Adidas throws his considerable muscle behind a sensitive subject: menstruation.
The German sports giant will today launch a new product category supported by a global marketing campaign: Stay in Play. The TechFit Period Proof collection of tights and shorts includes an absorbent layer to protect against leaks when worn with a tampon or towel. It is intended to help people who have their period feel confident when exercising, as well as to keep them from giving up. Adidas cited a study that found that one in four menstruating people worldwide stop exercising during their teenage years, largely because they are afraid of period leaks.
Kim Buerger, senior product manager for women’s clothing at Adidas, said the company is committed to providing clothing that can help reassure them and keep them involved in the sport.
Buerger said Adidas worked for two years to develop the TechFit line and, after extensive testing and reworking, created a product that offers three layers: absorbent, absorbent and anti-leak.
“We started to design this collection from the inside out,” she said. “We knew it had to be comfortable and breathable, but more importantly, it had to fulfill its role of leak protection. Our ambition with this product is to keep more people in sport by giving them the confidence to train during their period.
Although 900 million people around the world have their period, most are uneducated on the subject. Adidas analyzed data from over 14,000 athletes in the UK and found that 82.3% of participants said they had never received education about their menstrual cycle in the context of sport or exercise, and among those who have a trainer, 81.5% have never spoken to their trainer about their cycle. In the United States, 65.3 percent have not received any education on the subject and 75.8 percent have not discussed the menstrual cycle with their trainer.
Buerger acknowledged that the subject of menstruation is still “very taboo”, but Adidas hopes that can be alleviated by having a conversation on the subject.
That’s where Dr Georgie Bruinvels, director of sports science and female athlete at Orreco, a UK-based sports performance company, comes in.
“It’s great to see that the landscape of girls and women in sport is progressing, but it is evident that despite this, the menstrual cycle is still an embarrassing area and, as a result, is generally overlooked and ignored,” a- she declared. noted. “Considering the impact the menstrual cycle can have on participation and overall quality of life, this needs to change. Education is the ultimate starting point through which menstruating can be empowered through a better understanding of a vital physiological process. Education will allow for progressive discussion, helping to break down barriers associated with physical activity and the menstrual cycle.
She worked with Adidas to create the “Lesson Plan”, a free and comprehensive educational tool that explains the menstrual cycle, how to manage it, what activities are best suited for different times of the month, and more. There are also activity plans for each point in the cycle that suggest exercises, ranging from foam rolling and yoga poses to spot jogging and squats.
This lesson plan is designed for use by schools, parents, and coaches to provide menstruating youth with the tools to understand and manage their cycle.
Adidas also brought in a few of its sponsored athletes – British track and field athlete and Olympic medalist Jazmin Sawyers and Layshia Clarendon of the WNBA Minnesota Lynx, to share their own experiences of training and competing during their period. .
“You can perform well in sport despite your rules, that doesn’t define you, but you have to learn to adjust and manage it the best you can and remember that there are people out there to support you. throughout your trip, ”Sawyers said. “I’m just asking you not to give up hope and do all you can to stay in sport. We need more women in sport and let us remember that the women you see doing sport, be it in sport. as amateurs or at a more professional level, have probably faced something similar and faced some challenges that come with being an athlete and someone who is menstruating, but they managed to find a way to do both by understanding what their body needs and relying on others to support it.
Buerger said the initial launch of the TechFit Period Proof collection will include 7/8 tights and bike shorts, both of which feature a lightweight, seamless pad, created from durable Primegreen and Aeroready materials. Later this year, three-inch shorts will be added and next season the color choice will expand beyond black.
The collection will be offered for sale on the Adidas e-commerce site and its app worldwide from June 15. The tights will cost $ 65 and the shorts $ 45.
Adidas isn’t the only one targeting menstruating people. The Thinx underwear brand built a more than $ 80 million business by creating a line of underwear that can be bled on, eliminating the need to buy sanitary products, and has since expanded to include sportswear that has built-in period underwear. Hollywood stylist Karla Welch created The Period Company to sell reusable underwear and towels, Ruby Love offers both underwear and swimwear, and other smaller brands such as Knix and Saalt are also on the market.
But Adidas is the first of the major sports brands to enter this field. Nike has a workout plan for women on its website linked to their cycle, but is not tied to any specific period clothing to wear. And a search on the Under Armor site finds no mention of period clothing.