The day has come when you can have your period without wearing a pad, tampon, or diva cup! Yes, I'm serious, and it exists! We can also wear white without being concerned or asking our friends to check to see if we have leaked. The invention I'm referring to is period underwear. In the Arab region, a brand called "Shemsi" made this dream a reality; I had the honor of interviewing them and discussing this fantastic idea in depth. Shemsi is changing the underwear game with their new period underwear.
1. We'd like to learn more about the founders and masterminds behind this fantastic life-saving underwear, so tell us a little bit about yourself.
The Shemsi team is entirely Arab, with Moroccan, Algerian, and Egyptian origins.
Shemsi was born in Morocco, specifically in Casablanca, more than a year ago. Many of my friends had period problems, and seeing that there were no alternatives to traditional products, the team and I knew we had to create something new, healthy, economical, and environmentally friendly: a revolutionary product for women's daily lives.
We are Egypt's first brand to manufacture and sell period panties. We began in Morocco and spent a year developing the best product possible in collaboration with thousands of our most loyal customers. Everything from choosing the best Egyptian cotton to perfecting the printing of the best packaging is being worked on. We had a huge success and are already out of stock, which is huge because we realized that Egyptian women are very receptive to change and have quickly understood and adapted to the product.
2. Shemsi is a very interesting name. What is the story behind it?
The name Shemsi has three essential points:
The mood: To illuminate women's daily lives and free them from a certain weight that we can feel during our period (between the pains, discomfort, leakage, allergies, and everything else that can come during that time of the month), to make their lives easier.
The action: Bring the period topic into the light, breaking the centuries-old taboo surrounding menstruation, myths, and counter-myths that we want to avoid.
The authenticity: It is an Arabic name with an oriental twist that alludes to oriental culture and its importance in determining our identity.
3. So, you only get to wear period underwear without any kind of pad or tampon. Could you please explain how we won't leak while wearing it?
Yes, absolutely. It is intended to be worn solely as an alternative to pads or tampons.
It is made up of a cotton moisture barrier layer to keep you comfortable, a bamboo absorbent layer to hold the menstrual blood, and a waterproof layer to prevent leaks or staining.
4. How do we wash or care for our period pants so that they last?
It must be hand washed immediately after taking it off with cold or lukewarm water and a mild detergent (no fabric softeners), and then washed in the washing machine at a temperature of less than 30 degrees Celsius or on the delicate or gentle cycle. Hand washing is also an option.
A little tip: we strongly advise washing all underwear by hand in order to maintain its quality and keep it with you for a longer period of time.
5. So, we usually change our pads on a regular basis, but how long can we wear and how frequently should we change our period underwear?
So the first thing to know is that we have 3 levels of absorption, because of course, we all have different flows.
For a light to normal flow: A strong absorption
For a normal to strong flow: A high level of absorption
For a strong to abundant flow: A ultra absorption
This is the most important step. It is to choose the type of absorption you need. From then on, you can wear the panties for up to 12 hours a day. So you can spend a whole day protected and at the end, go home and change!
6. So, you only have one color. Do you intend to introduce new colors and designs anytime soon?
Definitely, we intend to introduce new colors and designs based on the preferences of our customers. However, we are extremely focused on creating the best period underwear possible, and our job is to do our best to obtain and listen to all of our thousands of customers' feedback!
We want to have a product for everyone, from teens (a teen collection) who are going through their first periods to older people who are experiencing leaks (another significant stigma).
We also want to be available throughout the Arab world, so whether you're in Rabat, Algiers, Beirut, Alexandria, or Jeddah, you can get your Shemsi!
7. We all know that period underwear is good for the environment but is it good for our vaginas? Can you please explain more about it?
Period underwear is made up of all-natural fabrics and is free of any chemicals, unlike disposable sanitary products, which are full of plastic that causes irritation and infection, harmful chemicals, and scents that can cause rashes or dryness in the intimate area. Simply speaking, it makes your vagina breathe, and it’s gentle on the skin. The bamboo layer is It is anti-bacterial in nature.
We have had studies of diseases and cases of toxic shock in some women due to the chemicals used. Some women have been rendered sterile because of it. All this without counting, of course, the cases of cancer, serious infections, and others.
We realized that some of the chemicals used in the big brands of pads and tampons are banned in some countries because they are so dangerous. Then we tested our products, so we are sure that natural is the best alternative for the planet and for our bodies too. In fact, we have a lot of natural solutions and efficient alternatives that can help us in our daily life. It is up to us to become more conscientious!
8. So many of us struggle to exercise during that time of the month because we are afraid of any unwanted leakage. Would you say we can exercise while wearing Shemsi period underwear without fear of leakage?
Yes, you can wear period underwear while exercising, and also while traveling, sleeping, and being active without worrying about your pad moving and causing leaks. The main goal of Shemsi period underwear is to provide discreet protection while keeping you secure throughout the day, no matter what activities you’re engaged in.
9. Is it possible that wearing period underwear will cause any side effects?
On the human body and intimate hygiene, no. On the contrary, and believe me, this is true. We have customers who have been using it for over a year, and all of our female team members use it, so you have nothing to worry about, as I previously stated. Gynecologists have also approved and used period panties.
10. Finally, tell us something only exclusive to the Fustany Readers.
There is so much work to be done! We are considering expanding our product line to include other period items. In terms of social goals, we are working hard to build a genuine community centered on period awareness and the abolition of period poverty, and we are working around the clock to develop solutions to combat this. And, as the brand name suggests, we want to make women's lives more enjoyable.
Shemsi is more than just underwear; it is the work of a team dedicated to changing the Arab world's mindset and creating a community dedicated to breaking down menstrual taboos.
We are also working to reduce the period of poverty in the Arab world. We at Shemsi are excited to see where this adventure will take us and can't wait to see what happens when you truly put women at the center of the conversation, markets, and public space.