Essity, a Swedish hygiene and health company, recently paid $140 million to acquire Modibodi, an Australian pioneer of leak-proof clothing. Modibodi had sold 1.5 million pairs of leak-proof underpants in 2020.
Kristy, who had two small children and suffered from mild incontinence (a common condition in women, especially after childbirth), decided to design and develop an underwear brand that would help women with these sensitive and sometimes embarrassing concerns.
It then expanded to menstrual underwear and Modibodi realized how many different ways they can help women with female health problems. Kristy had the idea in 2011 and Modibodi was founded in 2013.
“When I came up with the idea for Modibodi and this new range of durable comfortable items to replace disposable items, it was really step by step to evolve into a business and eventually grow into a big company,” said Modibodi founder Kristy Chong while talking to Dynamic Business about her undergarment business from the taboo era she single-handedly built from scratch.
Modibodi’s campaign focuses on women’s empowerment
Kristy spent nearly 15 years in the PR world, representing multinational organizations such as Edelman, Sanofi-Aventis and McDonald’s.
The brand has won customers over through its focus on sustainability and body positivity, using only inspirational, photoshop-free, real and unedited photos and stories in its campaigns.
During the conversation, Chong discussed Modibodi’s rapid success in 2020 and admitted that there were challenges. “We started with my friends and families using it, and then their family and friends…. and that’s kind of how you get there and how you can expand.
“Then we started with micro-influencers, so I knew there was a demand for that, but it was still a struggle to get the message out, simply because of the message we were talking about – around menstruation and incontinence.
“People just didn’t want to talk about it. I couldn’t get clients to talk about them, and that was very difficult, especially socially.
“We had to get around it in a different way. I put myself forward as a case study. I said, “I’m going to come out and say this is okay.” And anyone who did, like all influencers who did, who were proud enough – we promoted them.
“And now we have customers everywhere talking about us, posting us on their Instagram stories and openly saying ‘I wear period-resistant underwear’.”
Leak-proof clothing has an expected annual growth rate of more than 20% for the next five years. In 2021, the company reported net sales of $56.7 million and revenue growth of 18%. EBITDA was $5.7 million and EBITA was $5.6 million. Gross margin was high and EBITA margin was 9.8%. Modibodi has 45 employees and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.
“I am proud of everything we have created at Modibodi over the past nine years and happy that Modibodi is joining Essity. As a global leader in hygiene and health, Essity can provide the expertise and capital to drive the brand forward into its next growth phase and achieve even greater impact,” said Kristy Chong, founder and CEO of Modibodi.
Also Read: Modibodi Founder on Menstrual Underwear and Female Entrepreneurship
Also read: Goodbye liners: Modibodi underwear focuses on feminine hygiene
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This post Modibodi scores a huge win for solving a problem no one wanted to talk about
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