This article is for the Professionals
Sign up to Inside Retail Professional now for only $5+GST for your first three months.
That's an 85% discount plus you’ll get FREE access to all Masterclasses during Retail Week. 5 retail industry leaders like you’ve never seen them before.Already a professional? Log in
Inside Retail: How have the last 12 months been for Modibodi?
Kristy Chong: The last 12 months have been both challenging and rewarding. Overall, 2020 was a good year for us, with numerous product launches including the launch of our Maxi 24-hrs maternity briefs, active running shorts and detachable bikinis for the adaptive and travel market. We also expanded our absorbency and style offerings, as well as four seasonal ranges across our youth and women’s range. The fact that we successfully grew at 100 per cent during a pandemic year is a testament to the great brand and products we have created.
In 2021 Modibodi is proud to have released a new maternity and postpartum collection to support new mothers. With new additions such as the postpartum control brief and the patent pending breastfeeding bra, we wanted to make sure all consumers were taken care of.
Modibodi Family also launched in 2021 with the release of our first product for babies, the reusable nappy – it’s better for your body, your baby and the planet.
IR: What has been the highlight for you?
KC: As a mum of four, the launch of our Modibodi Family brand with our range of reusable nappies and extended maternity range has definitely been a highlight. As part of this launch, we partnered with Getty Images to create ‘Embodied: Postpartum Unfiltered’, an image gallery depicting women in the 12-month post-birth period. The raw images in the gallery provide a richer perspective on this intense and exhilarating new stage of life.
Driving social change for postpartum mums is a challenge, but is incredibly important and the driving force for the Embodied campaign. Breastfeeding and postpartum bodies are natural, normal and also beautiful. We want women to feel prepared, seen, understood and proud of their postpartum journey – whatever it looks like – by showing unfiltered images which acknowledge the tough times and the triumphs of this significant stage of motherhood.
In 2021 we launched a new Modibodi menstrual, menopause and miscarriage policy for employees. This new policy entitles all Modibodi employees extra paid leave explicitly for menstruation, menopause and miscarriage, in addition to the company’s existing sick leave entitlements.
We have also committed 100,000 pairs (over 1,200,000 pound in product) to 20,000 people in need to manage periods and light incontinence in 2021. We do this through our Give A Pair program, where customers contribute to the donation of bundles of five underpants in a waterproof bag to women and girls who often don’t have access to alternatives. We hear so many extraordinary stories from our partners of how a reusable product provides dignity that it inspires us to continue to reach big goals. We also donate all returned sellable stock ensuring nothing ends up in landfill.
IR: What were some of the big challenges you faced as a business?
KC: Like many businesses, when Covid hit, we were all concerned about what it would mean, but what we realised very early on was that business as usual was [off the table]. As an e-commerce native brand, one of the many benefits is the ability to pivot marketing creative and spend easily and quickly, and as a global business, it also means we can pivot into multiple markets and these two strengths worked to our advantage in 2020 and throughout 2021.
IR: How has the move into the baby category changed the business?
KC: At Modibodi, we are fiercely committed to sustainability and reducing our reliance on single-use items such as pads, tampons and disposable nappies to manage leaks. The extension into Family aligns with our mission, given the average baby will use 6,500 disposable nappies between the ages of 1-3.
The launch into the baby category hasn’t changed the business as such, but further extended our mission to develop products for all bodies and all leaks. Our goal was to create a product range which is not only better for mother and baby but better for the planet too, through reducing the need for disposables.
Alongside our maternity range, we have launched our baby collection of reusable nappies, liners and nappy boosters. Modibodi’s reusable nappies have been designed for high-performance and usability to encourage more parents to switch from disposables to reusable nappies for good. It’s the most absorbent reusable nappy on the market, fits like a disposable and is simple to use.
IR: What has the response been to the activewear offer?
KC: Activewear is a growing category for Modibodi and provides an opportunity for our customers to experience the quality, comfort and protection they know and trust in Modibodi underwear and swimwear in a range of leggings, shorts and moisture wicking underwear. We have sold out of most of our active range and will have a new collection coming soon!
IR: What’s on the agenda for the next 12 months?
KC: The goal is to keep the conversation going so that menstrual health and self-care becomes commonplace at work, home and school, and so incontinence and excessive sweating are not seen as taboo subjects. To reach this milestone, we as mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers and friends need to work together to replace shame with understanding and empathy.
We have some exciting launches and partnerships in the next 12 months and will continue our commitment to help people all over the world. What sets Modibodi apart is our continued vision to create limitless positive impact, whether that is daring to design the most comfortable and effective products to manage bodily leaks in the most sustainable way; using our brand to celebrate diversity and inclusivity, promote self-acceptance and open conversations around our bodies and bodily leaks, and at times challenge unjust cultural or social norms in the name of equality; or donating our products to menstruating people in need to help end period poverty.