“Young girls can finally go swimming without stress”: two Montpellier residents have created menstrual swimsuits

“Young girls can finally go swimming without stress”: two Montpellier residents have created menstrual swimsuits

Alexane Marcel and Gaël Rouit form a great pair Solki

The Montpellier brand Solki from Alexane Marcel and Gaël Rouit offers a range of useful and practical swimsuits for teenage girls and young women.

"We wanted to find a job that was meaningful and even if it wasn't related to our studies, we succeeded.& quot;Alexane Marcel and Gaël Rouit form quite a pair. Even as children, they had fun setting up projects, but the two cousins, despite their complicity, were not destined to work together. But sometimes life takes you down side roads strewn with success in the end.

Alexane, after a course in psychology found herself a school teacher, "I didn't like it at all." As for Gaël, his studies of law and geopolitics do not lead him to a profession corresponding to his expectations.

So there they are, with their mouths in the water without too many concrete ideas for their future when Alexane begins to take an interest in a particular subject. "While doing some research, I came across a menstrual swimsuit. But it was not at all successful. Since it wasn't working very well at the time, I said to myself that maybe there was something to be done."

In the course of a conversation, she proposes this idea to her lifelong sidekick. "And I answered yes straight away", declares Gaël with a broad smile.

The Solki adventure was born, it was now necessary to do everything possible to make it happen. Everyone took steps, carried out a market study, research into manufacturing techniques, a marketing plan, find the factory that has the know-how to make their product effective…

Without too many skills initially but with a lot of resourcefulness and hard work, the duo manages to set up their small business.

A real need

Very quickly, they realize that the product they intend to offer for sale can really change things and represents a real need among young girls.

"Many teenage girls deprive themselves of swimming time because of their periods." As a societal challenge, the two partners want to change things. "The whole challenge was to offer an effective menstrual jersey, pleasant to wear , pretty and not too expensive so that it can be accessible." It costs around thirty euros for a pair of bikini bottoms.

Wearing tampons is no longer in fashion. Beyond the psychological and ecological aspect, there is a real reflection on the toxicity of disposable protections. Then, once out on the beach, there are not necessarily toilets or sheltered places to change. Young girls therefore prefer to give up all activities. And that’s where a menstrual swimsuit makes sense. Also no more fear of the stain and the mental burden of thinking about changing its protection.

“Young girls can finally go swimming without stress”: two Montpellier residents have created menstrual swimsuits

Alexane Marcel and Gaël Rouit have projects in their heads. Solki

A well-studied efficiency

Their main design concern was to make a swimsuit that would be suitable for "real life”, i.e. in and out of the water. water, allowing you to move, tan…hellip; but always remaining effective. And without being thick and visible.

The technology adopted is equivalent to so-called average flows, i.e. a port of three buffers. It is effective for several hours without worrying about a potential leak. "The ideal for those who are not too reassured at the start is to test it beforehand at home, but it works even with abundant flows for some for more than 5& nbsp;hours". For them, testing it means adopting it.

How it works ? How it washes ?

The jersey is made up of: quite thin periodic protection but with several layers of fabric to avoid leaks.

The draining fabric in direct contact with the body collects the flow and passes it to the absorbent fabric located next to the body. underneath which, as its name suggests, absorbs blood which functions like a sponge.

The waterproof fabric helps prevent the flow from escaping. Next comes the outer fabric of the jersey. Four layers for optimal protection.

What about washing

Once used, rinse it under cold water (to remove blood) until it is completely dry. until the water is clear. All that remains is wash it like any swimsuit, & by hand or by machine à 30 °C max.

In practice, the swimsuit must be fitted to the body to work, "if it yawns, water enters".  And it has the advantage of being able to be worn even outside of menstruation.

They were thus able to market their successful product from 2022 which protects against leaks for several hours. The first year, they sold 500 jerseys, in 2023, 3,300 jerseys and this year they are counting on a figure higher than 10,000 or even 12,000.

New models and projects coming soon

This year, the Solki company will launch a new range with bra-style tops and new colors to complement these models from the early years.

"We needed to extend our range, this is a request from our customers. And these new models will be manufactured in Europe."

And to specify: "For the moment we only operate in e-commerce but our models could soon be offered in stores. We are working on it. The jerseys once ordered are delivered within 24 hours, we recommend and especially if things don't work, returns are possible and very simplified."

But Alexane and Gaël do not intend to stop there: they subsequently wish to diversify with slightly different products but always around the well-being of young people girls: "Why not about period pain ?" But that's an upcoming adventure…

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