Last week, we were reading a report by Thomson Reuters about women being given ‘unknown’ pills in a factory in Tamil Nadu, to help workers manage their periods. These unregulated pills, then led to all sorts of complicated health problems – as you can imagine.
It’s hard to not read these articles and find a little fire in your belly. The injustice, the abuse of power, the poverty cycle, our consumption that puts pressure on workers.. and down the rabbit hole we go!
But before we traverse too deep on the ‘why’ Reemi is important, let’s talk about the ‘what.’
What have we been doing and where we are up to?
Truth be told, getting a business, a charity, an organisation – whatever ‘it’ is, takes time. And the unfortunate thing is that it often takes longer than you think.
We have spent the last 18 months sourcing innovative fabrics, testing prototypes, tweaking layers and interviewing hundreds of women from all around the world.
In the start-up world, there is a process that you move through:
Ideating > Conception > Committing > Validating > Scaling > Establishing
We have been slowly progressing through this model from ideation through to conception, and now to committing. Right now, we are getting ready to launch our commercial product, period underwear. Reemi is the first organisation to create period underwear with CottonX, a truly anti-microbial fibre that combats infection, and odour. A world first!
When we start selling a commercial product, ie. Everyday consumers like yourself buy Reemi underwear, we call this market validation. The market agrees that your product is worth buying. If successful, we can continue to the next stage, which is scaling.
Plus, simultaneously, while we are working through a typical business model, we’ve also been working on how we empower women. We are very close to starting to manufacturing our first run of underwear for a pilot trial for 200 garment workers, which we will pair with education through a local partner.
Let’s put this into concrete actions.
What have we done?
- One-on-one interviews with women to understand their needs
- Research with local groups already working in this area
- Created prototypes for underwear
- Established partnerships to use wash & dry bags
- Sourced antimicrobial fabric
- Sourced a manufacturer for underwear
- Initial discussions on partnerships with three different apparel brands
- Research culturally appropriate education
- Working out our logistics and supply chain
What are about to do?
- Marketing and promotion (including filming a video!)
- Launch period underwear on kickstarter with CottonX
- Pilot trial the underwear and wash+dry bags with 200 women
- Research how the bags can be made from non-synthentic materials
- Continued fundraising through events & grant applications
Exciting right? It’s a great feeling to move from ideas into concepts and those concepts into real and tangible products you can hold!
Watch this space!!! <3