How investing in bamboo underwear can improve your vaginal health

Images via Vee Underwear
Words by Nicole La Ruffa

Goodbye, irritation.

Apparently, 75% of women will experience some type of irritation down there throughout their lifetime.

This is something that Emma Rutherford-Ward discovered after a few too many visits to her GP, which eventuated in a long-haul search for breathable (but still cute) underwear.

After sifting through a disappointing assortment of undies, Emma took the reins and created Vee – a brand based around maintaining vaginal health without sacrificing aesthetics.

Now, Vee offers sustainable underwear that’s made from the most breathable fabric – bamboo – in three different cuts.

We chatted with Emma to find out why it’s time to invest in some bamboo undies.

When did you discover the wonderful perks of organic bamboo?

A few years back I went through a frustrating period where I was regularly getting thrush. After too many visits to my local GP, I wasn’t going to take ‘Canesten’ for an answer anymore. This was when the GP finally suggested a seemingly simple preventative – investing in breathable cotton underwear.

But to my surprise, this ‘simple task’ quickly became impossible. Breathable cotton underwear that fit comfortably and wasn’t embarrassing to wear in front of my new man-friend just didn’t exist.

After much web-trawling and trying on horrifically unflattering underwear, I found a gap in the market for underwear that placed vaginal health, comfort and aesthetics at its core.

During my research, I came across bamboo fabric and discovered that it’s not only breathable, but offers numerous additional health benefits in comparison with cotton. And it’s significantly more sustainable.

Aside from avoiding more doctor’s appointments, what were some of the things that helped inspire the birth of your brand?

From a young age, I think I always had a desire to have my own business. At 13, I made my mum sign up as an Avon sales representative on my behalf, and when I was 15 I had a jewellery stall at my grandparents’ local market.

When I spotted a gap in the market for a product that I was personally passionate about, it made sense and felt right. The other thing that really inspired me and kept me motivated was the opportunity to use my product and brand platform to help make female health-related subjects a lot less taboo.

Which fabrics should we be steering clear of in the name of vaginal health?

Anything synthetic will earn a big ‘No, thanks’ from your vagina. Bamboo is your best option due to its breathability and antibacterial/antifungal properties, not to mention how soft the fabric feels. Cotton comes in second place in terms of vaginal health, as it is also breathable. However, it doesn’t have the additional health benefits of bamboo, and it’s not very environmentally friendly.

You also speak about some very common women’s health issues on your blog. What are some of the things you’ve learnt from becoming more vocal?

I’ve learnt to not be shy about my own personal experiences. I can’t be behind a brand that stands for making women’s health topics less taboo, yet shy away from talking about my own experiences honestly. It’s been confronting to say the least, but it’s also really rewarding and comforting knowing that I’m being authentic and relatable.

Overall, I’ve learnt that many women have the same issues, irritations and inaccurate information when it comes to female health topics. I’d really like the brand to evolve into not only a product-based brand but an educational platform for women.

Is more inclusive sizing something that you’re gearing towards in the near future?

Yes! That has always been top of our list. Unfortunately, when you’re a smaller player you are limited by the amount of product variants you can have. But the good news is that we have received an enormous amount of support, which has enabled us to place our second order. This will include sizes 14 and 16 in all styles and colours.

These are due to hit everyone’s top drawers in April, and we are VERY excited to say the least. People can email us in the meantime and I will add them to our waitlist.

What can we expect from Vee in 2019?

More sizes, more styles and more colours. We also want to up the ante on female health education.

We’re also doing a few markets to spread love. You can find us at The Melbourne Collective Market on March 3, and Sydney’s Finders Keepers Markets from May 3.



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