January 24, 2023

Meet The Black Femtech Founder Creating Gymwear To Tackle Vaginal Infections

Is your sportswear impacting your vulval health? 

There is no denying that workout wear has provided gym-goers with great comfort. The flexibility of the fabric used in activewear has made exercising a seamless experience for all. 

The tight and non-breathable fabric designed to hold in sweat has been prone to throw off many women’s vaginal health, ultimately triggering yeast infections and other vaginal irritations. 

After dealing with constant vaginal health issues, Mitchella Gilbert learned that the leggings she wore daily as an athlete triggered her vaginal health issues. 

After taking yet another trip to her doctor, Gilbert decided enough was enough, and, at that moment, Oya Femtech Apparel was born. 

Oya Femtech gym leggings

The California-based company – founded, led, and inspired by innovators who believe in women’s health – has created new breathable workout leggings that promote ventilation around the inner thigh. 

“Oya’s leggings are twice as absorbent as leading brands with unique designs that provide discreet natural ventilation, significantly performing over current market options,” said Gilbert in an interview with Forbes

“Oya is advocating for the inclusivity and health of people with vaginas.” 

In just over a year, the athlete-approved fitness brand has raised $1.3 million in a pre-seed funding round, making Gilbert one of 200 Black women who have raised over $1 million in venture capital. 

Oy Femtech’s crop top

The funding round, led by the Sixers Innovation Lab, included REI Path Ahead Ventures, R/GA Ventures, and Techstars Sports. 

Oya Femtech is currently on the road to launching its second collection and new fitness tops. According to Gilbert, their latest collection will absorb moisture, decrease bacteria, and increase natural ventilation. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.