It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. That is certainly true for Jodi, Lori, and Kari Caden, the sisterpreneurs revolutionizing period and leak protection. Genius struck when middle sister Kari experienced an arduous labor and delivery that resulted in postpartum bleeding that went on…and on…and on. She couldn’t believe that she would be leaving the hospital in diapers along with her newborn son, and the sisters set off to make a better leak solution for people with periods (and bladder leaks, and lochia, and…).
Years of meticulous designing, research, and finding the highest quality materials (safe to use even *down there*) gave birth to Proof – an all new line of patented leakproof underwear (also known as period panties). And while the market isn’t new, their patented technology is revolutionary and unique.
Proof undies are the only leakproof undies equipped with patented Leak-Loc™ technology, which the sisters call their “secret sauce.” Layers of absorbent, moisture-wicking fabric pulls liquid into the core and keeps it there. One-way moisture transfer ensures the wearer doesn’t feel wet and soggy, and antimicrobial lining reduces odor and inhibits the growth of bacteria – which helps even the biggest period proof undie nay-sayers feel more confident giving Proof a go.
“My friends would tell me, ‘I need this when I sneeze…I always pee a little!’ or ‘Oh my gosh, these would be a lifesaver when I’m sweating in the gym,’”says co-founder Jodi. “So we began to look at other ways Proof could help people with vaginas, and took a holistic approach to leak care.”
And my, the list was long. First periods taking teens by surprise, bladder leaks after baby, a bit of pee during a sneeze (which the Caden sisters lovingly refer to as ‘speezing’), sweating, and even after sex.
“We had a young team member suggest using Proof after sex. Women experience discharge and leaking sometimes for days after intercourse…even after wiping and showering,” says Kari. While Proof isn’t an alternative to hygiene (please wash up, people!) it gives that confidence and comfort at night that you won’t be sleeping in a little wet spot on the bed.
Period Panties Are A Safe Alternative
Proof’s products are strictly tested, and many are doctor-developed or endorsed, so users know that they are a safe alternative to tampons. Tampons can be risky, as they are internal use products that carry with them the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare but serious bacterial infection that can sometimes cause death.
Although tampons are considered a “medical device” by the Food and Drug Administration, manufacturers are not required to issue a full disclosure of what is in their tampons. In general, tampons are made from cotton and rayon, but unfortunately, big brand tampons often have odor neutralizers, dyes, pesticides, and fragrances added. Because the vaginal wall is permeable, it allows these toxins and chemicals direct access to your bloodstream in addition to throwing off your vaginal pH, which often leads to irritation or infection.
READ MORE Three Must Reads on Bacterial Vaginosis
The sisters committed to rigorously testing their own materials after other period underwear brands were found to contain a sprayed-on chemical coating. “We want to do a lot of good with this product,” Jodi concludes, “We want to give women confidence, we want them not to worry about leaking through onto their clothes… and we want to do it while looking after the earth and the safety of the women who wear our product.”
Period Panties are Sustainable
The sisters' approach is helping turn the tides on the period and leak conversation while making sure that their products have a positive impact on the environment. Sustainable packaging and a reusable product are only a part of the Caden’s business plan for success.
On average, one will use and throw away 11,000 pads and 14,000 tampons totaling over 300 pounds of menstrual waste in their lifetime.This waste winds up in landfills, rivers and oceans, which contributes to the 8 million tons of plastic waste that enter the ocean every year and constitute 7% of the world’s landfills.
“When you use a tampon or a pad, you’re left with a product that contains trace plastic and sometimes adhesive,” explains Lori, “And then you wrap it up with the plastic wrapper and toss it in the trash. It’s really difficult to break down, and this waste can last for decades in a landfill.”
In an effort to push their efforts even further, Proof converted to earth-friendly packaging in 2021. Proof’s specially designed bags are made of cornstarch, so they are biodegradable and commercially compostable. “It’s a little change that made a big difference to us,” says Jodi, who heads product development, “As a company, we want to be responsible in what we put out into the world.”
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Momotaro Apotheca and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on Momotaro Apotheca is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition.