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ODDOBODY is more than an underwear company – it’s a wellness brand. Co-founders Shira Wheeler and Abigail Gerow tapped into medical insight and their mothers’ wisdom to help the more than 300 million women who experience vaginal and bladder infections annually. Their solution? 100% cotton underwear that’s so soft it “feels like going commando.” Below, meet and learn about the brand (which I was lucky enough to try), its new kids offering, and the dialogue about female health ODDOBODY encourages.
While both Shira and Abigail were taught from an early age that 100% cotton underwear was important, it was virtually impossible for them to find as adults – silky blends and synthetics mixed with cotton are the industry norm. And coincidentally, they’re also the culprits for trapping moisture and bacteria that lead to health issues.
The founders perfected ODDOBODY by utilizing hand harvested organic pima cotton, custom-produced in Peru by a women-owned factory. Every detail is honed for the collection, from the elastic encased in soft cotton to not irritate skin, to being devoid of a scratchy tag. ODDOBODY offers five styles: brief ($24), string bikini ($24), tanga (a low slung brief/$22), thong ($22) and sleep short ($30) to accommodate all shapes and sizes. Knowing undies are hard to buy online, the brand features an extraordinary fit guide.
I run around in these during waking hours, and love that sporting 100% cotton takes the pressure off having to change immediately after a workout (a prime time for bacteria to wreak havoc), as life often requires going from Crossfit to carpool.
The sleep short is particularly noteworthy. It’s breathable and feels non-existent. Despite the moniker, I run around in these during waking hours, and love that sporting 100% cotton takes the pressure off having to change immediately after a workout (a prime time for bacteria to wreak havoc), as life often requires going from Crossfit to carpool.
As vital as the cotton used, ODDOBODY includes a manual – an artistic foldout with resourceful information about the body – in every purchase (and soon to be available a la carte on the website). The aim is to make information on topics covered, including anatomy + pleasure, vulva care, cycles and the pelvic floor, as accessible as possible.
The ODDOBODY manual is a welcome resource as women often admit there is so much they don’t know about their bodies, even after a monumental milestone such as childbirth. Shira and Abigail are no different, equally curious about their own bodies and eager to understand the unknowns given the dearth of research about women’s health.
“We hunt for the experts and create this very foundational information that is an entry point to sparking more curiosity, more conversations and exploring more resources.” The founders access sexual health professionals, a lawyer, stylist and art director to create the manual, which has received positive feedback for being an educational tool that encourages conversation.
ODDOBODY believes there is a clear connection between knowing about our bodies and feeling empowered in them. While Shira did not have a background in fashion or manufacturing, it was her passion for this greater mission that led her to begin a Kickstarter for the ODDOBODY brand in 2016. “Underwear can be this vehicle to spark conversation and understanding about our bodies.”
Despite hearing 100% cotton was important as a child, neither founder could replay the rationale behind the directive. Nor did they feel their mothers had the answers. As new mothers of daughters, they felt this had to change. The brand moniker ODDO (“auto” for self; BODY) is just a start. “We were frustrated by the lack of information passed down by our mothers, what better way to start the conversation earlier than with a kids’ line.”
100% LOVE: THE KIDS LAUNCH
As body curiosity starts very young, ODDOBODY is launching a Unisex Kids line; the perfect complement for parents who want to clothe as well as educate their little ones. The collection, available in sizes 2 to 9, is comprised of three styles of undies – bikini ($32/3-pack), brief ($32/3-pack), shorts ($28/2-pack) – and tank t-shirts ($18). While there are a range of fun colors, the line is made from the same 100% cotton, and comes with a manual all its own.
“With this manual, we want to scrap the ‘Big Talk’ with kids and have an ongoing conversation,” said Shira. While there was an initial fear of being too basic, the founders heard from parents that this guidance – about communicating with children the actual names of body parts and how to take care of those body parts – was needed.
“While the age range [from 2 to 9] is large, the foundation for the conversation is consistent. And because this is an ongoing conversation, the main difference is that at the start you are giving them tools of communication, and as they get older, they will start asking you the questions,” beamed Abigail.
Like adults, kids’ underwear is most often a cotton blend, making ODDOBODY’s 100% organic cotton a healthy upgrade. And with covered elastic waistbands and no scratchy tags, children will be at ease.
While the founders love what has transpired with body positivity, and feeling good in your underwear, they dream of a bigger vision: “We want to be known as ‘The Pioneer in Body Knowledge.’ Then, intimates and lingerie can become a symbol for body awareness and advocacy, and we are giving empowerment through actual knowledge so you can advocate for your own body.”
“We want to be known as ‘The Pioneer in Body Knowledge.’ Then, intimates and lingerie can become a symbol for body awareness and advocacy, and we are giving empowerment through actual knowledge so you can advocate for your own body.”
As the brand heads into its third year, ODDOBODY looks forward to more awareness, and (as the human-centric business they thrive on running), partnering with non-profits and being advocates of research.
Discover ODDOBODY’s 100% cotton underwear here.
FIVE MORE REASONS TO LOVE ODDOBODY:
- ODDOBODY offers two styles of tank shirts (Roller. Goldie) for $40, with the same 100% cotton goodness.
- Every garment is compostable – cut out the seams (tanks) or elastic (undies) and smile knowing you are helping the planet.
- ODDOBODY is all ears – the brand listens to women’s needs for manual topics and loves hearing how products have resolved everything from skin issues to UTIs.
- In addition to having a sustainable product, the minimalist packaging is eco-friendly and recyclable.
- A teens line is next!