Underwear entrepreneur targets new moms launches crowdfunding campaign

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The Toronto Star By: News reporter, Published on Thu May 02 2013

After years of plotting to change the underwear world, Joanna Griffiths is setting out to make 25,000 pairs of panties.

Knix Wear

The difference between most other intimates and Knix Wear Inc., from seamless basics to lace thongs, is in the fabric.

Griffiths is targeting new moms and others, who she says make up one third of women experiencing stress incontinence, a “light leak” when they exercise, sneeze or laugh. The fabrice inside the legs is absorbent and anti-microbial without appearing any different from ordinary underwear.

“We really should have better underwear solutions that work with women,” said Griffiths, 29, ahead of launching Thursday on crowd-funding platform indiegogo.com.

“We’re trying to make something that’s discreet and also fashionable.”

Through pre-orders and contributions, she hopes to raise $40,000 in 30 days to help fund her first batch. The underwear will retail for between $28 and $38 per pair.

Griffiths is up against a crowded lingerie market in general and other emerging options specific to women with incontinence issues.

While women’s apparel sales were up 5.5 per cent in January, lingerie sales took a dip in January, when sales were down 0.8 per cent, according to Trendex North America.

“Some brands have been around for a long, long time so I don’t think it’s that easy to break into,” said Toronto retail consultant Wendy Evans.

As well as branded retailers – among them La Vie en Rose, La Senza, Victoria’s Secret – taking a large share of the market, there are also small independent specialists and larger department stores selling established brands, Evans said.

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