Interview with Funmi Lawal – Clip-Knix Founder
By Behnam Ghasemi – Kohan Textile Journal
Clip-Knix is a Patented Front Fastening Underwear for Women
Award winning-Specialist Clothing of 2020/2021
Supporting this movement towards more adaptive designs in fashion, supporting people’s independence, and giving people back their dignity is precisely what Funmi Lawal set out to do when she developed Clip-Knix.
An innovative adaptive fashion statement designed to let people get on with living their life the way they want. A concept of making living simple.
Q1. Could you please let us know about yourself, your experience and your education?
My name is Funmi Aishah Lawal, mother of young adults. I live in London with my children. I was born In the U.K. and returned to Nigeria with my parents when I was 3 years old, where I graduated from the University of Ilorin at the age of 19 with a BSc in Economics.
I returned to the UK in 1987 and worked as a Public Servant for over 10 years. In 1997 I graduated from the London School of Economics with an MSc in ADMIS, after which I moved to Dubai with my husband, where we were based for five years. I returned to the UK in 2002 to date.
Q2. When and how the idea for Clip-knix underwear started.
Unfortunately, I had a stroke soon after childbirth at the age of 35. I experienced first-hand how reduced mobility can rob an individual of independence and dignity. Then ‘I couldn’t walk, bending down was painful and putting on underwear felt like a battle’. As a result of the stroke, I developed kidney failure which led to dialysis and eventual transplant in 2011. I saw a chance to help people with limited mobility and have spent years designing and testing clip-on knickers that will ultimately transform the lives of millions.
In 2002, when suddenly and unexpectedly faced with a future that required me to manage my own limited mobility, the difficulties that I encountered when getting dressed started me thinking about possible solutions to make living more simple.
From this seed of an idea, Clip Knix was eventually launched as a product in 2018 and I am proud to be able to assist others who are also unable to bend or stretch when dressing.
To me it is not just a business enterprise, it is my passion for wanting to help others as I have experienced the same in life. My aim to see many people live independent lives as much as possible and positively. The consequential applications that arose from the product, such as camping, hiking, pregnant women, bedroom antics were not primarily why it was initiated but the initial reason was to help people with limited mobility.
Q3. What is special about Clip-knix and why should we use it.
My product is essentially clip-on feminine underwear that can be put on either in a standing, sitting and lying position, thus helping to preserve the dignity and increase independence for women who experience limited mobility, or who may need assistance to dress. They are also very practical for general use when camping, or when in confined spaces such as aeroplane toilets.
This cleverly designed underwear solution enables the wearer to clip the underwear on and off at one, two or three front-fastening locations, with a choice of buttons or hooks to suit a wide range of needs; simply place Clip-Knix in position and clip!
The product offers a range of benefits that include:
- all products can be put on without the need to bend, stretch or balance on one leg
- easy and quick fastening
- a choice of attractive, feminine designs in 3 colours
- available in sizes 8 – 26
- soft, aesthetically pleasing stretch fabric for a perfect fit
- cosy and comfortable for all day long
- Good quality lace and cotton
- Big buttons for ease
- Leak protection
It takes creativity and innovation to show that all designs can be and are fashionable – limited mobility should not mean limited underwear choices. Clip-knix underwear boosts confidence and allows our customers to regain their independence. With more and more intelligent and empathic designs coming to the market, fashionable solutions should, and now can be available to all irrespective of able or limited mobility. Empowering people of all ages, careful and robust research will help inform the development of even more effective, attractive, and fashionable adaptive clothing. Clothing that works for everyone.
According to the World Bank report 2012, there are an estimated 4.7% elderly of population of 336 million in the Middle East and Northern Africa. With good medical care, people are living longer with health issues, so the percentage would have increased.
Washington post, September 4, 2013, says “ non communicable diseases, such as heart attack rose by 44% , stroke 35% and diabetes 87%, in the Middle East and North Africa. There is an untapped market in the Adaptive fashion range. People are surviving and living longer and such they will need long time care and some sort of clothing.
It is also ideal for pregnant women , post operation recuperation, back pain sufferers, arthritis etc any chronic illness that reduces ability to bend down and wear underwear. The following is our current range.
For the more traditional buyer, the aptly-named Clip-Knix Traditional is a full brief french style underwear. These underpants feature a higher waistband and thicker material to give you more comfort and support.
As with all our underwear, you can choose between button fasteners or hooks. You can customise the look of these knickers, with a choice of three different colours and two styles.
Clip-Knix clip-on underwear is a simple and stylish solution for wearers. This panties can be worn and taken off with incredible ease!clip-on underwear and get on with living your life the way you want.We have come up with an exquisite range of clip-on underwear that is designed for the sole purpose of making living simpler.It is an added bonus that they look great, too. They are comfortable and fits perfectly.
We’ve come up with an exquisite range of clip-on underwear that is designed for the sole purpose of making living simpler.It is an added bonus that they look great, too. It fits you perfectly and a delight.
Clip-Knix clip-on underwear is pure organic cotton.
You’ll love our Classic clip-on underwear. Our take on the classic bikini knickers.. These clip-on underpants with floral lace designs are the modern option for those who are fashion-conscious.
Clip and Hook fastening for putting on or off the underwear without hassle. .It is an added bonus that they look great, too. It fits you perfectly and a delight. You can customise the look of these knickers, with a choice of three different colours and two styles.
Q4. As a woman entrepreneur do you have any message for Middle East and Africa region? Do you have any sales agency , distributors or partner in the region?
My message to Middle Eastern and African women is that they should follow their dreams and God willing , they will succeed in anything they embark on . Despite my health challenges, I brought out a positive out of the situation. We should be comfortable and celebrate our uniqueness, be it slim or curvy, we are united in love for each other. Let us help each other, love one another and make the world a better place.
I am actively looking for distributors, partners and sales agent in the region. At the moment , I am only accessible to my customers through amazon , the orders take 7 to 10 days to get to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. The only other option is through the website and that takes the same length of time. I welcome any partners or distributors in the region to speed up delivery.
Q6. Fashion and textile industry need sustainable and green products and idea much more than before , how we can have a sustainable and green textile industry all over the world
My underwear is durable and sustainably sourced in Turkey. You are meant to be changing your underwear quarterly, not earlier , that way, you will reduce the cotton being used to produce it .
I collaborated with the best design in the world , innovative UK team worked on Clip- Knix and developed female underwear that can be fastened in the front without the need for bending and turning sideways. The team and I answered this need through pragmatic approach, robust testing and meticulous design. The result is a triumph which will revolutionise the lives of many people by:
- Creating solution that works
- Preserved independence
- Maintain dignity
Careful and robust research has informed the development of a highly effective and attractive range of underwear that will work for everyone. We fully understood the difficulties caused by reduced mobility, then came up with a pragmatic solution. Developed a just clip on your pants and get on with your day, it is that simple. Simply place Clip Knix in position and clip! Soft, aesthetically pleasing stretch fabric for a perfect fit and ultimate comfort. Clip Knix is designed to attract to anyone, especially people with limited mobility. Clip Knix will appeal to the general population in the UK and globally.
My ideal target market are below:
Medical hospital / Rehabilitation clinics
Government managed hospitals
Private carers , who look after the elderly.
Overall, it is a unique product that has a patent and trademarks are registered in the UK.