Sustainability and Ethics
Our Mission WUKA stands for ‘Wake Up Kick Ass’ because we believe nothing should hold you back on your period.
We make affordable underwear for periods and light leaks, from sustainable materials, responsibly sourced and delivered. Let us show you how.
Disposables to Reusables
200,000 tonnes of disposable pads and tampons are sent to landfill every single year in the UK, each containing vast amounts of polluting, single-use plastic. According to WEN, menstrual pads contain up to 90% plastic and 2 billion menstrual items are flushed down Britain’s toilets every single year! Did you know that one pair of WUKA Period Pants can save 200 single-use plastic-riddled disposables from polluting our ocean or going to landfill? Making the switch from disposable period products to reusables is an easy, convenient and super comfy way to be more environmentally-friendly in our everyday lives.
Planet Friendly Materials
We use the highest quality materials in all of our underwear, from GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) organic cotton, to TENCEL is made from sustainable beech trees, to Recycled Nylon made from plastic waste from our oceans. TENCEL fibres are biodegradable and compostable under industrial, home, soil and marine conditions to ensure that they can return back to nature after use.
We care about our entire planet, everyone and everything on it. We’re proud to be registered by The Vegan Society and approved by PETA - each and every pair of WUKA Period Pants is certified vegan and cruelty free. No animal, big or small, is harmed in the entire WUKA lifecycle. In fact, by choosing WUKA Period Pants instead of flushing tampons, we’re also protecting water-based animals which can be harmed by plastic pollution on our ocean and rivers.
No Added Chemicals - Tested
We refuse to add any silver treatments or anti bacterials treatments to our products, and we regularly test for additional chemicals including PFAS. PFAS, short for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of over 4,700 synthetic chemicals that have been used since the 1990s to make surfaces resistant to stains, water and grease. Unfortunately, they do not break down and accumulate over time in humans, animals and our environment. They have been found in the Arctic and in open ocean waters. All our underwear is tested free from PFAS.
Menstruation is a natural body function but the single use products such as pads and tampons used to manage it do have a carbon footprint and it’s bigger than we thought. From manufacture, shipping and recycling, this all contributes to a product’s carbon footprint. A year’s worth of disposable pads and tampons for one person produces 8.9kg of CO2 emissions, the same as charging a mobile phone more than 1000 times.
What Can We Do to Reduce Our Footprint?
It’s as simple as switching to period pants. They have 6x smaller carbon footprint compared to pads and 4x less compared to tampons. Every pair of WUKA replaces 200 disposables, which is great for waste reduction. By using sustainable materials like TENCEL™ and Organic Cotton, we keep our footprint naturally small but for the rest we offset more than we use and are Carbon Neutral Plus and accredited by Carbon Footprint UK.
Education about periods and our environment is essential to create the change we wish to see in the world. We regularly donate WUKA Period Pants to schools and nurses to deliver up-to-date information about periods and their social and environmental impact. In addition to supporting educational programmes, we also support a number of charities. To learn more, visit our Giving Back page.
We like to keep packaging to a minimum, which is why we use certified card for our in-store cartons. When it comes to our online orders, we hand wrap each pair of Period Pants individual compostable bags for hygiene. Whilst these may look like plastic, don’t be fooled - they’re actually made from compostable corn starch.
We Lead by Example
We practice what we preach, which is why we’re always looking for new ways in which we can be more eco-friendly at WUKA HQ. Our office and warehouse are based in Hertfordshire, England. Our office-based team practices hybrid working to reduce commuting hours. We have no single-use cutlery, crockery or bottles at our HQ. We have recycling facilities on site to reduce waste wherever possible and keep printing to a minimum. Our office is adorned with air-purifying house plants to keep our space clean and fresh. We car share and some of our team members are able to enjoy a walk to work. We even have eco-friendly recycled or bamboo toilet paper!
TENCEL™ WUKA Ultimate Midi Brief, Ultimate Boxer Shorts, Bralette, Everyday Midi Brief and Bikini, and Ultimate High Waist are made from TENCEL. Its an eco-friendly fabric made from responsibly sourced wood pulp from carefully managed beech tree forests, the trees are sustainably managed and environmental and social standards are met. TENCEL is produced in an entirely ‘closed-loop’ process, which means that its solvents are contained and reused, ensuring that no contaminants are released into the environment. The fibres are compostable and biodegradable, which means they can fully revert back to nature. TENCEL boasts many sustainable certifications. It has earned USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) BioPreferred designation, certified biodegradable and compostable by the Belgian certification Vinçotte, recognised by EU Ecolabel for its low environmental impact and a European Award for the Environment from the European Commission. We have chosen TENCEL as it is a super sustainable material that is also exquisitely soft on the skin and very flexible.
WUKA Ultimate Bikini Brief Period Pants are made from GOTS organic cotton (Global Organic Textile Standard). Did you know that conventional cotton production uses insecticides and herbicides? The chemicals are washed out of soils, which then pollutes our rivers and damages the environment. Cotton farming also uses vast amounts of water for irrigation. We have chosen to use organic cotton in our Ultimate Bikini Brief Period Pants, which are grown without the use of harsh, synthetic chemicals. This also ensures healthy working conditions for the cotton farmers. Organic cotton is also kind to the most sensitive of skins. Our organic cotton is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard, which is a prestigious external accreditation body that covers the processing, manufacturing and trading of organic textiles. It guarantees that a minimum of 95% organic fibres are used. It also ensures that high standards are met across environmental impact and social impact, to ensure that both our planet and people are being treated well and fairly.
Our Perform range is made from recycled nylon. Nylon is a type of plastic that can be toxic to our environment. Our water supplies across the world are contaminated with harmful chemicals from irresponsible waste disposal from the textile industry. Currently, the world is producing more plastic than we are recycling - only 9% of the world’s plastic has been recycled. We have chosen to use recycled nylon from ocean waste to create our Perform collection, to ensure this pre-existing plastic is being used to its full potential, to reduce waste. Using recycled means that we use less energy to produce our Period Pants, compared to traditional manufacturing processes.
The Better Cotton Initiative promotes the ethical production of cotton. Their manifesto results in:
Better for smallholders, who can use the knowledge, support and resources we provide to grow cotton – and other crops – more sustainably.
Improving soil health, water management, greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilience.
Better for large farms, whose investment in sustainability is recognised and rewarded.
Better for farm workers, who benefit from improved working conditions and a higher standard of living.
Better for farming communities, where inequalities are confronted and women become more empowered.
Better for our implementing partners and civil society organisations, who are working to create lasting change on the ground.
Better for donors because their funding goes to the places where it can have the most impact.
Better for governments that can draw on our expertise and resources to plot a nationwide path to sustainability.
Better for companies across the supply chain as they meet customers’ demands for sustainable sourcing.
Better for retailers and brands who know that cotton that’s good for people and planet is equally good for business.
Better for consumers who, from a glance at a logo, know that what they’re buying is made by those who share their values.
Better Cotton isn’t just a commodity, it’s a movement.