Period-proof your workout

The Stay In Play period leggings by Adidas   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Not many know that during adolescence one in four girls drop out of sports owing to their period. When the team at sporting major Adidas learned of this fact two years ago, they decided to venture into the period activewear space. With Stay In Play period leggings launched in June, the brand joins a list of several others who have been working on performance enhancement apparel for women.

While period-proof underwear has dominated the market for a few years — thanks to homegrown brands like SochGreen and Lavos — not much has been spoken about performance activewear. For instance, before Bengaluru-based yoga brand Proyog set up shop in 2015, co-founder Malika Baruah says they spent two years researching fabrics. They had to not only be sustainable, but also have the strength and finish to provide high performance, she says, explaining how they came up with the trademarked Hyperbreath fabric. “Each and every fabric underwent tests for a range of features such as stretch and recovery, yarn strength, staining, and colour fastness.” Ahead of the India launch of Adidas’ range, we take a look at it and other brands working in the space.

Tights @ Adidas, Germany

Speaking of their period-proof line of tights and shorts, Senior Product Manager, Kim Buerger, says the multi-layer pad construction is thin and lightweight with no outer seams. “The product underwent a series of trials and testing rounds, and we took note of fit as per the body type, feel and performance of the pad,” says Buerger. The outer layer of the tights is made from Primegreen, a recycled polyester fabric, and they are meant to be worn with a pad, tampon or cup. “The tights provide the user with an additional layer of protection and security. It is more of a mental barrier that we are trying to break as those who menstruate are usually afraid of leakage while playing or working out, despite wearing a tampon or pad,” she adds. Later, Adidas will launch bike shorts, and a plus size range. ₹2,999 for the shorts and ₹4,799 for the tights

Active shorts at Modibodi

Active shorts at Modibodi   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Running shorts @ Modibodi, Australia

To develop the Australian brand’s patented Modifier Technology, founder Kristy Chong worked “extensively with chemical textile engineers, garment developers, textile mills, and scientists, conducting close to 1,000 scientific tests over 18 months to get it right”. This technology is now found in the gusset area of their leak-proof underpants and activewear. Their products — running shorts, active briefs, and recycled active leggings — are designed to wick sweat and ensure leaks don’t get in the way of your workout.

Stretch it out
  • Brakefree, India: Founded by endurance runner Sumedha Mahajan, the brand has a range of high-impact shorts, capris, sports bras, and tights. The ‘champion’ and ‘performance’ tights are made using a specially-constructed fabric that focusses on crucial support to leg muscles.
  • Proyog, India: Known for fabrics such as organic cotton, bamboo, modal and linen that allow for easy stretch and high performance, founder Baruah says the Proyog Dhoti Range has been inspired by the apparel traditions of yoga gurus. The tank tops and leggings are treated with moisture-wicking technology to maintain freshness. Coming up are organic cotton melange products for their knit range, experiments with hemp fabric, and a new travel mat. ₹300 to ₹5,000 on

“Our merino wool [used in absorbent linings] is antibacterial, biodegradable, soft and breathable. As it absorbs up to three times its own weight in moisture, it keeps you dry and odour-free,” says Chong. However, a small percentage of users on Reddit threads have shared experiences on how the swimwear’s absorbent gusset does get wet after use, and despite following the washing instructions for the underwear religiously, they have experienced worn out fabric after just a couple of washes. The women’s range is at ₹1,422 onwards.

Cycle shorts @ Thinx, USA

As the news of harmful PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in their underwear is still being debated on the New York-based ‘period solutions company’ is out with a plus size collection in sleep shorts, their activewear collection, and their bestseller, the hiphugger.

Activewear at Thinx

Activewear at Thinx   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Courtney Newman, Head of Product Design at Thinx, explains that the leggings and cycle shorts with front heating-pad pockets, training shorts, and the leotard (with a built-in sports bra) are made with soft, double-sided brushed, four-way stretch interlock fabric “that is breathable and quick drying, with light compression”. “For the new activewear collection, attention was paid to the gusset lengths and construction to ensure comfort,” she says. Having said that, Reddit users have complained of odour after a year’s use (their lifespan is up to two years). The activewear range is at ₹3,710 onwards, period underwear at ₹1,855 onwards.

The swimwear collection at Ruby Love

The swimwear collection at Ruby Love   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Swimwear @ Ruby Love, USA

Bold shades of pink, blue and red colour the brand’s period-proof underwear (online reviewers suggest wearing a pad if you’re experiencing heavy flow), bodysuits, and leggings. This summer, they are promoting their range of period-proof swimwear in geometric patterns and aztec prints.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 2:37:01 AM |

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