Empowering Women: One Underwear at a Time

This is a story about Preeta Chaudhuri Ghosal and Wear Equal - a sustainable women's underwear brand.

Wear Equal is a socially and environmentally conscious women’s intimate wear brand for the young at heart! Born out of the passion for equality, Preeta's vision is to build a world where women from all corners of society empower each other. 

Who is Preeta Ghosal? Why does she care about Women Empowerment?

Preeta Ghosal | Founder of Wear Equal

Preeta started out as a development sector consultant and spent her time doing social auditing, evaluation and assessment of development programs implemented by United Nations agencies, Corporate Foundations and International NGO's based in India, South-east Asia and the Middle East. 

She observed in her decade of work experience that women residing in a majority of rural and remote parts of India face a number of social barriers and neglect when it comes to their personal hygiene and health.

She was astounded to know that women in most rural areas did not have access to underwear. She wondered if they didn’t wear underwear, how could they use pads? Maybe this was the real reason why India had very poor statistics on menstrual health!

In 2018, what started as an idea, was picked up by IIM Bangalore’s Incubation Cell – NSRCEL. Here, Preeta's life started shifting gears! She was selected to attend the Women Startup Program. She was mentored into making a business model with a vision to bring safe and sustainable underwear to Indian women from all walks of life!

Soon after, she joined her husband's garment export business in 2019 where she was exposed to the world of premium sustainable textiles. However, she figured that what was waste to one could be a resource for another. In the heaps of textile waste, she found an opportunity, to create something that is meaningful, sustainable, affordable accessible to women in India.

She decided to use the textiles to make premium underwear and created her brand Wear Equal.

How is Wear Equal Sustainable? 

They source all their raw materials from the dead stock, end rolls, cut pieces and scraps of an export house that is also GOTS certified. So in the manufacturing of their comfortable underwear, no new or virgin fabric is produced. These fabrics would end up in landfills or burnt if not utilized. They have also been conscious of the packaging of their products and made it entirely plastic-free and reusable. 

The best part is that this is a ‘Body Positive’ brand with a wide variety of styles and sizes (ranging from XS-4XL) for every Indian body type. 

What are Preeta's Values & Inspiration?

Preeta wanted to create products which are sustainable and upcycled, specifically for women, not stereotyping them but designing the products for women from different walks of life. 

She is truly inspired by the Intersectional Feminism movement, which aims to separate itself from white feminism by acknowledging women's different experiences and identities. She has built the brand's ethos around Inclusivity, Body Positivity and Diversity. You can see these ethos reflect so evidently in Wear Equal's campaigns.

Wear Equal | Body Positivity

Wear Equal | Body Positivity

Wear Equal | Body Positivity

How is Wear Equal Empowering Women in India?

While the commercial brand primarily caters to urban Indian women, the idea is to utilize part of the profits into making low-cost underwear for Indian women residing in rural areas.

The brand quickly gained popularity with conscious urban consumers in the short while that it has been present (They are 1 year old now, yay!!). But the real win for Preeta is that the brand is now actively carrying out research in the remote hills of North-eastern India, where they plan to launch their first low-cost product for rural India! 

This blog post was co-created with Wear Equal. You can pick from a wide range of women's intimate wear from Wear Equal available on Brown Living here.

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