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‘Period-proof’ undies embark on international expansion

Online leakproof underwear retailer Modibodi is expanding overseas this week with the launch of a UK website, ahead of plans to eventually enter the European market via France and Germany.

“The awareness of period proof underwear is at 0.05 per cent in that market, so we’ve got a lot of education to do first,” explained founder Kristy Chong to Internet Retailing 

“We’ll go the same route [when it first launched in Australia] – we’ll be making a big splash with PR, getting influencers and media to talk about it, then have digital and social to back that all up.”

Chong launched Modibodi in Australia in 2014 after she developed the innovative period, leak and sweatproof underwear using high-quality, tech-savvy fabrics. At the moment, 95 per cent of Modibodi customers are from Australia and come via the online store.

The underwear start-up has also expanded its distribution channels, so agents can sell the brand in countries such as South Africa, Iceland, Israel and South Korea.

Modibodi is also currently being sold into the US via Amazon.

“We’ve got competition in the US. We’re not afraid of being in that market, but we know entering it will cost a lot of money and we see a lot of synergy in our marketing approach with the UK and Europe,” Chong said.

“When you put Germany, the UK and France together, the market size is equal to America. No one is owning that market and that’s what we want to do.”

Earlier this year, Chong was named as a finalist in the start-up category at the World Retail Congress Awards and last week, she was named NSW Business Woman of the Year by the NSW Government.

“The award reminds me that what my team and I have achieved and what I stand for in business is something to be really proud of,” she said.

“So we will continue to empower women, reduce impact to our landfill and waterways, break down taboos around menstruation and incontinence, and promote body positivity through the use of real, non-photoshopped women in our advertising campaigns.”

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