"Women are conditioned into thinking that underwear must be of a particular type. Thuvam hopes to pave a new path in how underwear is perceived, produced and used."
Itches, rashes and a burning sensation down there are the worst. You regret that synthetic underwear at such times. As if the fabric itself wasn’t bad enough for your skin, the artificial dyes add to the risks. Three in four women are at the risk of getting a vaginal yeast infection at least once in their lifetime and your panties may just be the culprit.
Silk and synthetic fibres are not breathable. But worry not! Tamil Nadu’s Thuvam is making pure cotton underwear without dyes or bleach. What’s more, you could save about 100 litres of water with every piece of underwear.
Why is cotton underwear the best?
Well, for one, it is breathable! Your skin needs air to avoid the growth of bacteria and yeast infections.
“Women have been conditioned into thinking that underwear must be of a particular type, with respect to fabric, elastic, design etc. Thuvam hopes to break that conditioning by offering a solution that’ll keep their private areas healthier and happier,” Ponmani Pethurajan shares with The Better India.
Underwear made with a thought:
There is very little awareness of the importance of using the right underwear. Some women are also too shy to discuss the problems of the wrong fabric. With Thuvam, Ponmani wants to ensure that even if the topic is still hushed, at least women don’t suffer because of unbreathable synthetics.
The fashion technology graduate began her career in a cloth shop in Madurai. As a teenager, Ponmani would design her clothes and wanted to make a profession out of it.
However, she wanted her art to follow three crucial issues—use fewer chemicals, water and machinery to make her clothes, make comfy garments and empower rural women.
With these factors in the focus, Thuvam was born. You can purchase their amazing products by clicking on this link.
Making skin-friendly underwear that conserves water!
A cotton garment is bleached, dyed and then printed. Even if you don’t include these three steps, growing cotton, making the cloth and stitching it into a garment uses anywhere between 100 to 150 litres of water.
Thuvam simply eliminates these steps, conserves water and makes panties that are safe for your skin!
The panties have a pocket in the centre to insert cotton cloths on a period emergency or simply as a panty liner. Ponmani says that one of their designs uses elastic simply because women are more used to it than the string that Thuvam prefers.
“Knitted fabric requires heavy machinery. That’s not the case with hand-woven fabric. Moreover, most of the stitching for woven fabric can be done on simple sewing machines. There is zero usage of plastic in the making and shipping of Thuvam underwear – an ideal solution for people following the no-plastic lifestyle. There is no wastage in the production process. Leftover cloth bits are used in making stuffed toys and given to kids in the village,” informs Ponmani.
They also empower!
Thuvam is based in the Puliyanoor village in Tamil Nadu. With most men having left the village to search for jobs in the city, Thuvam is providing employment to the women in the village.
Ponmani shares, “Through our tailoring school, we try to provide a means of livelihood for the women. The women work on a daily wage basis from 10 AM-3 PM when their children are at school. This gives them time to run errands and spend time with their kids in the evenings. The idea is to make their life easier while giving them a source of income. There’s a cloth cradle hanging in the tailoring school for mothers with newborn children.”
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)