacturer, and I was looking through their catalog for different styles. I found these period panties that were leak-proof. I arranged to get the samples sent, and I fell in love with them.
I was dumping water on them, thinking it was too good to be true. THINX has been doing this, and they have a little more variety with the styles that they offer. Of course, they have more funding. The problem is they are ridiculously expensive. Even for non-period underwear, I'm not going to pay $24 for one pair of panties. I wanted to offer women a cheaper alternative without giving up on quality.
What makes you different from other companies offering "period panties"?
I wanted to make sure I could provide the maximum amount of protection. My panties can hold half a cup of liquid. There's front and back protection, which my competitors don't have. Not selling them in packs is also ridiculous.
How do they work?
They're 100 percent organic cotton on the outside, and the leak-guard layer is 100 percent sanitary. It's totally safe for skin contact. You can wear them with or without a pad if you want to. It's not chemically treated or anything. The leak-proof lining is so thin; it's actually thinner than the regular gusset in your panties. The panties are absorbent, so you won't bleed through your clothes.
What are the benefits of wearing these?
It saves women time by not needing to launder their sheets as often, and money, by not having to buy new panties as much. The panties, for me, have been a godsend, as someone who has developed an allergy to pads and tampons. There's always a need to reduce waste, too. For instance, if you're wearing the panties and you're expecting your monthly visitor, you don't have to put on a panty liner — [the panties are] reducing waste.
What's next for 4period?
I'm actually hoping to do a bit of charity for incarcerated women. I know they can only get those cheap, cardboard-quality pads and tampons that don't offer the protection.