Thinx, a New York-based period underwear company, has reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit related to the presence of PFAS in its products. The company was sued for marketing misrepresentations under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act, on behalf of the Florida class, and breach of express warranty, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud, on behalf of the nationwide class. Plaintiffs alleged that third-party testing revealed the presence of PFAS in Thinx products despite claims by the company that its products, collectively referred to as “Thinx Underwear,” are a safe, healthy and sustainable choice. For example, multiple pages on its website state that the underwear is free of harmful chemicals.
The complaint asserted that customers are willing to pay a premium for Thinx Underwear as opposed to using less expensive traditional feminine hygiene products because traditional products are known to contain a variety of chemicals, including VOCs.
Thinx has continued to insist that it has never intentionally added PFAS to any of its Thinx Underwear. But the settlement agreement requires the company to take a number of steps to ensure PFAS are not intentionally added to its underwear at any stage of production. The company must also modify marketing materials to disclose the use of anti-microbial treatments, and it may not refer to the anti-microbial components as “non-migratory.” In addition, the settlement agreement requires Thinx to enter into a raw materials code of conduct with its suppliers, which requires suppliers to attest that PFAS are not intentionally added to Thinx period underwear.