As most women will attest, having your period or bladder leakage during a trip to the beach or pool is an uncomfortable experience, and a topic not often thought about by brands.
But it’s 2017 and one Australian label, Modibodi, is set on”normalising” conversations around these taboo areas in the market by creating a “fashionable fused with functional” collection of swimwear that aims to solve the issue.
The brand, founded by Kristy Chong in 2014, already has a range of leak-free absorbent underwear which replaces menstruation and leakage products by absorbing fluids.
The mother-of-two’s latest venture which took 12 months of research and 6 months of testing on everyday women to develop.
“These areas are still taboo, and one in two women don’t partake in physical activity when they have their periods or bladder leakage to not risk embarrassment . We don’t talk about it openly enough, we do among friends but that is all we want to be as a brand,” says Chong.
“There’s not really been any functional developments in the swimwear market for [a] very long time and for the one in two women with heavy periods and one in three women with bladder leaks it is not much option for them when they want to go swimming to keep them protected. I am unabashedly unashamed to talk about these issues because they are common. Someone had to take that leap.”
The range, developed, designed and made in Australia, currently consists of a Set Me Freestyle leak-proof one-piece and Got Your Backstroke leak-proof active bikini and places a great focus on size inclusion, with the brand looking to expand still from their size 6-18 offering and girls sizes 12-14.
Similar to its underwear technology, the swimwear is suited for spotting, light period days and pelvic floor issues. It works by using a dry-fast water repellent outer fabric, as well as a patent-pending ‘Modifier Swim Technology’ and gusset which absorbs up to “10mls or one tampon of fluid,” and has layers to avoid odour and bacteria according to Chong.
The range had an initial international Kickstarter goal of $25,000 and had 356 backers and raised $35,593 in funding in less than a week. The products are vegan and Chong hopes that the range will help women use less menstruation products for their own “freedom and the environment”, noting that one liner can take hundreds of years to break down.
There is no slowing down for Chong who is already in the developmental stages of the second range, set to coincide with the Northern Hemisphere’s summer. Distributors in Asia, Europe and the US have already shown interest.
“I don’t think there is a market for this product couldn’t work in and couldn’t benefit from. We also are constantly looking at a social impact program where we can get our products into hands of women in need,” says Chong.
Plans for for the future include developing a range that can absorb more fluid and introducing new colours.
“It will be based it on customer demands like we have from the beginning,” says Chong.
The Kickstarter campaign will continue until early November at 20 to 30 per cent off future costs, before the products are offered on the company’s website.