FemTech Ananlytics Interviews Mitchella Gilbert - CEO of OYA
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your new product launch?
OYA Femtech Apparel (WearOYA.com) is based in LA and focused on leveraging innovations and technology to achieve feminine wellness. OYA is a Nigerian warrior goddess who represents fertility, rebirth, and storms. The company has introduced the first gynecologist-tested, athlete-approved athleisure technologies aimed at protecting women’s health. OYA aspires to create happy, healthy bodies with designs and fabrics that provide moisture management, breathability, and bacteria reduction
2. What problem are you hoping to solve with this new product?
Bottom line upfront: Current sportswear makes women sick.
I was a state ranking athlete and I trained with everyone, from other state ranking athletes to Olympians. And since I wore leggings constantly, I had a problem with reoccurring yeast infections. It made me feel embarrassed. I felt gross and like I was never going to find a husband. It took me years to work up the courage to talk to my friends, who were training for the top events in their life, and I was surprised to learn that they too were suffering from this problem.
It turns out, that women’s sportswear is making us sick. Unlike male sportswear, which is typically made with mesh inserts around the crotch to increase breathability, women’s sportswear is typically made with non-perforated spandex blends. Our sportswear then acts like a garbage bag because spandex is notoriously non-breathable and non-moisture-absorbent.
So what happens when you leave a garbage bag in your kitchen in the sun? All sorts of bad things with bacteria. But for women it’s actually worse because we are hot when we are training and we are leaking into our sportswear depending on our life phase.
Not to mention, US women alone are spending $18B per year trying to fix feminine health problems (i.e., yeast infectins, bacterial vaginosis, and urinary tract infections) that our sportswear exacerbates.
3. What potential do you see in femtech?
Not to sound cliché, but femtech is the future. Yes, governments like the US are trying to overturn feminine health protection laws like Roe vs. Wade. However, despite the misogynistic pressures going on in 2022, women are not getting quiet. We are getting louder. We want more products dedicated for our health and that is where femtech is coming in and it is there to stay.
4. Have you identified any particular competitors?
OYA sits at the intersection between science and fashion. Like Gortex we love making scientific clothing. Like alo and Lululemon, we like making clothing that makes our customers feel beautiful.
We have not seen an athleisure brand dedicated to women’s health like us and feel free to check out the chart below.
5. How will your product empower women's health journeys?
OYA will become a feminine health focused technical innovation house that tears down the stigmas around feminine health and body size. No other athleisure company dares to directly address feminine health issues like urinary incontinence, yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, urinary incontinence, skin rashes, and other ailments. In fact, most athleisure companies exacerbate these issues with non-breathable and non-leak absorbent apparel. Larger athleisure companies are also hesitant to market to women who are not thin, young, and childless. OYA speaks to its customers directly about these issues and builds products that address these issues head on.
6. Anything else you'd like to share with us?
It’s 2022 and, with everything going on in the world right now, we want to encourage everyone to take a deep breath and to love themselves and everyone around them. Nothing is easy right now and many countries are going through instability. Please remember to be kind and patient and show up and support women whenever/however you can
Read the original article from FemTech Analytics here.