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John Lewis and Waitrose support ‘Say Pants to the Tax’ campaign

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Department store chain John Lewis and supermarket Waitrose have joined retailers M&S, Primark, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Mountain Warehouse to support the ‘Say Pants to the Tax’ campaign, calling on the Government to reclassify period pants in line with other period products.

In a statement, John Lewis and Waitrose said that they would reduce the price of its period knickers by 20 percent, absorbing the cost of the government tax. Currently, reusable period pants are classified as garments, meaning that consumers pay a 20 percent tax, unlike other period products such as pads, tampons and menstrual cups that have been exempt from VAT since 2021.

The move will see both retailers lowering the price on more than 30 period knickers to make the reusable products more accessible. For instance, at John Lewis, a pair of its bestselling Love Luna Period Proof Full Briefs will now cost 8.33 pounds down from 10 pounds.

Jo McKee, lingerie buyer for John Lewis, said in a statement: “We’re known for offering great-quality underwear at affordable prices to our customers. We feel it’s the right thing to abolish this tax on period underwear, to make these essential products as accessible as possible.”

After two weeks of campaigning, the government has responded and said it will “keep all taxes under review,” and added that exclusions do exist to include period pants for girls under 14 years old.

The government said: “Under existing rules period pants may already qualify for the zero rate, if they meet the sizing criteria, and are held out for sale specifically for use by girls under the age of 14 years old.”

The ‘Say Pants to the Tax’ petition has more than 30,000 signatures and if it hits 100,000 the petition will be considered for debate in parliament.

Nicki Baggott, sanitary products buyer for Waitrose, added: “It’s a no-brainer that period underwear should be classed as a period product., It’s the right thing to do, and will help our customers save money on everyday essentials.”

John Lewis
Period pants
Say Pants to the Tax