Going with the ‘flo’

It took a big accident to lead entrepreneur Leigh Carcel toward an eco-conscious path. While staying with her sister in Australia, she fell and injured her spinal cord, from which she had to recover for many months. During this excruciating time when she was paralyzed from the waist down, she had to contend with light urinary incontinence, a discomfort that led to a friend of hers suggesting the use of “period underwear.”

Having left a decade-long career in banking, Carcel decided to go fully into the business, finding the need for a sustainable alternative for the Philippine market.

“The Philippines is the leading contributor of plastic pollution of the ocean in the world today. The country accounts for 36 percent of the world’s total plastic waste, according to a recent Plastic Polluters Study. Of the overwhelming 350,000 tons of plastic that enters the oceans from our shores alone, a good portion of it comes from single-use, disposable napkins, tamponsand diapers. And there is something we, as empowered women can do about it,” she said.

Ecoflo was born in 2020 with a clear vision of offering women in the Philippines a more sustainable alternative to single-use, disposable feminine care products. While the concept of period underwear has been gaining traction in other parts of the world, the choices and awareness in the Philippines remain fairly limited, Carcel said.

The intimate wear brand is the first and only to be conceived and developed in the Philippines with the sole intention of creating high quality, sustainable, and impeccably-designed period underwear.

According to the Cebu-based entrepreneur, “As a young brand that was born out of a desire to offer more sustainable solutions in feminine care, we are dedicated to looking at new materials and production methods to help reduce our carbon footprint. Perhaps one day we can also explore the possibility of sourcing local fabrics for our underwear.“

For its maiden collection, Ecoflo introduces five different styles to suit every lifestyle, occasion and body type.

Ditching the ‘taboo’

By creating leak-proof period underwear that are stylishly playful, ecoflo also endeavors to erase all sense of taboo surrounding real and important female care concerns–periods, incontinence (yes, it happens to all of us!), and excessive sweating down there. “We want to normalize difficult conversations about menstruation, menopause, pregnancy and other taboo issues,” Carcel noted.

Underwear designed by the team is informed by the need for a snug fit, all day comfort and ease of movement. Through vibrant colorways, fun patterns, and sexy silhouettes, the brand hopes to empower women around the Philippines to embrace their flow and femininity
— period, pee, perspiration included.

Five styles

For its maiden collection, ecoflo introduces five different styles to suit every lifestyle, occasion, and body type. “Pads or diapers can be bulky and uncomfortable. They are also not good for the environment,” Carcel said. “As we were developing the designs for our underwear we wanted to make sure that they fit the body and could be worn for long periods of time. The fabric had to be breathable and buttery soft. Quality was also a very crucial point of consideration that would allow women to wash and wear them for months on end.” 

The Sensual Classic Bikini (ideal for light to moderate flows) features a high cut silhouette and lace trimming on the sides. The Hikini Sheer (for moderate flows) with its elegant mesh details is cut high to cinch the waist and elongate the legs. The Lacey Timeless Bikini (for moderate flows) is a mid-rise style that features tone-on-tone lace brands and a delightful range of soft hues to choose from. The Snug and Active Bikinis are intimate wear essentials that support you on your heavy days. They are crafted to fit your body as it moves throughout the day, and comes in lively hues like Sage Green and Maroon Plum.

The brand’s messaging also put emphasis on diversity. Its visual narrative focuses on the shared stories of women across ethnicities, ages groups and lifestyles. “We also hope to educate our audience and empower them — to shift to sustainable solutions, break taboos, and turn the unmentionable into pride,” said the forward-thinking Leigh Carcel.                                                                                

With reports from DSV