As told to Miranda Wilkinson
This week it’s all about Mums helping their daughters on their transition to womanhood by launching Iceni Silver.
As mums that were passionate to help their very sporty daughters, we set out to make not only our daughters but all those who have periods’ lives easier. We believe that nobody should have to suffer the insecurities, or embarrassments that period “accidents” can cause.
Being young, the girls really didn’t want to use any types of sanitary wear which they felt was invasive or uncomfortable. The idea of period pants was born.
Our excitement was soon dampened when we realised that others were making them. Unimpressed with what was available we knew we could make better, even though we had no experience in this industry. After two years of hard work, with many ups and downs, our dream was realised with the creation of Iceni Silver – Period Wear for Sports. Unlike other brands, which have a generic pant design, Iceni underwear is tailored for each specific sport with 4 current designs available and 3 more in the final stages of design/production for Dance, Equestrian & Swimming coming at the end of April.
The absorbent layer puts Iceni ahead of those that use terry towelling, which relies heavily on their waterproof layer for protection. Iceni Silver’s unique layer has a super absorbent material that absorbs 10 times its weight in under 2 seconds, soaks up 20 times faster than other material, whilst the woven in Silvadur controls odours. In addition, our waterproof layer also contains Silvadur, giving the wearer double odour protection.
We are immensely proud that our product is not only eco-friendly and sustainable but is also “Made in Great Britain”. Unlike our competitors who are produced abroad, we wanted to support the British industry. Due to current conditions, never before has this been so important. From design to manufacturing, 95% is sourced and made in the UK. For the odd item that isn’t made here then we make a point of buying through a British company.
As an ex-England International Netball player and later a PE Teacher in London for 20yrs, Vanessa saw her students’ confidence, performance and the fun of participating in PE being affected. She also witnessed period poverty within the community. Many girls didn’t attend school when they couldn’t afford sanitary wear. No female should have their education or love of sport affected in such a way. As for myself, having suffered from endometriosis I knew only too well how one can be frightened to leave the house for fear of an “accident”. I firmly believe if I’d had something like Iceni Silver this wouldn’t be the case.
Excited to launch, disaster struck with Covid-19. This could have affected the making and production but thanks to modern technology we were able to carry on. Everything from meeting to fittings was done over Zoom. Something the manufacturer had never done before.
Launching during a pandemic was risky, but we believed it was worth it. Females still had periods and needed the security that our underwear offered.
We are thrilled about how our product has been received, with great feedback from many world-class athletes. It’s been better than we could have imagined and it’s fantastic to know we can help so many females of all abilities to be active, feel secure and be confident.