When, Why & Wear? The Story of Our Origin!
Every great story has a beginning, Princess Diana left her home to defend mortal humans as Wonder Woman, Carol Danvers survived and absorbed an alien nuclear explosion to become Captain Marvel, Mary Kom kept her passion for boxing hidden from her parents till she won the State Championship - the list goes on. Here’s the tale of our conception - directly from our Founder herself!
"On an utterly smoggy winter evening in New Delhi, I was glued to my laptop, completing a massive report for UNICEF India. It was November 2016, and I was burnt out from chasing deadlines of commercial research for a Big 4 firm. However, at that point, what made life more miserable, were the contents of the report that was being concluded in front of me. The report contained facts and figures indicating a horrifying condition of women’s health in India! Information from various communities highlighted deep rooted customs & myths that sidelined women’s health as a subject of taboos!
When I left my job, I got so much time that I didn’t know what to do with it. I had, by then, travelled to many remote parts of the country. So, I just sat down with a map one day and started connecting the dots from one part of the country to another. A young woman dying because of multiple abortions in the distant hills of Uttarakhand ; an adolescent menstruating girl denied access to her own home in a small hamlet of Rajasthan; a tribal woman intoxicating herself to kill a female foetus in a remote district of Odisha ; an old woman passing on the doctrine of sacrifice to her grand-daughter in a conservative urban community of Uttar Pradesh. Wherever you went, women in India were being constantly denied access to a safe & healthy life due to a large number of social barriers in the form of local myths. However, what drove me the craziest of them all, was the myth that women did not have to wear underwear!
Atrociously so, this society had normalized the redundancy of women’s underwear. But why was a common commodity of human dignity being denied to them? What shocked me more was the fact that if rural women didn’t wear underwear! How would they wear a pad?
Now that was mind- bogglingly disturbing! Wasn’t it?
In 2018, while I shifted cities and landed in greener pastures of the East, graphic images kept coming into my head about this sudden realization. Then one day, a light bulb of an idea hit me – what if there was one underwear brand that could meet the needs of all women in the country? A brand, whose soul would be unity and whose mission would be equality – Unity of women, standing up for themselves and each other & Equality in addressing differential needs of women from all walks of our society. Could such a model be devised?
Out of the blue, IIM Bangalore came to my rescue! My idea got selected in their Women Startup Program and I was taken in for a boot camp! It took a whole year to put the idea into action and the label – Wear Equal, an eco-friendly & affordable women’s everyday intimate wear brand was launched!
In 2019, I was sweating it out under the effects of climate-change in the now-not so romantic city of Paris. While attending a Summer School at Sciences Po, I highlighted the common challenge faced by the majority of women of my country to European scholars. A problem which was affecting their dignity, safety and development on an everyday basis. With solutions from a policy perspective, the brand’s social initiative was integrated into the hybrid business model, to bring low cost women’s underwear to the rural masses, improve women’s access to menstrual hygiene, and create their agency. For women to come out of their personal space, voice out their needs and seek equality. Was there any good in hiding after all? “