The Future is Here: Thinx Underwear!

thinx_mainThere are those who believe that underwear can change the world. And when you consider the way that young girls are disadvantaged, disrespected, and neglected worldwide, you have to believe they’re onto something. In many poverty-stricken countries, young women are disadvantaged simply by being young women, and because of a lack of health and medical services as well as sanitary products.

And that’s one of the reasons that Antonia, Miki and Radha Agrawal decided to come up with the product known as the Thinx. After a series of harrowing experiences and inspiration gained from traveling abroad, they developed the idea for a leak/stain-resistant, anti-microbial, and moisture-wicking underwear. And with a little crowdfunding through Kickstarter ($130,000 to be exact), they were able to make it a reality.

thinxThe women also partnered with Uganda-based organization AFRIpads, which creates washable pads for women in developing countries so they don’t have to miss work or school for a week each month. For each pair of underwear Thinx sells, it donates enough money for AFRIpads to create seven pads for young women in their country.

And as a final boost, the women beat out another 145 entrepreneurs in a contest held by the online marketplace known as the Daily Grommet, to have their product sold on the online marketplace, promoted in the media and be featured on the funding website Indiegogo. Here, the ladies appear together to offer their thoughts on insights on how their product can help change the world, as well as relating the story of how they came came up with it.


So in addition to showing how new media and international marketing to help change the world, this also demonstrates the power of crowdfunding and taking socially-conscious, sustainable ideas directly to the marketplace. What an age we live in! And one also has to consider what this case demonstrates about small things making big impacts.

In addition to helping women in the industrialized world avoid embarrassment and infection, it also will help girls abroad overcome the disadvantages that are so often heaped upon them because of their gender. And this comes not long after the development of the Smart Bra, a revolutionary undergarment that helps women beat breast cancer through early detection. Who say’s underwear can’t change the world?

And be sure to check out the video of the Agrawal sisters Indiegogo interview:


The Smart Bra: The Future of Cancer Prevention

It is no secret that breast cancer is a major disease, accounting for 22.9% of all cases and leading to the death of approximately 500,000 women a year. With one in eight women being effected worldwide at some point in their life, early detection is key. Up until recently, these took the form of doctor exams or self-examinations. However, within a few years, there may very well be an early detection system that women can wear and which never stops working.

It’s known as the Breast Tissue Screening Bra, or Smart Bra as many like to call it. Developed in 2008 by the company First Warning Systems, in Reno, Nevada, the bra is designed act as a continuous exam device. As an alternate to self-exams and the somewhat controversial mammography, early tests indicated that it may actually be the most effective form of cancer screening to date.

The bra accomplishes all this by relying on a series of internal sensors and pattern recognition software. By detecting tiny temperature changes that occur as blood vessels grow and feed tumors, the bra is able to identify the presence of tumors while still in early formation, and up to six years before they would be  detectable by mammogram and twelve years before they could be removed by surgery.

Thus far, First Warning Systems has conducted three clinical trials using a total of 650 participants. So far, the results have been favorable, with the bra showing a 92.1 percent level of accuracy in detecting and classifying tumors. This is compared to a 70 percent accuracy rating as seen in routine mammograms. At present, the company plans to being releasing the bra in Europe by 2013 and, pending FDA approval, in the United States by 2014.

Personally, I don’t think this product can reach the market soon enough. With luck, it could very well signal a new era in the ongoing struggle to put an end to cancer. And who knows? If this works out, perhaps a similar garment could be developed for men, a pair of shorts that help with the screening of testicular and prostate cancer. Combined with nanomachines that are capable of monitoring our hearts, brains, lungs, pancreas and other internal organs, we may very well be able to stop cancer through early detection and prevention.

Here’s hoping! Meanwhile, check out this video of the Smart Bra’s design and workings.