Silver Linings

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.  

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