Sian Hickey, a student at Leicester De Montfort University, has designed what is said to be the first period-proof lingerie.
The 21-year-old researched, tested, and designed all the materials herself to produce lingerie that can be washed and worn during periods.
Sian, from Hinkley, Leicester, said although period pants – which are an alternative to pads and tampons – exist already, they weren’t always the most attractive.
Likening existing designs to ‘Bridget Jones style pants’, Sian wanted more options for women to feel sexy while menstruating.
Period poverty has also been a big concern for the youngster, so she wanted to create something that could benefit women and make them feel good.
She recently debuted her line with four complete outfits at the university’s Contour Fashion Show in London.
‘Period poverty is something I’m really passionate about, and I was researching ideas for my final project but I realised that all the period proof pants that had been done before weren’t that attractive, they looked like Bridget Jones pants,’ said Sian.
‘I wanted to try and make period-proof lingerie that I’d be proud to wear, something that makes people feel sexy despite the fact they’re on their period.
‘I tested the materials for the leak-proof gussets in the university labs and I even designed and created the lace for the garments myself, using inspiration from the leaves in the stained glass windows at the MET Museum in New York.’
Sian has paired up with British charity Freedom4Girls, whose mission is to end period poverty globally and encourage women to tackle their period in more environmentally friendly ways.
‘There’s still a huge waste problem,’ she added.
‘Even if period waste is disposed of correctly, using bins rather than flushing, plastic wrappers and applicators are not biodegradable and just sit in landfill for centuries. Something needs to change.
‘The reaction has been good. Once you explain how the underwear works and how they are more comfortable than and just as hygienic as disposable sanitary products, disguised as regular lingerie, people see around the issue of absorbent knickers. People are definitely listening.’
Sian, will receive her final grade when she graduates in September this year but has gotten a first for her lingerie line.
With a bright future ahead, she is set to fly off to Stockholm for an internship at fashion giant H&M after her degree.
She said: ‘It’s been really hard at times, I’ve questioned myself and thought why have I chosen this as my final project.
‘But the tutors at the uni have been amazing. As soon as I told them I wanted to do a period proof underwear line they were right behind me, and they have really pushed me to get it right.’
If you want to see Sian’s designs take off, you can support her Crowdfunding page here.
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