The period panties company is launching its first activewear collection, starting today, at Shethinx.com. Much like the innerwear assortment, Thinx activewear also allows women to bleed right into its selection of workout apparel, eliminating the need to buy disposable sanitary pads.
“This is the year where, overall, the category is just a lot more understood,” Thinx chief executive officer Maria Molland told WWD. “There’s been a lot of reticence [in the past] to try something new, especially with the public embarrassment of something like a leak. So now is an opportunity for people to try it, sitting at home on their couch, working from home, they realize the product really works.
“And we’ve spent a lot of time — being the biggest brand in the market — on product education, explaining how period underwear really does work, why it isn’t gross, why it really should be an alternative,” Molland continued. “So this is the time to go into an extension, the activewear collection, because more people understand how period underwear works.”
The four-piece collection, which includes leggings, cycle shorts, training shorts and a leotard in a range of colors, has the same technology as Thinx underwear, said Courtney Newman, Thinx director of product design. “The difference is the gusset [in the activewear collection] is a different shape and has an extended length,” Newman explained.
The activewear line, which Molland said is part of the company’s premium collection, comes in slightly higher price points than its signature underwear — $95 for the leggings to $65 for the training shorts — and will be also available at Nordstrom in February.
But the CEO added that Thinx, which has been disrupting the feminine hygiene industry since its inception in 2014, has plans to move into mass retail, including drug stores and possibly big-box retailers later in the year at more affordable price points.
“We really want the [customer] experience at that entry level, that lower price point, to be the volume driver,” Molland explained. “And ideally get people to move up into more premium assortments through our fashion and through our types of material and the cuts we’re going to be doing on the premium side.”
Meanwhile, the company continues to grow. After securing $25 million in funding from personal-care company Kimberly-Clark last year, Thinx’s wholesale business has grown more than 400 percent over the last 12 months and is on track to generate more than $80 million in revenues this year, according to Molland. And while other companies are downsizing in an effort to stay afloat amid the pandemic, Thinx is hiring (Molland said about 50 people this year) — including Crystal Zerrenner as the company’s new chief growth officer. Not to mention all the copycat brands in the market, trying to grab some of Thinx’s share.
“Our growth right now is just amazing,” she said. “We are expecting closer to $100 million in revenue next year.”
Molland said the success stems, not just from having an innovative product, but because Thinx has gotten people talking about periods, helping eliminate some of the shame around menstruation. And, in an era of increased focus on sustainability, Thinx products are creating less waste.
“It’s about word-of-mouth,” she said. “The more people you have talking about this the better. And I think now people are really worried about the environment. COVID-19 has made us all conscious of life and what we leave behind, the earth, so I think that sustainability is going to be a trend that stays. If you can create products that match that and people are talking about it more regularly, I believe we’re really set up to continue this type of growth.”