First came the period-proof underwear. Up now is the pee-proof underwear. Minds boggle at visions of what the women from Thinx Inc. will devise next.
On Halloween morning, they were in Union Square Park, on the edge of the farmer’s market, hyping their seasonally appropriate, limited-edition pumpkin-spice colored undies for women dealing with involuntary urination.
Their pee-proof panties — branded under the name Icon and aimed at the one in three women who supposedly experience bladder leaks (often while sneezing, coughing, laughing or running) — dovetail nicely with the company’s initial offering to be worn while menstruating.
“Our mission is to dismantle stigmas and taboos around the common and natural functions of women’s bodies,” Kejal Macdonald, vice president of brand marketing for Icon, tells The Post.
It’s a strategy embraced by the company’s target market. Upon seeing Thinx Inc. staffers grouped together with their logo-emblazoned sweatshirts, a woman strolls over, raises her arms victoriously and proclaims, “I’m having my period! I’ve been wanting to try these.”
Looking mildly disappointed to discover that only pee-proof undergarments are on offer today, she takes a pair anyway and strolls away with a smile.
Macdonald makes clear that creating the washable, odor-fighting, four-layered, reusable undergarment (designed to be worn all day while loaded with a helping of urine) was far from a trivial undertaking. Getting it right, she says, “took two years of prototyping, 16 different fabrics and 40 women testing and supplying feedback. The innermost layer is fast wicking and fast drying.
There is an absorbent layer that catches [the urine] without getting thicker. The outer layer is a breathable moisture barrier. Woven into the fabric is an anti-odor and anti-microbial treatment.”
She warns against using your pair of Thinx as a stand-in for Icon: “The viscosity and release are different for blood and urine. The Icons have to do a lot of heavy lifting.”
If you miss out on the limited-edition pumpkin-spice colored offering, don’t worry. There will be a new one hitting the shelves for the holidays and, says Macdonald, “It will be seasonally relevant and absorbent.” The latter will conform to Icon’s existing styles and standards: thongs (holding three teaspoons of liquid), light (holding up to six teaspoons) and medium (holding up to eight), costing from $28 to $39 per pair.
Interestingly, there is not yet a heavy. “We’re still seeing how far we can push the technology,” says Macdonald. “And we’re also trying to figure out how much liquid you can walk around with in your underwear all day.”
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