Inventing with integrity: Why red tape doesn’t stifle innovation

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Modibodi founder and chief executive officer Kristy Chong. Source: supplied.

Necessity is the mother of invention. It’s what drives entrepreneurs, business leaders and employees to collaborate, innovate and create ground-breaking, world class and even life-changing products and services.

Although still in its infancy, the fashion-tech sector has the potential to not only transform lives, but the planet too.

From solar-powered fabrics and biometric shirts to protective leak-proof underwear, the potential of the fashion-tech industry is unlimited.

The process of invention and pushing the boundaries in tech, style, colour and fit are just some of the joys of creating something new.

While this passion and the search for innovation comes with endless possibilities, it shouldn’t come at the expense of high-quality products.

It’s a myth that compliance, regulation and standards are a burden on innovation. Yes, it can be a paperwork headache, but standards and regulation are a help, not a hindrance.

Regulation creates the opportunity for competition; through the diversification of products, but also by levelling the playing field for those businesses really putting in the hard work to create quality and sustainable products for their customers.

Innovating with integrity

Fashion-tech is driving the development of new intuitive, smart and responsive products. To make sure these clothes do what they say on the label, testing and more testing is required to support claims and deliver true value to customers.

Ultimately, it’s about customers having confidence in what they’re buying.

It’s this ethos that’s particularly important to us at MODIBODI. We have created a product that empowers women to live their lives to the fullest, and that enables us to be a brand and a product women can trust to support them when they might not be feeling their most confident.

It was MODIBODI that became the first Australian organisation to deliver high-tech protective leak-proof underwear, swimwear and apparel for periods and incontinence.

To achieve this, it took us almost two years of prototyping, testing and fine-tuning to develop the first range of leak-proof underwear using the patented Modifier and Modifier Air Technology.

The processes are complex and it can often take years to get it right, but it’s our duty as innovators to create with integrity.

There are always going to be people in all industries who make false claims, sell products that have gone untested or and hang on the coattails of those doing the hard work.

Regardless of what industry you operate in, it’s up to us, those who operate with our customers in mind, to advocate for better standards and regulation for the people we serve.

Not only do brands today have a responsibility to their customers to deliver high quality, high-performance products, but more customers expect brands to deliver on their promise and for products to do what it says on the label.

Supporting with education

Leaders should also be mindful that the Australian people aren’t necessarily across industry standards or what to look out for; they’re trusting that organisations are doing their due diligence.

‘Made in Australia’ isn’t always a stamp of quality. Efficacy or honesty in the product and a lack of regulation or standardised guidelines make it difficult for consumers to determine the true innovative brands against the ones who are just along for the ride.

As we continue to collaborate, innovate, test, tweak and develop exciting new products for customers, we need to remember that standards don’t stifle innovation, and those who create with care will win favour with their customers.

Kristy Chong is the CEO for MODIBODI.

NOW READ: Meet Modibodi, the underwear brand that went into the Shark Tank but won’t be appearing on your TV screen

NOW READ: How Kristy Chong built $3 million underwear business Modibodi and marketed a “taboo” product


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