When was the last time you bought a pair of pants, let alone any piece of clothing, that involved a deeper purpose besides “achieving a look”? For me, it was a pair of Toms I purchased during college. My sole investment supported a greater cause because for every pair of shoes sold, Toms gives a pair of shoes to a child in a developing country. Well now, I’d like to introduce another brand with a cause that will especially resonate with you as a woman, whether you identify as cisgender, transgender or nonbinary: Oluna. Oluna is a social impact fashion brand whose mission is: “For every pair of pants sold, we strive to bring attention to menstrual health inequity by donating a year’s supply of period products to an American in need.”
To my dismay and previous obliviousness, there is a public crisis in the United States — and globally — over social inequity related to menstruation. According to the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, “Students, low-income and homeless women and girls, transgender and nonbinary individuals, and those who are currently imprisoned struggle with period poverty.” For many, menstrual hygiene products are too costly. Moreover, there are 35 states that view these products as “nonessential goods” and impose a sales tax on their purchase, also known as “the tampon tax.” I believe this is an overt example of sexism, that women are subject to this tax simply for being a woman. According to the Oluna Mission page, even the United Nations “declared the inability to access menstrual hygiene products a public health, gender equality and human rights issue.” Anyone who has a period already deals with physical discomfort and inconvenience, and at the very least should have access to menstrual hygiene products, regardless of wealth.
Along with Oluna, I hope to shed some light on this public crisis happening in our own backyard. I highly recommend getting into Oluna pants simply for the cause alone of providing menstrual products to those in period poverty.
Nonetheless, these pants are comfortable and chic, too. Made of 96% polyester and 4% of either Spandex or rayon (depending on the style), they are very soft and jersey-like and very easy to maintain — simply machine wash cold and hang dry. Oluna pants can be purchased on their website in various colors and sizes. Currently, what’s available is The Payton (black), The Haley (multicolor stripe) and The Chiara (olive green).
Since it’s springtime, I chose to highlight The Chiara, in olive green, which also can be worn throughout the year. The Chiara is described as the “‘Social Butterfly’: Quick-Witted, Sophisticated and Confident.” I will share with you several ways to wear these pants, using staples in your closet. (If you don’t have these spring staples, this is an excuse to go shopping!)
Monochrome: Pair The Chiara with a padded quilted jacket or bomber in the same color family. You can break up the green with a black or beige crop top, whichever you prefer.
Striped Shirt: A blue striped button-down or a chambray shirt as a light spring jacket pairs well with the olive green pants. I threw on the Oluna Dad Cap to complete the “dad look.”
Striped Sweater: This chic nautical look, achieved with a horizontal striped sweater, will keep you warm on those beautiful-yet-deceivingly-chilly days. Tuck your hair in for even more warmth!
Something White: The windbreaker is the jacket to have in spring and looks great with The Chiara. Otherwise, any white staple on top will do the job: a white T-shirt, hooded sweater, button-down, crew neck sweater, etc.
We’re celebrating Women’s History Month in March, and I hope you’ll join me in sharing this knowledge on period poverty. We can all make a difference and help our sisters across the United States by spreading the word or purchasing a pair of Oluna pants. Remember, with your investment, you’re helping to give a year’s supply of period products to someone in need. Please get in these pants!
CREDITS: Photographer: Phillip P. | Wardrobe Stylist: Blake P. | Fashion Editor: Ivy Payne