Antonia Dunbar, Miki and Radha Agrawal (the three THINX co-founders) had just traveled to India for an Agrawal cousin’s wedding when they first talked about the idea. While sitting up in the foothills of the Himalayas by the Ganges River, we talked about how we wanted to do impactful work on the planet.
As we sipped warm chai tea in handmade clay cups and listening to the rushing water of the river at our backs,
Miki mentioned an idea that occurred to her and her sister Radha during an embarrassing accident while swimming a few years ago.
Seems that Radha had gotten her period (yes, that thing no one ever really talks about, although 2 billion women and girls experience it every single month of their younger lives), and the “Eureka!” moment came after being able to wash the blood out of her swimsuit.
From that incident, we began to wonder – could there be a fabric that released stains? And if so, why wasn’t it in at least some of the underwear for women yet? Certainly we all would like a pair of underwear that could do this, and actually, underwear that didn’t give us anxiety every single month because of fears over leaking unexpectedly.
That evening, we surprised each other as we all shared personal underwear mishap stories as well as our frustrations over the current offerings in the underwear market (“They really expect a pad to fit within the TINY amount of fabric in THIS underwear?”
Suddenly we realized - If we had these issues, we couldn't be alone...
Miki continued on and shared another story, one that took place while she was in Africa. Turns out that she’d met a teenage girl named Amahle on a weekday who wasn’t in school and then found out it was her “week of shame.”
Miki asked if this was her only time experiencing this shame, and the girl defeatedly said no, that it had been happening every month for about a year now.
We found out that this young girl (and some 67 million more like her), couldn’t afford the disposable products that were only sometimes for sale in the markets, and that even if she could afford them, how could she get to the store when it was miles away on foot, the only mode of transportation she had? What’s more, once she had these products, where exactly was she to dispose of them once they were used? It’s not as if there are garbage collection days in the villages of Africa.
We also discovered that because of these issues, women in the developing world were using unimaginable things like leaves, mud, dirty rags and even pieces of plastic, carpet or newspaper, which not only could lead to health problems and discomfort, but days of missed school or work because they didn’t have the right resources to properly manage. It was also a taboo to discuss, and proper sanitation and access to gender-specific bathrooms were also an issue.
We couldn't let this happen. We had to do something. And that something began... with a Kickstarter video:
After the campaign on Kickstarter ended, we raised 130% of our goal, got messages from people around the world who wanted THINX themselves, and now the story continues with this website, and all of you...