Ladies, do you feel like you are on an endless search for underwear that is suitable for working out? You’re in luck.
“I saw the opportunity to create underwear that did more and was designed specifically for women and their needs.”
Knix Wear, a high-tech women’s underwear brand based in Toronto, recently launched a fourth line – FitKnix
— to their underwear collection, aimed directly at female athletes like you. Joanna Griffiths
is Chief Knixpert – aka founder & CEO — of Knix Wear, and recently offered us a little more insight into this endeavor.
An athlete herself, Joanna has plenty of personal experience with the challenge of finding great underwear. As the only girl with three brothers, she grew up around competitive sports, playing competitive soccer, tennis and badminton as a child and teenager. In university Joanna began running, which — combined with healthy eating — helped her to lose 40 lbs. One of Joanna’s most memorable accomplishments was finishing her first 10k race in 52 minutes(!). Joanna was the captain of the women’s rugby team at her MBA school, INSEAD, and a member of their winning soccer team. Today, Joanna’s exercise regime consists of circuit training with a personal trainer, cycling, tennis and co-ed soccer.
When/how did you realize the need for a product like Knix Wear?
I first came up with the idea for Knix Wear five years ago, while having a conversation with my mom, who is a doctor, about the physical realities of being a woman. It was then that I first learned that 1 in 3 women leak a little when they laugh, sneeze, cough or exercise. I was already unsatisfied with my underwear and knew it was only going to get worse. I saw the opportunity to create underwear that did more and was designed specifically for women and their needs. Our high tech underwear is designed to look great, fit great and uses patented technology that is moisture wicking, leak resistant, absorbent and anti-microbial, so women can rest assured we have them covered no matter what.
What was the inspiration for creating a line focused specifically on athletes (the FitKnix line
“Athletic apparel has come so far, and yet our underwear has remained unchanged.”
I’ve always struggled with workout underwear and through my research discovered that most women (in fact 93%) feel the same way. Athletic apparel has come so far, and yet our underwear has remained unchanged. When you think about it, it’s the first thing you put on and the last thing you take off. Not to mention how quickly the wrong pair of underwear can interrupt your workout. It was particularly top of mind for me as I got married in December and was training five days a week. If I wasn’t able to find good workout underwear, then who was? I saw the CrossFit channel’s YouTube video talking frankly about CrossFit and leaks
and that was a real turning point for me. Lycra®
had approached me to co-develop a line and without hesitation I knew that we had the opportunity to raise the bar for women’s athletic underwear, so the idea for FitKnix was born.
Your mission video
talks about traveling the globe in working toward creating Knix Wear. What were some of the more memorable moments and/or feedback you heard from other women during your research?
Wow, there are so many. In terms of my conversations with women, it was staggering how many women were looking for underwear that did more. Whether it’s leaks, a back up during their period or to combat odor, the feedback was overwhelming. It was also really interesting to discover how open people are to talking about these taboo topics once you give them the opportunity. I’ve had women approach me and thank me for making the line because it has opened up a topic of conversation and has made them feel good knowing they aren’t alone. I’ve also had countless men beg me to make a men’s line.
The product development piece was very interesting. I went to the leading fabric expo in France to source fabrics and the looks I would get from the fabric providers made me feel like I was coming from another planet. That was a low point in terms of the development process. I was alone, had traveled across the world to be there and had to give myself an internal pep talk before approaching a vendor because I was met with such negativity. It’s great to be able to look back at that now and laugh.
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