Seven years ago, Joanna Griffiths interviewed a hundred women and found two common themes: (1) women were looking for better products; (2) there was a great amount of dissatisfaction with options for intimates — Namely, bras, underwear, and sports bras were uncomfortable.
Her findings translated into an industry disruptive e-commerce store carrying leak-proof underwear, called Knix. The intimates “make you feel comfortable in your own skin” and are super absorbent—even during a period.
Griffiths designed her products with real women in mind and built Knix with diversity, inclusivity and community at the core.
Presently, the brand is a game-changer when it comes to intimate apparel and covers a vast age range from girls as young as ten years old, to teens, to new mothers, and older. Knix and Knixteen carry multiple shapes, sizes and shades. “We’re reimagining products, innovative when it comes to products and redefining what a brand can be for women within the space,” Griffiths says.
One of Knix’s values, community, is spread through a notable project, The Lift, which elevates discussions about parenthood, wellness and different voices. “Our mission is to empower women to be unapologetically free,” Griffiths says. Also, the brand recently expanded its community by opening two flagship stores in Toronto and Vancouver. Griffiths explains opening their doors is a milestone and create welcoming spaces for customers, giving more opportunities for interaction.
Earlier this month, Knix partnered with Nordstrom, showcasing their products in Nordstrom stores all over Canada.
Here, a conversation with Griffiths.
What was it like when you started Knix?
When I started the company, it was at the height of Victoria’s Secret. Even a lot of the European brands were very much driven by the male lens and one viewpoint of what sexy was. I saw an opportunity to redefine what an intimate apparel brand could be for women.
Why is that the most important thing right now?
I think there are two reasons for it. As a consumer, it’s important we feel represented by the companies we’re buying from. Being an online brand, now we have opportunities for people to come and touch our products.
Ensuring our customers can connect and see themselves physically in the product is important. Society needs to be more inclusive and representative in terms of people we see in marketing and advertising. At this point, we’ve photographed over a thousand women. What we end up doing is creating a ripple effect that would have never occurred if we were relying on a single kind of spokesperson.
Can you tell me more about The Lift and why you wanted to start these conversations?
The blog started about a year and a half ago. [I wanted] to create a space where we could talk about a whole range of topics and deliver it as our mission of empowering women to be unapologetically free. That’s why we talk about things like fertility, postpartum, body image and health, and fun things too, becoming a source of inspiration.
Can you tell more about the Life After Birth Project?
We started it about two months ago, as part of our maternity and postpartum collection launch. Specifically, within that industry, the whole pregnancy, postpartum phase, there is an extreme lack of diversity and everything is sugar-coated.
On that, we had the chance to create real and authentic conversations. When we started, 250 women submitted images, sharing their postpartum journeys and experiences. It ranged from the moment of birth all the way through because we knew that we want to redefine the postpartum—that it’s not a one day, three months or one-year thing.
If you’re providing women with the space for that conversation, ideally the pressure and all this nonsense around bouncing back and getting your body back will stop, because we’ll acknowledge that postpartum is permanent.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I feel lucky that every day, almost every ten minutes there’s some kind of message—an Instagram DM or people coming up to us—sharing the impact we’re having on their lives.
It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to do work that is making people feel better about themselves. I guess it’s getting the feedback our mission is working.