With consumers becoming increasingly savvy about sustainability and lifestyle choices such as veganism, it’s only natural that the pleasure industries forge ahead with these ideals.
One such company is HANX—a luxury brand of condoms shaking up the market and bringing us a new perspective on the humble prophylactic.
FrolicMe caught up with the unstoppable young duo behind the brand.
Sarah Welsh and Farah Kabir have known each since childhood, meeting at school and remained firm friends. Despite choosing different career paths, Sarah in gynaecology and Farah in investment banking. Both women had a keen eye for business and wanted to capture their entrepreneurial spark together. It was during a chance conversation over lunch one day that they realised they could work with each other to really bring something new to the sexual wellness world.
What made you decide to start up your own company manufacturing condoms?
“We met for a long lunch one random Monday and started talking about that condom aisle. The garish packaging, the shame you feel being seen with condoms, the negative feelings they conjure. Sex is supposed to be positive, no?! We felt that there was a lot to change in the condom itself, from a woman’s perspective. The tacky smell, the ingredients and sustainability, the need for Vegan options, the way they are sold and look in your bag/bedside table/ bathroom, and ultimately the mission of the company you are buying from.
“HANX is here to make the world think differently about sexual wellness.”
Who did you initially see as your target market? Has that changed over time? Are we more receptive to using condoms?
“The need came about from our own and our friends’ experiences, so naturally the target audience was women in their mid to late twenties. This is where we based our initial research. However, the more we have spoken to our customers, a range of both women and men of varying ages and backgrounds, it has highlighted that the HANX audience is wider than we anticipated.
“I think we are much more receptive to what goes in our bodies and are keen to keep this as natural as possible. This includes synthetic hormones such as the pill. People are opting for non-hormonal contraceptives such as condoms. More than ever, people are conscious about Veganism too and are choosing plant-based alternatives.
Also, with dating apps contributing to an increase of multiple sexual partners, we should be more responsible for taking charge of our sexual health. Using protection where needed.”
What in your eyes did you see as the key criteria for such a product?
“We researched the market heavily before launching HANX. We didn’t want to quit our jobs for an idea, but needed there to be proof there was a real need for our mission. The key components of our product include the fact that it is made from fair-traded latex, as it was very important to us to have a sustainable company. The production also cuts out the use of any animal by-products, meaning we are Vegan certified. Veganism is on the rise. When we surveyed the market this was something people were keen to have in a condom brand. What’s more, HANX are clean-scented to remove any tacky smell on opening. They are ultra-thin for maximum sensitivity. This means we combine all superior aspects into one beautiful package you would be proud to carry!”
How easy did you find the supplier?
“It wasn’t easy, and we searched far and wide. But when we meet our current manufacturers it was an easy decision to go with them—not only are they are reliable, have been in the business for decades and could ensure high-quality condoms to our required specification, but they also supported our vision at HANX.”
What were the main challenges you faced and how did you combat the testing process?
“We are manufactured to the highest standard with a rigorous 6-phase testing process and are CE certified. This was something we needed to be 100% to ensure reliable condoms of course!”
Have you found there are stigmas surrounding the world of sex and or the use of condoms? Or do you think we are becoming far more open-minded, responsible and aware of the importance of our health?
“There are definitely stigmas attached to sex, which are hindering people confidently taking care of their sexual health. The perception of being promiscuous if seen carrying condoms, the thought that women shouldn’t enjoy sex or talk about it… Saying that, this is improving and we hope to do our bit with HANX too!”
Anything surprise you that you never thought of when you set up HANX?
“Yes. Although we knew condoms were a bit of a taboo topic, we had no idea how widespread this was. From investors’ poo-poo-ing the idea to hotel managers blushing at the thought of stocking HANX. We really have had to stand our ground with the brand and vision.”
Where can you buy HANX?
“Online at hanxofficial.com you can buy singlets or three packs as a one-off purchase, or subscribe to a combination, delivered discreetly to your door each month.
“We are also sold in Coco de Mer and available on Amazon Prime. Keep your eyes peeled as we are soon to be launching in a major retailer.”
With features and mentions in many mainstream media outlets, HANX condoms are certainly getting noticed. The future is looking good for sexier, safer, saucy shenanigans thanks to forward-thinking companies like HANX, who take our pleasure seriously.