Apparel Appeal

By Tiffany Overstreet, Smart Choices | December 5, 2007

how one manufacturer used an apparel mindset to create an innovative nonwoven single-use panty

This fall, a women’s single-use panty featuring a nonwoven/elastic tri-laminate fabric made its debut in the sanitary protection aisle of select retail stores in the U.S. The introduction of the product is exciting from two perspectives. First, the product has the potential to bring incremental sales dollars to the sanitary protection category. Second, the product is one of the first apparel-type products to feature an elastic laminate fabric for the body of a garment.

Marketed and sold under the Once brand (www.wearonce.com), the single-use panty is available in the sanitary protection aisle of select Meijer and HEB stores. Once is focused on providing women with convenience and simplicity in a panty that can be worn once and then thrown away.

The Once single-use panty, which provides minimal protection, is designed for use with sanitary protection products and provides women with an alternative to wearing their “back-of-drawer panties” during “that time of the month.” The Once single-use panty gives women a practical solution to the frustration they experience each month when they worry about staining their undergarments. Although it is anticipated that the primary usage of the single-use panty will be during menstruation, the product is also expected to appeal to women for travel, during or after work outs, spa treatments, or when there is simply no time for laundry.

The elastic tri-laminate fabric used in the Once single-use panty—made by Tredegar Film Products—is comprised of an elastic film with a layer of nonwoven on each side of the film. The elastic film provides stretch and fit properties and the nonwoven layers provide extra softness and a cloth-like feel.

The creation of the Once single-use panty required developers to think outside of the box when considering how to create the product to meet women’s expectations. In order for the single-use panty to be considered by women as a desirable alternative, it was critical that the execution of the concept of a single-use panty be realized from the perspective of an apparel product rather than a hygiene product. To create the single-use panty, Once combined the elements of design and construction from an apparel mindset.

The element of design was incorporated by Kimberly Guthrie, an assistant professor at the Virginia Common­wealth University School of Fashion Design. Ms. Guthrie designed the single-use panty to appeal to women not only from a functional standpoint but also from a fashion standpoint. The single-use panty is a hipster style; the low-rise style and cut of the leg openings create an attractive and great fitting panty. By designing the single-use panty as a low-rise style, Ms. Guthrie ensured that it will stay hidden under clothing and low-rise jeans.

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