Put A Cup In It

Why We No Longer Support THINX

UPDATE: This post was published in 2016. MIki Agrawal did step down from THINX as “SHE-EO” after sexual harassment allegations but seems to have a more behind the scenes role.

When menstruation makes the news you can bet that THINX, the company that made period panties a household name, will be mentioned. (We’re sure there’s a drinking game in here somewhere.)  The success of the company is thanks in part to risqué visuals and a rabid fan base who turned their own passion for the products into “blood money.”  Last month those fans found their blood money banks robbed — one losing as much as $22,000 in gift cards earned by referring blog readers to the product. Let us fill you in on how THINX used their most loyal fans to build their brand and then turned their backs on them.

2015 has been called The Year of The Period, and for good reason. From Donald Trump’s off-color remarks and women live-tweeting their periods to a boom in menstrual cup brands and the rise of the period panty, people of all genders are beginning to question why the word “menstruation” carries so much taboo.

The times really are changing – and fast.

All of this momentum came to a peak in the fall of 2015 when a new company hit the menstrual market and the media circuits in a big way. THINX period panties were e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e, and it seems that they’re still successfully riding every menstrual related viral wave as it comes. Articles have been published on a laundry list of major websites (Bustle, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Refinery29, and Glamour to name a few) and founder Miki Agrawal has appeared on several news shows sharing her entrepreneurial story. It wasn’t long at all before blogs picked up the story and reviews began to flood in, with headlines like “I Tried ‘Period-Proof Underwear’—and It Actually Worked” and “Screw Tampons! I Tried Thinx Period Panties“.

If the buzz wasn’t enough to get people trying their products, their enticing referral program was.

It seemed that THINX wasn’t holding back on making their mark. They generously offered customers the chance to give a friend $10 off of their first order while being able to earn panty money for their word-of-mouth advertising. “When they make a purchase you’ll also get a $10 THINX gift card as a reward! Pretty straightforward. Go on, now. Get that guap. You deserve it.” read the email.

THINX Referral Nov 2016

Considering that their underwear run $24-$38 a pop, the ability to earn a free pair or two sounds great. Bloggers were quick to shell out their own money to review these buzz worthy new period underwear and, as bloggers tend to do, they used the referral program made available to them. (Who doesn’t love free underwear that rocks and that has been credited for “revolutionizing periods”?) THINX also actively recruited blog and vlog reviews through a PR agency.

“I had been asked about THINX several times by readers so when their PR person asked for a call to discuss a review and giveaway I figured ‘why not’. I spent 30 minutes chatting and the PR person was quick to offer free THINX for me to review, and she wanted a video review. When I mentioned I had fees for a giveaway she didn’t seem as pleased, but asked me to send that information. I didn’t hear from her again for 6 whole months, by which time I’d already purchased a pair, published a review, and earned hundreds of $10 gift codes.” — Kim, Dirty Diaper Laundry

As you might imagine, one only needs a certain quantity of even the most comfortable underwear. Period or otherwise.

As posts went menstrual-viral THINX sales were beginning to roll in. Lauren of lo-wren.com has received more than $37,000 in THINX codes to date. She was one of the earlier reviewers who also saw huge traffic on her review. In fact, she was so impressed with the marketing that she included them on not one, but two articles on her professional website about brands to follow with great marketing strategies.

As the sales rolled in, it was quickly becoming clear that their affiliate program and marketing strategy had a fatal flaw.

Kim said that she had reached out to THINX in an attempt to find a good solution before things got out of hand. She realized that if she used all of the codes she had amassed, along with the possibility of others doing the same, THINX would quickly be out tens of thousands of dollars in product. She decided to consult with them regarding the possibility of a more traditional affiliate program, where referrers typically earn 5-10%, which should be a far cry from $10 per sale regardless of the order value.

With their program a new customer would receive $10 off of their order (plus free shipping) and the new sale would earn the referrer $10 as well. With their cheapest product being just $24, THINX is very nearly in the red on a single purchase, and most of the new customers we’ve heard from bought just one of the product to try them out. THINX was likely hemorrhaging money on this program, and they must have known it.


“I used to run a blog as a hobby, but like so many others I found a way to turn it into a career. It afforded me the ability to stay home with my kids and it truly became my livelihood. I look for ways that my blog can work for me, including adding affiliate links to the products I write about.” said Kim. She explained that she had written to THINX when she began seeing a surge in traffic to her blog review. “In early April I emailed THINX and asked them if they were considering, or would consider, an affiliate program for bloggers. I knew that their current model made financial sense for their company for those who shared the link with friends on Facebook but for me, and other blogs, it didn’t. After all, we can’t eat panties, and we can’t pay bills with ‘blood money’. I wanted to see if we could make a mutually beneficial program that wouldn’t cause them to lose money.” THINX replied that they were discontinuing their current program, and said they would be in touch if other opportunities arose.

The $10 referrals didn’t stop immediately. They continued to arrive for two and a half weeks, sometimes as many as 20-50 per day, and then something changed. THINX revamped their referral system, with one noticeable change.

Something had changed…

As of April 28th, and this writing, those referring friends and fans to THINX earn a $10 coupon code, but only towards a single purchase. Codes are no longer considered “Gift Cards” and are no longer combined nor accrued in user’s account to be combined (which is standard on ecommerce sites that utilize social referral programs). The change effectively made it impossible to even earn a single pair of underwear. It essentially made the program useless to the referrers – blogger or not.“What can I do with over 100 $10 off coupons? I don’t even have that many friends who could/would order to share them with.” said one referral program user.

“I sent about $100 in Thinx codes from my bank of codes (my email where each individual code is sent once earned) to my hairdresser.  The next day she messaged me to say they wouldn’t work and showed up as disabled.  I was confused but when I started clicking the codes in my email each one showed up as disabled, every single one I clicked.  I was so embarrassed about the situation and apologized to my hairdresser.  Later 3 other friends I had sent codes to came to me with the same story and again I had to apologize.  I was humiliated and felt robbed by the company I’d been shouting from the rooftops for months.” – Kim

Writer Lauren shares, “I received a call from Maria Carreon on the evening of Wednesday, May 4. She introduced herself and said that she was calling because the THINX website had been hacked, information had been leaked (not mine, though) and that they had to change the referral program as a result.”

“She asked if they could donate the over $22k I had amassed in [now deactivated] gift codes to both of my charities, in an equivalent amount of product, and she asked for the sizes both of my organizations needed and for me to send her my contacts at both agencies so that she could arrange shipment with them. I sent an email, asking if THINX would consider giving a small monetary donation to my local women’s shelter, in lieu of panties, as they’re currently embroiled in a legal battle and could use the money. She never addressed that nor did she confirm that donations were sent. I was told to let her know the gift code amount I needed to satisfy the two blog giveaways I had going on. The next morning, I went in to see if I could just purchase those with gift codes myself, but none of my over $22k in gift codes worked, as they had been disabled. Maria did re-issue the gift cards I needed [for the giveaway], but that was the last I heard from her.”

Lauren was not alone in her experience with THINX. When the program was changed, blogger Kim had approximately $2,000 in gift cards deactivated and nearly 120 $10 unstackable coupon codes accrued before she could even get an email out to THINX. Even as of this writing, friends and bloggers are just now discovering that the codes they earned are no longer valid.

Even as recent as this week THINX is actively reaching out to bloggers and customers, encouraging them to join their now defunct program. This email makes the program seem worthwhile without disclosing any of the “fine print”.

THINX Deceptive Practices

Now you may be wondering how this applies to you and why you should care that bloggers aren’t making panty money.

We, consumers, love to support brands that have strong ethics and generally ‘do good’ in the world. We like to feel that we can trust the brands we support and trust that they’ll honor our patronage with integrity.

The thing here is that, like companies have done since the dawn of time, THINX utilized word-of-mouth marketing to build their company. This is a legitimate method of marketing and the internet offers a social twist that is highly effective — and brands know it. That’s why companies offer such lucrative referral programs. First time buyers are enticed to buy their products with a significant discount while the people referring them (the word-of-mouth sales people) are compensated by sharing their love of the products – driving sales in big volumes!

“While Agrawal won’t share specific sales figures (Thinx is a private company), she says it has sold “hundreds of thousands of pairs” of period panties “for multiple millions of dollars.” The staff has grown from five employees to 30 in the past six months.” – a quote Agrawal in from NY Magazine’s The CUT

As you can see, word-of-mouth advertising can add up to big results, especially in THINX’s case. When the product has to be used to be believed, a first hand referral from a trusted friend or blogger means everything to the average consumer.



Consider this….

America’s number one coffee destination is Starbucks. Whether you’re a fan or not, you’ve likely been there at least once. Starbucks offers a rewards program where members have the ability to earn stars which can be used to purchase free drinks or treats. As it happens, Starbucks also recently changed their rewards program. Thankfully Starbucks had the integrity to honor their current system and loyal customers while making the change.

Imagine for a moment that they had not and caffeine addicts all across America had lost out on their earned shots of espresso and deliciously crumbly pastries. People would have been rightfully upset that what they had been given, and had made a conscious decision to earn, had been taken away. Whether it’s panties, coffee, or actual money – what has been earned and given should not be taken back. It shows a lack of integrity, ethics, and respect for their customers.

Agrawal’s cunning marketing prowess and business savvy has made THINX a household name, but at what cost?

Menstrual hygiene is a 20 billion dollar a year industry and THINX is spending big bucks – just not by honoring the customers whose backs they built their brand on. They’re currently running ads in Union Square, Google Adwords (and other networks) — there’s even a good chance you may be seeing one of their ads now. We’ll take their pennies.

While the catalyst for this article was their deceptive referral program, THINX isn’t afraid to bend the rules. As many consumers have pointed out, THINX heavily advertises their product as a way to truly manage periods – even going so far as to say that they can be a replacement for tampons and pads and illustrating how many tampons worth of blood each panty holds. Yet their less obvious print suggests that it’s ideal for backup and you should “#knowyourflow”.

THINX Deceptive Marketing

THINX Transparency Complaints

Additionally, Agrawal was the host of an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit and users were quick to point out what they perceived as deceptive practices and plain old bullshit.

THINX Reddit

Another component that this AMA brought into question was their charitable aspect. Speaking on their partnership with AFRIpads in an I AM MARIE interview, Aragwal says, “When we first started talking to them they had 25 employees and now they have 165 so we’ve helped over 45,000 girls go back to school.” THINX is quick to claim AFRIpads’ success as their own, yet several companies have been helping to support them long before THINX was in existence — including Aisle, who has long offered period panties as a menstrual care option.

I’m honestly not sure where this leaves bloggers like myself, customers, or THINX.

I have been advocating for reusable menstrual products for years, and as exciting as it is to see safer, reusable menstruation products becoming more mainstream I can’t help but feel that we’ve all been betrayed… and I didn’t even use their program. I give props to THINX for their part in blowing the menstrual conversation up, but it’s disheartening to watch them build their company on the good faith of consumers and writers, and then turn them away because they were no longer needed. Commutations attempts have been ignored and trust has been broken.

When speaking to Kim and Lauren, the bloggers whose experiences sparked this, we weren’t even sure if this should be shared. I’m not into calling out people and stirring drama, but at the end of the day this is a community that I – we – care very much about and we feel that consumers have the right to know the ethics of the companies that they choose to support, especially when the company is so good at painting themselves in a good light.

I was the recipient of a few pairs of THINX, gifted to me by Kim, and they are a product that I found to work for me, but the brands I choose to support and share need to be more than a good product. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know that THINX is not on my list.

Bye THINX! Let us fill you in on how THINX used their most loyal fans to build their brand and then turned their backs on them.

125 Responses

  1. Great write up! “The brands I choose to support and share need to be more than a good product”.
    I wholeheartedly agree!

  2. It sounds like maybe Thinx got in over their heads with their promotional program and just really didn’t understand how they had messed up until it was too late. I never would have thought one person would refer over 2,200 different first time customers.
    $10 off a purchase not to be combined with other offers vs giving people $10 in general towards product is a huge difference. Embarassing, but maybe they’d have been better off issuing an apology and admitting they couldn’t stay in business while handing out $ just for referrals.

  3. I think the bigger issue here is that you are trying to divide a great community. Instead of calling them out on their mistakes as a brand new company, why can’t you as a community offer to help them out. Clearly they have issues, but so do a lot of startups. I think this is really in poor taste and makes you seem lower because you feel the need to share to the world what they did.

    1. She did try “helping them out” by reaching out to them but she didn’t get any response from them after multiple attempts….as stated in the article.

    2. Miki Agrawhal’s behaviour deserves no respect or support. As CEO it is her responsibility to treat employees with dignity and for sure not implement marketing plans without the money to back it up. Like all CEOs sitting with staff, investors, and hearing from CFO what’s not working, she knew what was going on. She is not a victim.

      Her company after all was only 35 people.

    3. Exactly. This post came up in my Google search results and as a repeat customer of Thinx I think it’s in a very poor taste. Way to shame and criticize a good company while plastering your blog with massive amount of ads that make reading the page almost impossible. This whole blog is in poor taste. You should be ashamed of your entitled attitude.

  4. I’m really turned off of you by this article. I get that it’s an opinion piece. But the whole refer a friend thing was obviously not intended to be used in your own media for personal gain. You took advantage of this company to get more hits and now that it’s backfired on you, you’re trashing this company. That’s trashy.

    1. Seems you didn’t read the article. The author clearly states she is writing about what other bloggers experienced. She even correctly has quotes from the other bloggers. She also clearly states she tried contacting the company and was ignored.
      It’s sad bloggers write to people who can’t comprehend the text.

    2. agreed. racking up thousands of promo bucks is ridiculous! Ripping off a start-up is really poor taste.

  5. I have been using reusable menstrual products for over ten years – a combination of cloth pads, a menstrual cup, and the period underwear from LunaPads; so when a new product came out I was definitely interested. However, the steep price tag (I’m in Canada) always kept me from actually buying, though I followed them on social media. I went from being curious and excited by a new type of period underwear to completely turned off by their antics. From serious failings in customer service (orders not being delivered for months, questions being ignored via email and Facebook) to their insistence in every article I read that they alone have “revolutionized” period care with their products (such a shameless lie! and shame on all the bloggers and writers who didn’t even perform a cursory fact-check before posting their gushing articles. The endless shilling, hustling and stumping felt gross and forced to me. I stopped being interested in trying their product when I realized that they were misleading people into believing that Thinx could be worn without any other protection. $40 is a lot of money for something that’s just “back-up”.

    Anyway thanks for posting this. Very affirming to read that my instincts about this company were actually correct.

    1. I wear them all the time without any other protection, on my heaviest days.. and never had a problem :/

      1. Women’s cycles vary considerably. What one woman might consider heavy, is light for another. Our body shapes, flow etc are all different. I have two pairs and they are certainly a ‘back up’ for me. I so wish they were more but I tried without any other protection and i soon got leaks (where traditional pad wings would be). They are a very expensive ‘back up’ product for me.
        I wont be chucking them in the bin because 1) I paid so much for them, 2) they provide a ‘comfy’ backup. But I wont be recommending them and I wont be a return customer.

  6. When bloggers share such things that give clear reasons why they have turned their backs on a company I take notice. I will not be supporting that company in any way at this point because if they can’t honor their promise to those who helped promote them, then I am would bet quality of their product and promises to the customer will be horrible as well at some point.

    1. On eBay, a woman had bought the wrong size, and thinx wouldn’t take them back, even though they hadn’t been opened. Typical business people with a socialist mindset. It never sinks into their thick little heads that customers can go somewhere else. Or worse yet, start their OWN business making underwear that’s as good. Right now, thinx really is light years beyond the competition and so they think they are the cats meow. When, and not if, a real competitor or two comes on the scene, they’ll be in for a rude awakening.

      1. I had purchased 7 pairs for my daughter and they ended up being too small. They gave me credit to repurchase in the correct size and told me to gift or donate the smaller ones. I had a positive experience.

        1. I also had a positive experience! I ordered 5, 4 of which were too large, and they told me to keep all of them, donate or give away the ones that did not fit, and issued me the full amount back as a credit to get the correct size, and gave me a free shipping code. I re-ordered in the smaller size and have been happy with the product, and the customer service I received on each of my (now 4) orders.

          This article is awful. Whining about not making thousands of dollars off of referral clicks. Really. Entitled. The company would go bankrupt paying that all out and it would ruin their mission to donate to girls in Africa who can’t afford to buy menstrual products, and can continue going to school because of those donations.
          Does the blogger really feel that she is entitled to that money more than the girls are entitled to receive donations so they can stay in school- the girls that Thinx has committed to?

          This article is in extremely poor taste. Even the woman who was “embarrassed” because the codes she gave her hairdresser did not work…. *eye roll*.

          1. agreed. well said. Thanks for sharing. eeycee in Australia. I’m gonna give them a go 🙂

  7. I am also appalled at your post. It seeps of jealousy and negatively. Thank you for writing this so now I know not to buy any of your products and support your business.

  8. I really like Thinx. I like that they help women. At the end of the day, the service they offer to women in need and the product itself is amazing– as a backup or no. Sorry some privileged people got embarrassed that their coupons didn’t work. Seems trifling to whine about it. Instead of trying to promote division and negativity, let’s appreciate the bigger picture, which is that there’s FINALLY a variety of products that help women live their best lives during menstruation.

    1. Dear BB — I have no pony in this race but I am betting you do. Why else support abusing hard working people who supported this company and say they should just suck it up when they have been lied and cheated. There are other great companies that help women live their best lives during menstruation and because I believe in morals and ethics I will instead support them rather than Thinx.

  9. What would your other options be?? I am allergic to both absorbent material and adhesive in all pads but the organic ones which can’t be found where I am, tried multiple cups and have no success due to anatomy issues and the organic tampons I use aren’t available here either. Was just about to buy some Thinx and was hoping you had another suggestion.

  10. I have tried Thinx and they are pricey but I loved the peace of mind they provided as a back up. I agree with others that a referral program that needed to be changed is not a reason to dismiss a company. Unfortunately, I also tried Panty Props and have realized that they are cheaper but at a steep price! They fit terribly and their customer service is down right insulting! I will gladly pay the higher price for the quality of a pair of Thinx.

  11. That’s interesting. I had decided not to do business with them because of their political views. It wasn’t so much that they had them, but they insisted on pushing them where it wasn’t relevant, instead of advertising underwear. I’m not surprised to hear this, since the more conservative business owner tends to show more ethics and consideration for their clientele. I like the underwear after buying a pair on eBay, and I think that’s how I’ll continue to purchase them in the future. I don’t like doing business with people who blatantly and knowingly support thinx, but it’s better then nothing and at least I know my $ isn’t going directly to the company. No system is perfect but everyone, just buy this stuff on eBay. Most of it is new, never worn, and is sold because they got too many or the wrong size

    1. I agree and I will never buy from them because of the horrible political email they sent out on Veterans Day. Business and politics should not go together, it was very unprofessional and upsetting.

    2. If you buy the product, even from a third party, you’re still supporting the company. They still made money off of someone, and now you’re paying a mark up so the person that originally made the purchase gets a profit off of it as well.

      1. Third party purchasing and purchasing in general doesn’t always mean you truly support that business. i try to support businesses that i stand behind but money sucks and sometimes you gotta get that deal. you can think of it as support but also i always think of my Electronic-bay purchases as a sneaky lil metaphorical middle finger to the system. haha. in my opinion, selling (technically)free underwear and getting your money back for the product you purchased, nearly in full, is the opposite of support. Cuz you pretty much spent nothing and they lost several products.

  12. Can they sue for breach of contract? I too was about to buy for me and my bestie but will hold off until they make this right with the bloggers that promoted them. Assuming your account is correct, I think it’s shameful that Thinx wouldn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

  13. I would think it would have been better to have that $10/$20 go towards pairs for girls in Africa

    1. Or in the US? Homeless women have periods too, and it’s one of the most challenging parts of living on the streets or in shelters. Tampons cost a fortune, and very few homeless orgs give them away.

  14. I don’t buy anything where the owner says they can’t disclose to me what’s in it. She says “safe for down there” but I’m supposed to trust that? Why would I do such foolish thing? Who’s Aragwal, that would qualify her to automatically earn my trust as a consumer? NOPE! I think this is more deceit and a product that’s not needed, as it. I use pads and top with a tight underwear, over the underwear that I have my pads on, and the tight one on top holds everything in place. It works fine. Leaks happen because (1) low-quality pads (2) taking too long to change to a new one and (3) underwear and pad is too loose. It all needs to be held in place tight. So buy some Tomy Hillfiger boy shorts that are tight, put that over your padded-underwear, and off you go. I don’t wear tampons, I think it’s insane to have a beached pad already for 5 days touching your vagina…I would never go the extra step to put that bleach inside me. They sell tampons that are natural and unbleached but I let go of tampons long ago. not good

  15. Thank you for writing this and sharing your fellow bloggers story. At the end of the day Thinx is the one in business and the onus is on them to have acknowledged their error in judgement and to fix it. Whether they do that through an apology and a stipend or contribution to charity or how about even acknowledgement that these bloggers contributed heavily to the success they’re currently enjoying.

    Unfortunately, it looks like they instead put more marketing energy into sending some lames over here to talk bad about you for telling the truth about them!

    If the info above doesn’t upset you enough to cause you not to purchase their products, then good for you. This woman’s article has given you a different perspective, now you make your choice. Sending people over here to call the author trifling – petty.

    I personally won’t be buying a $39 pair of backup panties that are marketed as replacements for pads and tampons. Good luck to them in the evolution of their business and business practices. And I hope they at some point rectify this situation.

  16. I just saw an ad on FB and wanted to know a little more about Thinx and if they’ve cheated people out of their hard earn codes, they really don’t have good ethics’s and I won’t be buying my period panties from them. Very informative article. PS I’m laughing at the women who claim this article is negative and of poor taste, I came here to educate myself on a product, it’s impact on clients etc and learned, your article is very neutral.

  17. Who Wont Take the Chance at Taking Advantage of Women?

    I felt the article was thorough and neutral as well and appreciated the information shared. I was literally about to purchase 5pairs in excitment that I wouldnt have to buy pads anymore. Before purchasing I searched for a coupon code because I thought it was a little too expensive, and came across this article. After reading, I decided I didnt want to purchase from a deceitful company that didn’t honor the customer, especially in a community like this, where us women have been taken advantage of being forced to buy into the million dollar industry of menstrual products. IF I were to ever purchase maybe I’d buy one to see how it works with my body regardless of the bad customer service to see if it’s really worth it. BUT I’d take the advice of Tj above and buy them off eBay. Although I do like the idea that they give you 60days money back guarantee if you dont like them. I guess they have to do something to convince us to purchase after such a significant horrific backfire in marketing.

    I had looked into Lunapads years ago but was always on the fence and never purchased due to fear if the cost would be worth it, but they seem more trustworthy in comparison be it that we havent heard any dirt on them. Seems like they just want to help sisters out.

    Thanks for looking out sisters.

    1. I was going to purchase 7 pairs and also searched for a coupon code and came across this article. I don’t think this is malicious or “petty”. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard, and companies 1- shouldn’t falsely advertise to make money off of uneducated consumers, and 2-should honor their word. It is unacceptable to just run and hide, and not say a damn word when the only reason people were promoting their products was because of the incentive. They could have set a monetary limit or said that it was not open to bloggers, but how dare people say that bloggers were trying to take advantage. When you advertise something you had no idea how many people will ACTUALLY purchase the product, so to say that these bloggers knew they would amass several thousands in credits is absurd.

      Thank you for educating me on the hidden practice of this company, I’m sure others are grateful as well.

    2. They must have changed their practice. My attempt at changing my size because my first pair didn’t fit resulted in the requirement I sent them back. The refund amount to use for a new product then deducted the cost of return shipping for the label they sent. That meant I would have to add money to get the correct size. Not truly risk free like they advertised. After many emails back and forth I finally got the amount added back but it was a lot of work and effort on my part and doesn’t answer my concern of false advertising.

  18. Thanks for the article. I was also looking for promo codes for Thinx when I came across your post. Will look at other available options. It’s truly saddening that the company chooses to operate in such a terrible way. Your article is very neutral. =)

  19. I listened to the freakonomics episode on the lady who made THINX, and she really rubbed me the wrong way, claiming that no one else was doing what she was doing (hello, lunapads, and she didn’t even mention menstrual cups), politicizing things that don’t need to be politicized in what seems to be a bit to get more attention for her product, and also dismissing all forms of criticism. Her “Tushy” product in particular is in no way revolutionary (it’s just a bidet attachment, guys, there are like a dozen different ones you can get on Amazon) and yet she pushed it like it was a big, hot new thing.

    I was sort of curious about the product itself, but the price is just totally unreasonable. Designer European lingerie doesn’t even cost that much.

  20. Glad I read this before making an actual purchase. I am not buying a dang thing from them. Thanks for the great read.

  21. It’s pitiful that bloggers milk companies out of money. Bloggers manipulate the public with dishonest blogs just to make profits. If the product is good, I’m buying it. It’s a shame bloggers can’t be satisfied. This article just confirmed my thoughts on bloggers. I can’t wait to purchase a pair !!

  22. And by “bloggers,” I mean some bloggers… for those that need me to state the obvious.

  23. I was waiting for a big reveal with this article on why THINX deserved condemnation now and I was left disappointed. You couldn’t even dispute the product’s worth and even admitted to it working quite well. The main problem was that you thought you deserved a more financially suitable compensation for being an online influencer and they didn’t deliver. You made this decision halfway into a relationship with the growing brand too. I think the most telling part of this write up was you mentioned you expect to make a living off your blog instead of it being a hobby. If this works for you, kudos, but as someone who works hard at an actual, real life job I have very little sympathy for this plight and your other, weaker, points were not enough to tarnish THINX’s appeal.

  24. Thanks for this post, I found it very informative, don’t let the small thinkers and naysayers get you down, I fully believe that a company should be honest about what they are doing and if you’ve worked hard to become an influencer then all the more power to you. This isn’t the first post I’ve read that describes company operations as sub par so I think I’ll be staying Well away from them, thanks again

  25. Hmm.. Loved reading everyones comments and good discussion.
    I think the company should have been more honest and apologetic about their referral not working for the bloggers who rang up tons, but dont fault their needing to revert. They just should have done so more responsibly.
    I do love my Thinx tho.. they just actually work for me. Everyone keeps saying ‘backup’, but Ive always worn them on thier own, even on my heaviest days. Ive never once had an issue! Even once worn for 24 hours (ugh birthday drunk, sorry).
    Im glad this article was shared, and I hope they step up their game. In the end, I also need a product that truly works for me. Luna pads dont as they again, slip, move, make me feel insecure. Im actually so scared this negative thinking could hurt Thinx I want to go buy a few more now to make sure I have them in case they go under!
    Sorry for your bad experience ladies. But, I need what works for me. Its been so hard to find a product for this that I am actually happy with. And I dont really feel bad for the bloggers making panty bank either lol. Just more upset with Thinx way of handling things. I will, however write them that this does affect how I feel about them and it would be nice to see them clean up their practices. Maybe they wont care, but I always try to be upfront and let a company know if Im unhappy with something.
    And no, I dont work for them. Just trying to share another perspective.

  26. Is there nothing worse than a food critic who has never worked in or owned a business in the food industry, yet has the “power” to write a review so scathing that it could seriously detriment a restaurant’s reputation?
    Alas, it is the era of Yelp and the frustration of CEOs everywhere.
    Amanda, being a blogger does not make you an entrepreneur, it just means you’re a critic.
    Above is an opinion piece about Thinx CEO in regards to her A.) Error in free handouts B.)Unsatisfactory response to your complaint.
    It’s distressing that this article is on the top of the google search engine for Thinx underwear. I assume those seeking online Thinx reviews are hoping to find an analyst of the reviewer’s menstruation cycle whilst using Thinx. You could have posted this in addition to your critique of Thinx blogger referral program. You lightly touched on your actual experience with the product, which seemed to have worked well for you.
    While it is evident you feel cheated as a blogger and righteous in your condemnation of Thinx, please remember what you are reviewing. This product is so “revolutionary” and has exploded because it is a testament to women as a whole.
    How long have women been mensturating? Since the dawn of time. The modern day pad was invented over a hundred years ago and the tampon shortly thereafter. The design of these “solutions” to a basic human function has evolved very little in over a hundred years. It is disappointing that it has taken nearly one hundred years to apply the concept of super absorbency that exists in baby diapers and cleaning towels towards women’s menstruation in a sustainable and comfortable solution. Majority of these companies are male owned and (since it is not their experience to menstruate) since their products are forever in demand, there is no need to change the model. Only recently have organic cotton tampons and pads been introduced, all which are modern day luxuries in comparison to the millions of women globally in third world countries who continue to use strategically cut cloths for menstruation.
    As an entrepreneur of several startup companies myself, there is no perfect startup and oftentimes mistakes made and feedback from the consumer are crucial to learn and grow a successful business. Yes, your feedback is valued and appreciated. But please don’t get so caught up in your indignation as an ill-compensated blogger (whiny much?) to forget what it is you’re actually critiquing. A simple Amazon search renders many competing liner underwear intended for menstruation use, but the reviews are poor. The ratio of Thinx users who say they bled through their underwear is small indeed. It IS a successful invention.
    I support this company because they successfully filled a woman’s need. They created a menstruation product that is sustainable, practical, comfortable, and virtually worry free. If their referral program got out of hand, that is only a testament to how needed their product is. Forgive Thinx for their mishandling of their program and support them. Expecting them to go out of business in order to uphold their end of the bargain on a referral program is nothing short of greed on your part. We desperately need women owned companies producing desperately needed women based products.
    Thinx period underwear supported me after I gave birth to my son and was (as all women do after birth) literally hemorrhaging out of my vagina. Women are not allowed to wear tampons for postpartum bleeding. The alternative? Massive adult diapers and thick pads that extended from the top of pubis all the way back to the top of my butt crack. I bled every day for a little over six weeks (some women bleed for 2+ months postpartum.) If it wasn’t for Thinx I cannot begin to imagine how costly the adult diapers and pads would have been not to mention the trash buildup of changing them once every 2-3 hours.
    Up next: over a hundred years after the invention of the breast pump, in 2016 a Brooklyn, NYC mother and her husband design and secure a patent for a “revolutionary” breast pump which far exceeds its predecessors in form and function. See? The times are changing.

    1. I don’t believe you understood the article or you didn’t read the entire thing. THINX didn’t invent the period underwear, we actually love the product and concept and agree it helps menstruators immensely in all sorts of situations. THINX is only revolutionary in their marketing (and the vast amounts they spent to get to where they are) which means they were able to also compensate the bloggers and promoters they used to get so popular. They simply chose to change the program without notice and wipe the accounts clean. We choose to support period underwear brands with better ethics. THINX has made more news since this article that you should probably take the time to read since you support them. Another google will help.

      1. im not sure youve read her response, she says there are other options on Amazon which all have terrible reviews, her point about thinx’s invention is that they work WELL, (for her) compared to the other options “It IS a successful invention.”

        Other people have said they have improved/made amends since 2017…. have you any info on this, wither way?

  27. Thank you for writing this up. Your comments section is looking pretty awful. I’m guessing many people simply don’t understand advertising in an age where it’s extremely easy to about ads in print or on TV. “Influensters” as they’re often called are the new way. Why should they not be paid? Why should companies get to just not uphold the agreements made? Straight bullshit. I’ll keep sending my money over to Luna panties, at least they’re not taking back payments made to their advertisers.

  28. I sincerely hope, instead of throwing the underwear away, you at least donated them. Even though the company has scammed most of its users, I’m sure there are plenty of young teenagers and women who are in shelters that could very well use Thinx underwear, as they do not have regular access to feminine hygiene products.

    If you read this article and are thinking of throwing away your Thinx underwear, please look into donating it first. There will always be someone out there who is more than willing to accept what you would much rather do without.

    Thank you!

    1. Generally, reputable places will not let you donate used underwear, and I can imagine that would be even more important for menstrual underwear, made to absorb blood, even if washed. Even goodwill will not accept underwear.

  29. The largest concern to myself and to other consumers is the efficacy of the product.
    You state “I was the recipient of a few pairs of THINX, gifted to me by Kim, and they are a product that I found to work for me, but the brands I choose to support and share need to be more than a good product.”

    For me, it just needs to be a good product.

    1. That’s where I am with the whole thing. I don’t have a dog in this fight and was just googling to find out if these would work for my 11 year old, who is too young for the method I use (diva cup).

  30. I am not a fan of THINX. They did have excellent customer service, in my experience. But their products confuse me. I first tried the sporty pair in an XL… too wide in the hips and not enough coverage in the rear. They were advertised as something you could wear while working out, but they leaked in no time and rode up something fierce. I ended up with what can only be described as diaper rash. I guess maybe their real purpose was to be sexy, not functional. So I asked about a return and they told me to keep them, and gave me credit to buy a new pair. I bought the hiphugger pair in one size smaller. Those ones were wayyy too small, I can’t even wear them. By then I decided to give up on finding the right size for me, they obviously don’t offer it. But what bothers me more than that is their pandering advertising and obvious political agenda. They don’t have sizes for teen girls, or very plus sized women, but they are gender inclusive? It’s a bit confusing. And then there are the weird blogs topics; a woman says she’s a feminist but doesn’t like period sex, but feels like she should like period sex, because she’s a feminist… Is anyone else getting a headache here? LOL! I just want an affordable pair of period panties that fit well, stay dry feeling, and don’t leak.

    1. that’s a really good point… there is likely way more very plus size folks out there than gender ambiguous…
      But their sizes go down to xxs now… which seems pretty small to me?

  31. Let me preface this by saying my reading comprehension is just fine and that a dissenting opinion doesn’t equate ignorance. I get that the bloggers felt used, that they promoted the product on the belief that they would be compensated and when they weren’t they were upset. But, even so this article reeks of entitlement. Why would they expect the company to honor thousands of dollars in free product, it clearly was an oversight and poorly thought out system. Yeah the company should have handled the change better and their image isn’t that great in light of that information but the blogger who was *embarassed* because she couldn’t give away hundreds of dollars of product to her hairdresser and friends comes off sounding just as bad if not worse. I haven’t tried Thinx yet, I found this article looking for reviews and honestly it didn’t away me away from buying Thinx but it did change my opinion on PACII, I’ll be enabling my ad block if I visit this site in the future and will make an effort to not click on affiliate links. You probably won’t miss my pennies anyway.

  32. Thank you for the great article. I appreciate seeing the company behind the product from the blogger perspective as well as reviews of the actual product.
    So here’s my beef with the product itself…I first saw an ad for Thinx when they were up and coming and they did claim you don’t need tampons or pads when you wear them (this was when they were “new”). But when I started to read the small print, it said they were to be more of a back-up product. The cost for 1 pair is quite a bit when I’m only able to use it for back-up. I’m a heavy bleeder and mine lasts for 6 days. (That’s a lot of money for panties I’m going to wear for only 6 days of the month.) The other things that got me on this were that I’d be wearing bloody underwear all day. Cuz you know women change underwear all the time when they are at work during their periods…not. I’m limited in my profession being able to go to the bathroom at will and would not be able to wipe out my underwear every hour on my heavy days. This is my 2 cents but…I think it’s kinda gross and doesn’t seem very “revolutionary” to me. Do they mean revolutionary as in women had this type of menstruation choices in the Revolutionary War? That’s what it seems like to me. I dont want to sit in wet bloody underwear all day. I dont want the feeling or the smell, thank you very much. Needless to say, I passed on these back then. I was solely using tampons with the occasional pad until I found menstrual cups. I love love them. Especially Softcups. I do still have to wear a pantyliner on my heaviest days, but they work great for me.
    But I was reconsidering purchasing Thinx after seeing so many ads again. I am glad I stumbled on your article. I think a lot of the negativity is coming from people whose reading comprehension is lacking. Negative Nancies….this brand was assisted greatly by bloggers that were reviewing these undies. If the company told bloggers that they would get a kick-back after referring a customer, then they should have honored that. Period (hehe). I’m sure the company didn’t “lose” money on these. I’m sure that these were made relatively inexpensively, but the mark-up is ridiculous. Gotta pay for those ads somehow. Advertising aint cheap. It boils down to that they told you they were giving X for you giving them Y (the new customer). And then they didn’t uphold their end. Not a good way to run a business.
    So, thank you for writing an honest review of this company.

  33. I hate the performance of thinx anyway. It’s like putting on a soggy bathing suit bottom after each time you go to the bathroom. The Luna pads are far superior.

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  42. What a ridiculous article. I’ve been wearing Thinx outside all day as my only coverage, without backup. But in the past, when I’ve worn tampons, I’ve sometimes needed a pad too. That’s not false advertisement, that’s just differences in period flows.
    Also, when I requested an exchange because the size I purchased was too small, Thinx instantly sent me a new pair AND let me keep the other one (recommending I gift it to someone else I know and love). That’s AMAZING customer service.
    Anyone who’s only buying Thinx because they’re getting money off doesn’t understand their true purpose anyways. How many free pads or tampons have you ever received from Tampax or Always? Thinx is good for the environment, it’s good for your body, it’s good for the world… it’s good for so much more than whiney bloggers. Would it be better for the startup to fail, but at least you got your your sensationalistic headline in and free underwear? Absurd.

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