Hemen for Her, the not-so-obvious choice to make women’s underwear.
We’ve often been asked if we would consider making a women’s collection, and we always said no.
Given that men are very loyal when it comes to clothing and brands, we had been very comfortable with only having a men’s collection ever since we launched Hemen in 2014.
Ever the creative type, we nevertheless wanted to bring something new and broaden our range with everyday pieces.
In 2016 and 2017, we made sweatshirts. They were gorgeous, made from thick organic cotton and inspired by vintage styles.
Two seasons later, they were not selling, most likely because they were too expensive, and our workshop was a little upset, given that we were not producing enough of them. So we bitterly decided to close that chapter.
At the same time, we gave caps a go. We got excited at the idea of making beautiful velvet caps with intricate embroidery. We found a French manufacturer. Bummer. Although based in France, they actually their products were actually made in Vietnam… It turned out no one makes caps in France or in Europe.
We were not so psyched anymore, but they convinced us to get on board: the Vietnamese workshop is GOTS and Oeko-Tex certified, they pay a lot of attention to quality, and so on and so forth. Still a bit unsure, we launched prototypes. They were amazing, so we went for it. We only produced very small quantities, which means it was expensive, even though they were being made in Vietnam. They didn’t sell like crazy, but it wasn’t bad either. But we were doubtful as we weren’t that comfortable with the idea of sourcing products outside the EU.
How could we be consistent and promote local sourcing practices if we started producing in Asia? After much consideration, we decided to leave it at that. We bade farewell to our caps, and gifted the last ones to our friends for Christmas.
Disappointed but still motivated, we refocused and revaluated our desires and our goals.
In 2018, the topic of a women’s collection was brought up again, but we stood by our decision. We were scared to enter the women’s market, which seemed complicated and extremely competitive. It would be an entirely different beast.
We weren’t completely wrong, nor completely right.
We took it easy by launching a range of French-made organic cotton socks in 2019. And this time, it worked! We were still dealing with intimate, comfortable products, true to our values and even incredibly proud to be able to label them as ‘made in France’. Unsurprisingly, our clients loved them, which comforted us regarding our decision.
‘A blessing in disguise,’ our new mantra to overcome moments of doubt, took a whole new meaning.
In the meantime, we were all thrown into uncertainty by the pandemic and the lockdowns. Times are changing, and so is our vision.
2020, we’re ready for you.
Let’s make a range of women’s underwear using all our expertise. Let’s deepen our know-how effortlessly by using the same materials as for our men’s collection. Let’s place our women’s collection at the very top of our values: beauty, certified organic cotton, comfort, ethics, durability and sustainability.
Instinctively, we choose to create 5 products especially for this women’s collection:
The Nille bra, the Luki high wasted briefs, the classic Ema briefs, the high leg Toni briefs and our absolute favorite, the Jone boxer shorts.
Jone, the oh-so-feminine boxer shorts.
We’ve found a way to feel relevant, we’ve finally noticed what was staring us right in the face but that we couldn’t see: gender equality as it’s always existed in nature, as it’s showing itself to us as a living being. We were going to create underwear that were made specifically for its body type.
We knew that women were wearing Hemen products. Looking for a different kind of comfort (perhaps a more authentic one?), some girls were already buying our men’s longjohns, our tank tops and our boxer shorts. It only took a few tweaks to create the Jone boxer shorts, our brand new boxer shorts dedicated to the female body.
Without compromising aesthetics nor our commitment to the planet, our entire range of women’s underwear is made from ribbed cotton jersey 220g/m2, including 96% ‘GOTS’ certified organic cotton and 4% elastane, and we donate 1% of our revenues to ASPAS , the French association for the protection of biodiversity, through a network called ‘1% for the Planet France’.