At the risk of sharing TMI, I just got back from a romantic trip to Bruges which perfectly coincided with my period. I don’t normally write in acronyms, but having found a new solution to life’s unmentionables, I feel like my pre-teen self experiencing a period for the first time, so 4YEO FYEO (for your eyes only) here are my new period pants.
On the blob in Bruges, it was a good time to get brave and try something different, whilst doing my bit to minimise the flow of the sanitary pad footprint. My weekend wash bag for Belgium was leaner and greener with no disposable pads or tampons, as I packed panties from Modibodi instead. These Modibodi bamboo undies are reusable and sustainable – designed not only for women and girls, but for the benefit of all of the bodies on this planet.
Read my review and interview with Modibodi founder and CEO Kristy Chong, who (along with Belgium chocolate) helped me unlock the magic combination of comfort and confidence during that not-so-hot time of the month…
Kristy, the creator of Modibodi and I talk the same language. She accumulated over 13 years experience in senior PR roles before making Modibodi, and the kind of products a PR professional dreams of. The collections not only look cool, they also support causes worth shouting about, such as Days for Girls. This charity particularly struck a chord with me, as I was introduced to Days for Girls by a friend I lost to cancer last year. You know the friend that makes you laugh so much you wet yourself? Well, she was mine, so Modibodi’s leak-proof technology springs to mind as I start my questions for Kristy.
What ignited the motivation for you to own your own business?
From a young age I always knew I wanted to own my own business. The concept of Modibodi came when I was in Seattle, after the birth of my second child, I was doing a lot of running and traveling and came to the realisation that my underwear was failing to protect me from sweat and the occasional bladder weakness. I started to think about all the times as a woman underwear fails us.
For the 1 in 3 women with light incontinence and for every menstruating women, most can recall stories of that embarrassing situation in which her underwear failed to protect her from a leak, or they have endured years of using inconvenient, uncomfortable and eco-damaging disposable hygiene to stay protected. I wanted create a whole new product category for women that helps them better manage menstrual flow or incontinence, and to reduce the number of single-use products ending up in landfill and damaging our environment. Modibodi is fashionable, sustainable, hi-tech, super comfortable underwear that totally replaces the need for disposable hygiene!
Can you tell me more about your support for Days for Girls?
As the issues of women’s health and rights are so close to my heart, I have made it a core pillar from the outset that Modibodi support women in need.
Days for Girls was one of the first organisations Modibodi supported which lead to us evolving our CSR globally. We have worked in partnership with initiatives such as Share the Dignity, the McGrath Foundation and School for Life and felt it was time to establish the ‘Give a Pair’ initiative to directly deliver product into the hands of women in need, and raise funds through direct sales of product.
Customers across the globe can ‘make a virtual donation’ on modibodi.com and Modibodi will donate a pair of Modibodi underwear to young girls & women in need. We also pledge to match all donations our customers make. Therefore, each time you purchase a GIVE A PAIR donation, you are essentially providing 2 women life changing underwear!
When you were setting up Modibodi, what was your most challenging moment?
Thankfully all of our failures have been relatively small, and not too costly. But when Modibodi has failed, I let myself feel the disappointment and then I use that energy to put processes in place to prevent that from happening again or to pivot and look at other ways to do it. It’s important to take responsibility for those failures because it makes you stronger in the end.
Do you miss anything about your PR days?
The PR profession is made up of a majority of women, and I loved working with creative, super driven, high energy women. But I love the journey I am on now.
What advice would you give a woman with an idea looking to start her own business?
That you are like a rubber band, you will definitely feel stretched, but you won’t break, you will bounce back. And get comfortable with being uncomfortable because in business you will feel a lot of uncomfortable.
When women discover your designs do they share their embarrassing period stories?
We are very fortunate to have amazing women who have joined the Modibodi Movement that share their stories and experiences with us and with our wider community. We are proud that through our blog, emails and social media we are able to converse and engage with our followers and customers. One of my personal favorites is this story from Helen:
I’m a little angry. I’m 26 years old. That’s a lot of period. Why weren’t you around when I was 12? I’m sure you know this but female sanitary products have a GST tax placed on them and condoms don’t?!? That is the first reason I was looking for an alternative to the nasty products which I have been using regardless of the slight allergic reaction I had to them, making that time of the month all the much worse. Since the age of 12 I have had to skip days of school (and since, work) because it was just that heavy, I was continuously worried about leakage and I couldn’t think through that and the pain. This month, I thought I would try Modibodi and my goodness IM IN LOVE. The bamboo undies are so soft and pretty too! I was thinking about posting a photo of my undies previously reserved only for those particularly heavy days, but I was too embarrassed. While your pretty undies can’t take away the pain they definitely make my bloated belly feel a lot sexier! I slept in them for the first-time last night and I didn’t have to worry about the undies being messed up in my sleep as I would a pad, there was absolutely no leakage and I woke up feeling like I didn’t have my period at all. In the past, the first thing I would do would be to go straight to the toilet and change my product but I didn’t feel gross one bit in Modibodi. I just really wanted to say thank you so much for creating these beautiful, useful, delightful undies. I really feel like they might change my period forever. Thank you!
As for my review…this is me, nappy free, galavanting about Bruges in my Modibodis with the kind of liquid love my husband and I could still enjoy on our weekend away – Belgium’s chocolatey stouts.
Another nice thing about the pants is that you don’t have to worry about nasties from plastic materials touching your skin. I recently switched to organic pads, but with a glass door separating our hotel bedroom from our bathroom, it was wonderful not worrying about the less sexy stripping noise of separating a pad from your panties.
Modibodi also unlocked the option of a sexy beige.
I started with the Classic Bikini, but I also like the look of the high waisted Sensual Full Brief. They’ve also got your backstroke ready for summer with leak-proof swimwear. The first release is almost sold out, so keep an eye out for stock drops in the spring.
More on Modibodi.com
Learn about how you can help Days for Girls here
©Photographs Reclaimed Woman. Inspirational graphics from @modibodiaustralia Instagram