Undu Wearables, a FemTech startup in the Innovation Cluster’s Women Breaking Barriers acceleration program, has launched its unique wearable menstrual pain solution products across Canada. The company’s award-winning products are revolutionising an industry that has been begging for innovation, diverging from the traditional solution of a hot water bottle paired with over-the-counter pain relievers, which impacts 84% of women resulting in 9 days of productivity lost every year. People looking for relief from menstrual pain have felt that this problem has not been adequately addressed and are looking for non-invasive options.
Based out of Haliburton and Toronto, Undu’s co-founders Robin Linton, Katherine Porter and Charlie Katrycz started the Company in 2019 after winning the National James Dyson Award (an international invention competition). Their innovation received praise for using novel injection moulding technology to solve a prevalent yet under-addressed problem in women’s health. Until then, there had not been a natural and effective menstrual pain solution that was also affordable, ethical and discrete.
“84% of menstruating people experience disruptive pain and for decades they have been forced to turn to unsatisfactory products or have just suffered through it”
“84% of menstruating people experience disruptive pain,” stated Linton, “and for decades they have been forced to turn to unsatisfactory products or have just suffered through it.”
To fill the large void in the $7.5 billion global menstrual pain market, the trio worked to understand the experiences of people with menstrual pain through surveys, interviews, and three months of product testing across Canada to develop their products using participatory design. Driven by their results, Undu developed two game-changing products: The Original Heat Pack and The Keep it Brief.
Porter said, “Undu’s Ontario-made and sustainable products are testaments to the true power of collaboration. The varying perspectives of Robin, Charlie and myself, were strengthened by the experiences and involvement of our community, to create products that stand to materially improve the experience of someone’s day-to-day life.”
Undu’s patented manufacturing technology soothes menstrual pain and the heat pack is specifically shaped for targeted areas. Made with skin-safe, sand-based silicone, and powered by beeswax, the pack is reusable, 80% biodegradable, and is easily concealed under clothing for discreet on-the-go use.
The briefs are comfortable, high-rise underwear designed with special pockets in the front and back to hold the heat pack perfectly in place. Securely applying heat where pain relief is needed most, the briefs are made from bamboo fibres blended with cotton and provide flattering full bottom coverage with barely-there panty lines.
“Undu is an exemplary business demonstrating the innovation coming out of the region from female-led companies that the Women Breaking Barriers Program supports,” noted Camila Duarte, Innovation Specialist at the Innovation Cluster and lead advisor of the Women Breaking Barriers Program.
“Female perspective and leadership have historically been an imperative but missing link in technology and innovation industries”
“Programs like Women Breaking Barriers are created to empower women entrepreneurs and support them with the tools they need to make waves in their industries. Female perspective and leadership have historically been an imperative but missing link in technology and innovation industries, but that’s changing, and we see the results in creative, new solutions like Undu’s.” Prior to being accepted into Women Breaking Barriers, Undu was a participant in the University of Toronto Early Stage Technology (UTEST) accelerator program in partnership with Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (TIAP), supporting Canada’s most promising startups developing new and innovative technology.
“Our products offer people sustainable and effective menstrual pain solutions for their everyday life”
“Our products offer people sustainable and effective menstrual pain solutions for their everyday life, but what our technology offers is an entirely new way of manufacturing products that leverages nature instead of working against it,” said Katrycz. “To face the great challenge of climate change, innovation must be met equally with green solutions. We are grateful to be working on this challenge and are honoured to be mentored by Women Breaking Barriers and the Innovation Cluster, who value the importance of local entrepreneurs driving a more sustainable future.”