When you gotta go, you gotta go, right?
While it’s a funny cliché, sometimes it’s a frustrating paradox as a runner—especially for women. Long porta-potty lines and much less of a chance to be subtle, make it tough to answer nature’s call discreetly—especially compared to men. But it’s not entirely a laughing matter: according to studies, 1 in 3 women suffer from athletic-induced incontinence.
Skirt Sports has a solution. The boutique Boulder, Colo., apparel brand that started the running skirt craze has launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce the “Gotta Go Skirt,” a running skirt that “keeps your assets covered” when you’ve really gotta go. As Skirt Sports founder Nicole Deboom says, “It’s a running skirt with a trap door and relief hatch so you don’t flash the world or lose time doing the struggle dance to get your skirt back on over your sweaty ass.”
Every marathon runner, trail runner and mother runner has an embarrassing “gotta go” story, she says, so why not make a real product to address a real—and often desperate—need?
“We announced this product as part of an April Fools’ email,” Deboom said. “It was half intended to be funny, but at the same time we wanted to see what people really thought. When thousands of women responded asking us to make it for real and said they would buy it, we knew we’d have some support.”
Why is Skirt Sports, an established brand founded after Deboom won Ironman Wisconsin wearing a running skirt in 2004, doing this via Kickstarter? First, two others women’s athletic apparel projects have garnered $600,000 in support recently—The Undress and The Evolution Bra—and because it’s a smart way to go forward with an unknown project, Deboom says.
“For a small company the upfront production commitments for an unproven product present a real risk that can deter innovation,” Deboom said. “Kickstarter gives us a way to embrace bold new, ideas and launch specialty products.”
The Gotta Go Skirt is based on Skirt Sports’ popular 13.5-inch Gym Girl Skirt. It has a pair of 5.5-inch built-in no-creep, chafe-free “shorties” underneath the skirt that have two large side pockets. The trap door feature is essentially a flap on the shorties secured by a low-profile hook and loop. An opening in the shorties, covered by the trap door, is “anatomically aligned with your lady parts to enable easy, error-free evacuation when you squat.”
Kickstarter funders can contribute $5 to $170 to help Skirt Sports launch the product and will receive a variety of rewards. Those contributing at least $75 will get a Gotta Go Skirt in the spring when the production cycle is complete.
The Kickstarter campaign ends Nov. 18. For more product features and details, view the Kickstarter informational page.
“I knew there was a need for this because I have had many women come up to me and ask me about this through the years,” Deboom said.