Proudly indigenous and female-founded, AWWA is Aotearoa, New Zealand’s first period underwear company, reshaping the future for period care.
Founded in 2018 by Michele Wilson and Kylie Mathews, AWWA is a product that respects both the environment and menstruator, offering an alternative to single-use period products. The brand provides people of all shapes, sizes, and identities with innovative, sustainable period-proof underwear to effectively manage menstrual cycles.
AWWA’s values are synonymous with the founders and product — authentically made by menstruators for menstruators, with the earth in mind. AWWA, derived from the Māori word to describe periods ‘te awa atua’ or ‘the divine river,’ embodies how the brand wants all menstruators to feel. They encourage every person to feel empowered to reconnect with their cycle, and normalise the stigma around periods.
Co-founder and CEO, Michele, holds a powerful voice for Wāhine in Aotearoa. She studied as a Rongoa Māori practitioner and became interested in pre-colonial ideas around periods. “Having your ikura was celebrated by our Tupuna (ancestors) because it signified the continuation of whakapapa (genealogy). The way periods were managed were also very different to today. It doesn’t feel right to flush our periods down the toilet, or even worse, soak it up in bleach-filled plastics that will then be thrown back to papatūānuku (land) to sit for thousands of years. This is how the idea for period underwear was born,” says Michele.
Ethically made from natural, organic and recycled fabrics, AWWA’s reusable underwear looks and feels like normal underwear, but can absorb up to 5 regular tampons or pads worth of blood, thus eliminating the need for other wasteful sanitary products. Their sustainable fabric technology uses four super absorbent, anti-microbial and leak resistant layers, to keep users feeling fresh, dry and worry free.
The brand goes beyond just creating a sustainable product. AWWA is proudly a climate positive business, meaning they save more greenhouse gas emissions than they generate, they have a fully traceable and transparent supply chain, evident alongside each product, and donates the equivalent of 2% of revenue (by way of product) towards ending period poverty in New Zealand.
Join the conversation @awwaperiodcare