As part of the government’s Autumn Statement, the chancellor has announced that period pants will be free of value added tax (VAT) from January onwards, a move that was met with celebration from retailers, women’s organisations and customers alike.
Earlier this year, such groups rallied together on a campaign that called on the government to remove VAT on reusable, washable pants, stating that doing so would both reduce plastic pollution and save people money in the long-term.
The movement came shortly after tax was removed from period products like tampons, pads and menstrual cups in 2021, yet period pants remained classified as a ‘garment’ and were therefore exempt from the legislation.
Marks & Spencer was among retailers leading the way in calling to change the law, launching its ‘Say Pants to the Tax’ campaign alongside period pants brand Wuka to bolster support.
Responding to the chancellor’s announcement, the department store chain said: “In just over 100 days, tens of thousands of people have come together to support the campaign.
“From the UK’s biggest knicker retailers and independent period pant brands to cross-party MPs, celebrities, fantastic charities including Wellbeing of Women and Bloody Good Period, and our 65,000 colleagues.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support. So, thank you for making sure the Chancellor said ‘pants to the tax’ today.”