Adidas on Tuesday moved into the period-proof apparel space, begun by the likes of Thinx and Knix, with a collection of sportswear aimed to prevent leaks for athletes that menstruate, according to a company press release.
The techfit period-proof tights are the result of two years of development and testing, and are just one of a series of innovations the company plans to release this year to "better service all women in sport."
The launch comes just a few months after Thinx expanded into the activewear space with a line of absorbent leggings, cycling shorts, leotards and training shorts.
As more companies look to normalize periods, Adidas is getting into the space to better support women in sports. The company said part of the reason for the launch was the dropout rate of teenage girls in sports and the impact period leakage had on that decision.
A campaign released along with the launch features women and girls of different ages staying active through their periods, with the tagline "Stay in play."
In addition to launching period-proof products, which include a wicking layer, an absorbing layer and a leak-proof layer, Adidas is also seeking to change the taboo around menstruation as a topic. The company partnered with sports research scientist Georgie Bruinvels and physical education teachers to "craft educational materials and practical lesson plans" to be used in schools around the world to talk about periods in sport.
"Education is the ultimate starting point whereby those who menstruate can be empowered by an increased understanding of an essential physiological process," Bruinvels said in a statement. "Education will enable progressive discussion, helping to break down barriers associated with physical activity and the menstrual cycle."
Tackling regularly taboo topics has been a differentiation point for many DTC brands, which often use humor and unconventional tactics to change the conversation around them. Adidas is joining the movement to normalize menstruation, and also putting itself in more direct competition with some of the DTC brands that have helped grow the leak-proof apparel space.
Unlike Thinx's leak-proof underwear and activewear, which advertise absorption levels of up to five regular tampons, the products Adidas has released are designed to protect against leaks "when worn with a tampon or pad."