Although women's periods have been around since, well, the beginning of humanity, there hasn't been much of an evolution in feminine hygiene products. Well, one company wants to change that. That's why Thinx created underwear that absorbs your period and can often be used as a complete replacement for pads and tampons. And in celebration of Earth Day on April 22, it's important to understand how that switch impacts the environment.

"More than 12 billion pads and tampons are thrown out each year, with the average person with a period using more than 11,000 pads, tampons and panty-liners in their lifetime," says Thinx CEO Maria Molland. "This is roughly 275 pounds of landfill pollution per person. So, if we can solve that by being a complete or partial replacement, it can reduce our dependencies on tampons and pads."

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The company offers a tool on its website called Know Your Flow that assists in finding the right Thinx styles for you. But it also tells you how much waste you personally can be saving from landfills based on your period. To enhance its environmental initiative even more, the company uses sustainable manufacturing processes and ensures ethical working conditions. That way every pair of underwear is made mindfully to promote healthier bodies and a healthier planet.

What's more, statistics show that women can spend up to $170 a year on menstrual hygiene products, so investing in a Thinx cycle set can save money. (There's even the new lower price point Thinx For All line). That issue of cost also points to Thinx's other philanthropic efforts: they have a give-back program called GiveRise that fights for better access to puberty education.

"One in five girls have not gone to school because they could not afford to buy menstrual products while 80% said they or someone they know has missed class or some school due to lack of menstrual hygiene products," says Molland. "It's striking how many girls get left out in the cold just because they were born a girl. We're trying just to use our brand, marketing and voices to highlight that issue. We donated underwear and money to organizations that help girls who fall into that poverty-stricken state."

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While Thinx is certainly helping to change the conversation around menstruation, bringing to light the unfair challenges attached to the natural part of life, Molland knows more needs to be done.

"We need to get rid of the pink tax [when products marketed specifically toward women are more expensive than those marketed to men] and have access to feminine hygiene products in school bathrooms," she adds. "That would be ideal."