Breaking the taboos around the M’s: Menstrual, Menopause and Miscarriage

Kristy Chong - Menstrual, Menopause & Miscarriage

Kristy Chong, Founder and CEO of Modibodi®, the original leak-proof apparel brand, is on a mission to break down taboos when it comes to menstrual, menopause and miscarriage policies.

Kristy has always been an innovative when it comes to helping women, which is why in 2013, in her native Australia she founded Modibodi, the first period and leak-proof underwear.

After the birth of her second child and not long after her periods had returned, Kristy started training for a marathon. Kristy also started to suffer from light bladder leaking (a very common problem) and when she tried to find products to help, only found disposable hygiene products, which were ugly, inconvenient, uncomfortable, often unreliable, and disastrous for the environment. Two years later, after working extensively with chemical textile engineers, garment developers, textile mills and scientists, conducting almost 1000 scientific tests  to get it right, Kristy founded the brand and had developed the special patented Modifier Technology®.

Now its 9th year, Modibodi, the number one period and leak-proof brand in the UK, has gone on to make period proof swimwear, leakproof maternity range including bras and camis for breastfeeding, the most absorbent reusable nappy, and even an active range, with leggings that can hold period and leaks, eradicating the need completely for pads and tampons.

As we approach International Women’s Day, it is Kristy’s passion for change and breaking down taboos that have been the driving force for Modibodi’s success.

“I really wanted to help women, which is why when I set up Modibodi, it was to make life easier for all women. With all the technological advancements in the world, our underwear was still the same and the issues of the plastics and carbon from tampons and pads, meant we were damaging the planet.

As a brand, Modibodi has always strived to break down taboos and get people talking. A few years back we launched a campaign called ‘The Modern Way to Period’ which showed the real side of periods. The advert, which aired on UK TV, championed raw confidence, celebrated individual freedom, embraced diversity and showed the real side of periods from bloody tissues, to laying on the bed with cramps. The advert was banned by Facebook for a while (which was quickly resolved) as it was deemed too graphic.

This led me to think about how as women, we are often penalised for showing and telling the truth. As a company, we then introduced a new Modibodi policy announcement, entitling all our employees to paid leave explicitly for menstruation, menopause and miscarriage, in addition to the current company’s existing sick leave entitlements.”

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Modibodi employees accrue an additional 10 days paid personal leave per year for menstruation, menopause discomfort or in the event of a miscarriage.

“These paid leave days are not taken from ‘sick leave’ but are specifically designed to be used by staff suffering menstrual or menopause symptoms which interfere with their ability to work, or in the event they suffer a miscarriage or pregnancy loss. Staff are also allowed to request to work from home if needed during their period.

We’ve introduced these policies as part of our commitment to talk openly and honestly about periods, to normalise conversations about menstruation and to remove any stigma and shame associated with a normal, natural part of life. To help change those attitudes, we need to start in our own office, and this new policy is one action we can take now to help do that.”

Modibodi’s policy goes further than menstrual leave by incorporating paid leave for those suffering with debilitating symptoms of menopause too.

“We’re giving employees the option to take paid leave days for either menstruation or menopause, or to choose to work from home during days when they’re feeling discomfort. We want our staff to be able to be honest about their experiences of menstruation.”

Kristy now hopes that other companies will follow suit and take action to look after their employees across times in their life when leave is often much appreciated and hopes that companies will be able to talk about these subjects with their staff, so that no one suffers in silence.

Inspirational Woman: Kristy Chong | Founder & CEO, ModiBodi

Kristy’s the CEO and creator of Modibodi®. She’s a mum on a mission, a fast-tech entrepreneur and a social advocate for women’s health issues and rights.

Fast forward to 2011, when the concept of launching her own business ignited. After the birth of her second child, Kristy’s experience with “unmentionable” bladder leaks made her determined to start her own brand. One that would change our mindsets – and the planet! – by changing underwear for the better.

This ambition saw her design, develop and scientifically prove her patented Modifier Technology™ leak-proof undies and transform this into the Modibodi® collection: a reusable, sustainable range of tops, singlets, period and sweat-proof undies as well as swimwear, created to liberate us all from endless amounts of landfill.

Kristy Chong
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.
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