Ladies First highlights women and girls who are making the world better for the rest of us.

Toronto-based underwear company Knixwear and its founder and CEO Joanna Griffiths have come a long way since the brand’s launch in 2013. Since raising $1.5 million dollars in capital via Kickstarter for the first Knixwear product — the 8-in-1 Evolution bra, a hybrid everyday/active bra using bonded technology to mimic the effect of an underwire — the company has been committed to making products for all shapes, sizes, and ages.

Recently, Griffiths launched Knixteen, a leak-proof undies line that is specifically targeted toward teens. “The decision to expand into a youth-based line came from listening to our customers and hearing repeatedly that they wished that leak-proof underwear existed when they were young,” Griffiths explained in an e-mail interview.

The Knixteen line is currently a mashup of all the best Knixwear products, featuring a soft performance fabric, seamless finishes, and the patented leak-proof technology from the original Knixwear seamless underwear. Prior to launch, the team worked on silhouettes and sizing with teens to develop styles that they would love. The underwear is available in boy shorts and bikini cuts, for $17 plus shipping.

Reports estimate that the average age at which menstruation starts is now 12. And while periods are a natural part of growing up, period stigma still exists, and it can leave many teens feeling ashamed. “The reality is that periods are a healthy part of life,” Griffiths wrote via e-mail. “We wanted to create a line that encourages teens to be the boss of their periods from cycle one — so that they can feel empowered to focus on other things.”

Knixteen products are simple and easy to use — you can wear them under absolutely anything, and they’re made of comfortable performance fabrics that are moisture-wicking and quick-drying. The main difference between the Knixteen product and others is that it features a carbon cotton top layer embedded into the fabric, which helps skin dry faster than regular cotton.

In the last few years, the period industry has seen growth in innovation, as companies aim to make more sustainable products. Knixwear was followed by US company Thinx in 2014. On average, a woman will throw away 250 pounds’ worth of disposable pads, tampons, and liners in her lifetime. Investing in a pair of leak-proof undies like Knixteen can help cut down the waste going into landfills each and every single year. “There has been so little innovation in the feminine hygiene industry over the past few decades. If each woman used only reusable options, that would mean 12.5 million tons of waste reduced,” Griffiths shared.

Griffiths also acknowledged that teen girls are not the only ones with periods, and said she wants trans youth to feel comfortable knowing that Knixteen is here to help anyone with their menstruation cycle, no matter their gender identity.

We’re excited to see how the Knixteen line will help break period stigma and encourage teens to love their bodies.

Would you use a product like Knixteen? Tell us @BritandCo.

(Photos via Knixwear)