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6 Common Underwear Design Problems - Solved!

6 Common Underwear Design Problems - Solved!

Every woman has their own opinion on what makes the best women's underwear design and it usually depends on individual body type and personal preference.

However, after completing a great deal of market research and spending many days testing and trying out different underwear brands, styles and fabrics (30 years to be precise!) we discovered the same 7 underwear design problems, showing up again and again.

      1. A Narrow Gusset
      2. Skimpy Lining
      3. Awkward Seams
      4. Sheer Panels & Lace
      5. Seamless Underwear
      6. The Muffin Top

We decided that it just wasn't good enough and created Huha Mineral Undies to solve each problem, once and for all.

Problem: Narrow Gusset

What is a gusset? The gusset is the strip of material in your underwear, usually found at the crotch, intended to give you extra support where you need it the most.

I think we can all agree, when the gusset in your underwear is too thin and narrow, it can be acutely uncomfortable, particularly as you grow and your body changes, especially after childbirth.

A thoughtlessly designed narrow gusset, also doesn't take into consideration the numerous different shapes of our vaginas, labia and vulvas. Every vagina is unique, and a narrow, ill-fitting gusset is one way to unnecessarily rocket our genital insecurities to new levels.

Point of fact, if you were ever worried about the shape of your labia, just know that there are roughly seven different types, ALL of which are completely normal, despite what your underwear might suggest.


Solved: Huha Undies Wider Gusset


We realise that every woman is unique and beautiful and that a little extra support for your vagina is never a bad thing. This is why we decided to create a wider gusset on all our styles, including our bestseller Mineral Thongs!

Our wider gusset is much more comfortable, offers all vaginas the support they need and reduces those unwarranted labia insecurities dramatically.

Problem: Skimpy Lining

A problem that goes hand-in-hand with a narrow gusset is skimpy lining. Not surprisingly, when there is a very narrow gusset, there is very little room for a supportive lining around the parts that count. A common occurrence in badly designed underwear is that the lining stops abruptly, sometimes right in the middle, where your vagina lives. Why is this? We don't have the answer. A guess would be that they were designed by men... but we do have the solution.

Solved: Full Coverage, Zinc-infused Lining


Huha's full coverage, zinc-infused lining (industrial patent pending) is exactly that, full coverage. Our lining extends from the very top and front of our undies the whole way back and past the butt. It doesn't stop short, it doesn't start somewhere in the back or middle, it covers the area that actually needs to be covered.

As an extra bonus, our super soft lyocell fabric lining is also infused with zinc. In a clinical study it was also discovered that zinc-infused lyocell fabric provides very strong antibacterial activity against the bacteria that causes itch and skin irritation and the bacteria than leads to UTIs. Read more about the properties of zinc in our previous blog post.

Problem: Awkward Seams

Ever stepped into a pair of underwear that has a seam right up the center of the crotch? Ouch! Unfortunately, this is a common problem in underwear design, that is usually the result of cheap manufacturing.

Not only are these awkward seams uncomfortable, but they can also become the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

Solution: No More Awkward Seams!

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    Seams like a relatively simple solution, but our underwear has zero awkward seams and instead we have placed them in areas that make sense for our bodies. If you hate having your labia parted like the Red Sea on a daily basis, our mineral undies might just be the solution to your problem.

    Problem: Sheer Panels & Lace

    We agree that a strategically placed sheer panel and frilly and cute lacy lingerie can make us feel sexy, but with constant wear, this can lead to vaginal irritation and sensitivity issues, which are... not so sexy.

    The reason why we develop these issues over long-term wear is the down to the fabric selection and texture of our undergarments. Sheer panels in underwear are usually made from nylon or polyester - unless purchased from a high quality, luxury brand. As we discussed in a previous blog post, nylon and polyester are synthetic fabrics that trap heat and don't allow your vagina to breathe. Similarly, lace can be just as restrictive. This leads to an increase in bacteria growth which causes bad odour and infections. 

    Solved: Super Soft, TENCEL‚ĄĘ undies


    In our opinion, the best breathable underpants are made from natural fabric such cotton underwear as well as TENCEL‚ĄĘ Lyocell and Modal, which is also super soft, lightweight, absorbent and durable.¬†You can find these textiles in our¬†Mineral Thongs,¬†High Rise Briefs¬†and¬†Cheeky underwear.¬†

    Read more about the properties of TENCEL‚ĄĘ in our sustainable underwear¬†fabric guide.

    Problem: Seamless Underwear

    At first glance, seamless underwear does not appear to be a problem. In fact, when facing down a beautiful, yet very tight, body-con dress, we are positive seamless underwear has been a saviour for each of us, at one time or another. But on the surface, seamless underwear is not as amazing as it appears.

    When manufacturing seamless underwear, the garment needs to be created in one entire piece (whole garment) or cut with raw edges (what the market commonly knows as "seamless"). However, the only fabric that allows for this kind of treatment are synthetics - which, as we all know, is a vagina health 'no-no'. (See above section)

    Solution: Huha Seamless Undies

    We don't currently offer seamless underwear as our underwear is made from TENCEL lyocell and modal fabric. However, we are currently working on a new low profile thong. It won't be completely seamless, but it will achieve the desired effect. Follow our Instagram for product news and launch updates.

    Problem: The Muffin Top

    Regardless of your body shape and size, many of us (if not all) have experienced the dreaded 'Muffin Top' at some point. This can be caused by wearing the wrong size underwear, but usually its down to cheap, uncomfortable elastics that dig into our waists and our legs.

    Nothing is more upsetting than wearing the correct size underwear but still having a muffin top. Ladies, this is not your fault. Badly designed underwear either has an elastic waistband that fits to tight or elastic that does nothing to prevent underwear riding up your butt.

    Solved: The Perfect Elastic


    In a lengthy design process, we tested many different elastics across our entire underwear line until we found 'the one.' Our elastics stay true to the shape of your body and have enough 'give' to avoid the embarrassing 'muffin top'. Our elastics can be found in the seams of underwear at the waist and leg opening creating a 'stay put' effect - so no more pulling underwear out of your butt.

    If you feel like purchasing undies that were actually designed for women BY women, without having to purchase custom underwear, head over to our Shopify store and browse our mineral thongs, cheekies and high rise briefs!

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Fabric Guide: How To Choose The Best Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Underwear

Fabric Guide: How To Choose The Best Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Underwear

With so many sustainable underwear brands claiming that their fabric is the most "eco-friendly‚ÄĚ and the ‚Äúmost breathable‚ÄĚ how can you be sure if you are making the right choice? In this guide to high-quality materials, you will find some of the most sustainable fabrics for women's underwear.... along with the¬†worst, to help you decide which is the right fit for you!

We will be diving into the lifecycle analysis and the Higg's index parameters of the most common underwear fabrics on the market today, including:

  • Modal¬†- a semi-synthetic fabric made from beech tree pulp
  • Lenzing Modal¬†- created from a sustainably harvested forest in Austria
  • Tencel¬†- made from Lyocell and Modal, "regenerated cellulose" fibers.
  • Cotton¬†- made from the natural fibers of cotton plants
  • Organic Cotton¬†- grown using methods that have a low impact on the environment
  • Nylon¬†- a synthetic fabric that is derived from crude oil
  • Polyestor¬†- a synthetic fabric that's usually derived from petroleum

Eco-Friendly Lingerie: Why Choose Sustainable Underwear Brands?

We all know that textile waste is a massive worldwide problem. A staggering two-thirds of our clothing is made from fossil fuel synthetics, and 85% of this material is sent to landfills, unable to decay or decompose. Not only that, but according to a report on the textiles industry from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, clothing production approximately doubled from 2000 to 2015. Clearly demands for sustainable fashion are at an all-time high.

As we start to add more sustainable options to our wardrobe, it's only right that we should see that positive change in our underwear drawers too, by switching to sustainable and ethical undies.


Sustainable Modal Underwear

What is Modal?

Modal is a ‚Äúsemi-synthetic‚ÄĚ fabric that is commonly combined with other fibers to create a soft and long-lasting material. It's silky-smooth feel makes it more luxurious than other fabrics and it is usually found in higher-end sustainable underwear.¬†

Lenzing‚ĄĘ¬†Modal vs Modal?

Lenzing‚ĄĘ¬†Modal¬†is produced in Austria and mainly composed of beech wood pulp that is made into cellulosic fibers. In addition to the low¬†environmental impact¬†of the harvest and production process, the fibers are biodegradable and compostable, allowing them to eventually revert back to nature. Lenzing AG ensures for a¬†fair trade¬†process, harvesting their trees from sustainably managed forests and producers.

Impact on the Environment: Lenzing‚ĄĘ¬†Modal

Modal is manufactured from cellulose using chemical processing, the same as bamboo, rayon (viscose) and lyocell. In the case of modal, the cellulose comes from softwood trees. The manufacturing process is closed loop, which means that the chemicals used in processing are captured and reused. The small amount of discharged is considered non-hazardous.

The finished textile is biodegradable and also takes well to natural dyes, eliminating the need for more harmful chemicals in your underwear.

When deciding if you are purchasing sustainable underwear, it's important to look at the life cycle assessment of the fabric. This is the comprehensive analysis that will tell you if you have sustainable underwear and it's negative or positive effects on the environment. The data collected includes:

1. Contribution to Acid Rain Emissions

Acid rain is caused by a chemical reaction that begins when compounds like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the air. This can happen during the fabric manufacturing process.

Acid rain has been shown to have adverse impacts on forests, freshwaters, and soils, killing insect and aquatic life-forms, causing paint to peel, corrosion of steel structures such as bridges, and weathering of stone buildings and statues as well as having impacts on human health.

Lenzing‚ĄĘ Modal contributes 0.02 SO2-EQ (acidification potential) to the environment.¬†This is one of the lowest scores across all usual underwear fabric choices, including cotton:

2. Bluewater Footprint

Bluewater Footprint refers to water that has been sourced from surface or groundwater resources and is either evaporated or incorporated into the fabric during production. This footprint helps us understand for what purposes our limited freshwater resources are being consumed and/or polluted. 

Lenzing‚ĄĘ Modal uses 0.04 M2 per KG of water during process.¬†Again, this another very low score across all fabrics tested, making it an ideal candidate for sustainable underwear.

3. Contribution To Climate Change

CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions are the main contribution to global warming and climate change. Textile production is one of the most polluting industries, producing 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 per year. Around 5% of total global emissions come from the fashion industry.

Compared to other underwear textiles, Lenzing‚ĄĘ Modal's contribution to¬†CO2 ¬†is very low at just 1.5 CO2-EQ per KG.

4. Cumulative Energy Demand 

The Cumulative energy demand (CED) of a product represents the direct and indirect energy use in units of MJ throughout the life cycle, including the energy consumed during the extraction, manufacturing and disposal of the raw materials.

In the case of Lenzing Modal, that number is a relatively low 21 (MJ) 

We use Lenzing‚ĄĘ Modal fabric in the outer layer our best-selling¬†thongs,¬†briefs¬†and¬†cheeky¬†undies, which makes them super soft and hugely popular with our customers.


Tencel Underwear

What is¬†TENCEL‚ĄĘ?

TENCEL‚ĄĘ is actually a brand name owned by the Austrian company Lenzing AG. They use it for a type of¬†lyocell¬†fabric, and also for their¬†modal¬†material. However, usually when referenced it is referring to their¬†lyocell¬†fabric.

TENCEL‚ĄĘ Lyocell is a cellulose fibre that comes from eucalyptus trees, which is made by dissolving wood pulp and using a special drying process called spinning. According to¬†Lenzing AG, it is 50% more absorbent than cotton and less susceptible to odorous bacteria growth because of its naturally¬†anti-bacterial¬†properties.

Impact on the Environment:¬†TENCEL‚ĄĘ Lyocell

1. Contribution to Acid Rain:¬†TENCEL‚ĄĘ Lyocell¬†contributes 0.01 SO2-EQ (acidification potential) to the environment.¬†This is also one of the lowest scores across all¬†fabric choices.

2. Bluewater Footprint:¬†TENCEL‚ĄĘ¬†Lyocell¬†uses¬†0.02 M2 per KG of water¬†during process.¬†One of the¬†lowest score across all fabrics tested, making it an ideal candidate for sustainable underwear.

3. Contribution to Climate Change:¬†Compared to other underwear textiles TENCEL‚ĄĘ¬†Lyocell's¬†contribution to CO2 ¬†is very low at just 1.5 CO2-EQ per KG, exactly the same as Lenzing Modal.

4. Cumulative Energy Demand: 21 (MJ) 

TENCEL‚ĄĘ Lyocell is the fabric we use for the inner layer of our¬†thongs,¬†briefs¬†and¬†cheeky¬†undies. Plus our lining is infused with zinc oxide, a naturally soothing, anti-microbial mineral.


Cotton Underwear

What is Cotton?

You know cotton as one of the most common undergarments fabric. Cotton is primarily composed of cellulose, an insoluble organic compound, that is spun into yarn and woven to create soft and durable fabric. 

Conventional production practices for cotton involve the application of substantial fertilizers and pesticides (can you say toxic chemicals?), which threaten the quality of soil and water, as well as the health of biodiversity in and downstream from the fields. 4% of all world pesticides and 10% of insecticides are used in cotton-growing.

Cotton underwear is commonly prescribed to women as the most "breathable" option, but has fabric technology outgrown this old school recommendation?

Cotton vs. Organic Cotton?

In comparison certified organic cotton is equally as comfy, but grown using methods and materials that have a lower impact on the environment than conventional cotton. Organic production processes replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture, all while encouraging fair trade practices.

Impact on the Environment: Organic Cotton

1. Contribution to Acid Rain: Organic Cotton contributes a not-so-great score of 5.7 SO2-EQ (acidification potential) to the environment. However, it is significantly better than conventional cotton which has a score of 18.7!

2. Bluewater Footprint: Organic Cotton uses 0.75 M2 per KG of water during process. Low compared to 2.12 M2 per KG of conventional cotton.


3. Contribution to Climate Change: Compared to other underwear textiles Organic Cotton contribution to CO2  is very low at just 0.98 CO2-EQ per KG. Conventional cotton has a score of 2.12 CO2-EQ per KG.


Nylon Underwear

What is Nylon?

Nylon is the name of a family of synthetic polymers often utilized to construct sheer panelling and lace found in lingerie, and often spun with a high count spandex for greater elasticity. Unlike other organic or semi-synthetic fibers, nylon fibers are entirely synthetic. The use of this type of synthetic polymer in clothing began with a desire to find alternatives to silk and hemp for parachutes in World War II. And even though you can find recycled Nylon on the market today that is made from plastic bottles, the biodegradability is still a major question mark. 

Impact on the Environment: Nylon

1. Contribution to Climate Change: Nylon's contribution to CO2  is a whopping 22 CO2-EQ per KG!

2. Cumulative Energy Demand: 418 (MJ) 


Polyester Underwear

What is Polyester?

Polyester is a generalized term for any fabric or textile, which is made using polyester yarns or fibres. It is a shortened name for a synthetic, man-made polymer, polyethylene terephthalate.

Polyester fabrics don’t absorb perspiration, or other fluids, leaving the wearer with a moist, clammy feel. Polyester fibers also typically have a low level of wicking. Since it’s a man-made fiber derived from petroleum-based products, polyester is not sustainable, nor is it biodegradable, though you'll commonly find this fiber in lingerie stores and your own top drawer.

Impact on the Environment: Polyester

1. Contribution to Acid Rain: Polyester contributes 8.67 SO2-EQ (acidification potential) to the environment.
2. Contribution to Climate Change: Compared to other underwear textiles, Polyester's CO2  contribution is 2.13 CO2-EQ per KG.

3. Cumulative Energy Demand: 32 (MJ) 
Higgs Index Score

Overall Outlook on Eco-Friendly Underwear Fabrics

Eco Friendly Underwear Fabrics

Eco Friendly Underwear Brands

The¬†Higg¬†Materials Sustainability Index¬†(Higg MSI) is the apparel industry's most trusted tool to measure and score the overall environmental impacts of materials. It is essentially a summary measure of the overall performance of a fabric from the raw material to the fabric formation stage (‚Äėfrom cradle to gate‚Äô). The lower the score, the lower the fabric‚Äôs impact.

Surprisingly, conventional cotton had the worst score of all the fabrics listed above. In order of best to worst, they were:

  • Lenzing¬†Tencel: 33
  • Polyester: 45
  • Organic Cotton: 41
  • Nylon: 55
  • Cotton: 90¬†

In conclusion, it can be very tricky to find out if your are buying ethical underwear that uses sustainable fabrics. Being 100% sustainable is a rarity, but there are certain things you can look out for when researching brands.

Look for brands that are OEKO-Tex,¬†TENCEL‚ĄĘ, Lenzing or GOTS certified organic cotton to avoid brands that 'green wash' their products. Or use this guide as a reference when researching sustainable underwear brands and textiles in the future!¬†

For a comprehensive list of fair trade certified lingerie brands with eco friendly supply chains, we recommend checkin gout Azura Bay. There you'll find plenty of size-inclusive women's underwear brands made from sustainable materials. Find a list to ethical underwear brands here.

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The Best Underwear For A Healthy Vagina

The Best Underwear For A Healthy Vagina

The Best Underwear For A Healthy Vagina

First things first, vagina is not a dirty word. In our IGTV Series "Huha Health" we spoke with two expert gynecologists, Dr. Laura Nicholas and The Modern Mujer, Dr. Erica Montes. In our IGTV series and this blog post, we cover:

Your Vagina is a Self-Cleaning Machine

Your vagina is a BOSS. Independent, self-sufficient and hard working, the vagina needs minimal assistance to get the job done.

"When the vagina is operating at its best, it really doesn't need your help at all." - Dr Laura Nicholas, ob-gyn

During menstruation, the vagina passes blood from the uterus which cleanses the system and helps reset for a new cycle. Cervical mucus also passes through the vagina which plays an important role in optimizing conception. However, you will also notice an increase in vaginal discharge when your vagina is fighting to rid itself of infection.

However, there are some things you can do (like choosing the correct underwear) to help look after your vagina. There are also things you must stay away from.

Vaginal Health - Do's:

  • Wear breathable, natural underwear like our best-selling Mineral¬†Cheeky undies¬†and thongs - avoid synthetic materials
  • Wash your body regularly - avoid harsh chemicals in your body wash and soaps. Try our¬†Undie wash, so gentle, you can use it on your skin!
  • Change your underwear frequently, especially after working out and after a shower.
  • When using the toilet, always wipe from front to back.
  • Make sure you pee after sex to clear out any unwanted bacteria!

Vaginal Health - Dont's:

Pretty much the Do's in reverse...

  • Stay away from nylon or any synthetic underwear - choose TENCEL‚ĄĘ or organic¬†cotton¬†underwear.
  • Avoid tight fitting underwear that increase heat and bacteria count.
  • No commercial cleansing wipes and soaps. Stay away from fragrances.
  • Don't douche! Wash the vulva only.

All about your pH Balance

What's pH balance exactly? The vagina is a micro biome that requires her delicate balance to be kept in-check: namely, that the "good" bacteria outweigh the bad bacteria.

What, exactly, is good bacteria?

We get what bad bacteria is, like E. Coli from our poop that can make it's way into our urethras and cause gnarly UTI infections ‚Äď‚Äď sometimes from ill-fitting, chafing g-strings rubbing back and forth, hence our body contouring, stay put elastics in our¬†Mineral Thong¬†‚Äď‚Äď but what exactly is "good" bacteria?¬†

Good bacteria is a species called Lactobacillus (there are dozens of different types of Lactobacillus) which produces Lactic Acid. Lactic acid helps maintain an acidic environment which keeps the other microflora in the vagina happy.

How to maintain your pH balance

Synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester trap heat and moisture, creating a perfect breeding ground for other bacterial species, not so good for your vagina,

‚ÄúWearing synthetic underwear for long periods of time can lead to yeast infections, urinary tract infection (UTI), and other vaginal infections,‚ÄĚ -¬†Dr. Nupur Gupta, Director, Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Fortis Memorial Research Institute

Bacterial Vaginosis, more commonly known as BV, is usually caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria called Gardnerella. This occurs when you don't have enough good bacteria (Lactobacillus) to fight the bad bacteria. BV causes very smelly vaginal discharge. 

"The most common treatment includes a medication or oral antibiotic called Flagyl or Metronidazole." - Dr. Erica Montes, The Modern Mujer.

Once you have it, the only way to cure BV is to take an oral antibiotic. Over the counter cream won't work because BV is NOT a yeast infection. So, let's avoid getting BV altogether ladies.

Choose the best underwear for vaginal health

We recommend choosing underwear made from breathable, natural fabric such as TENCEL‚ĄĘ Lyocell and Modal. You can find these textiles in our full-coverage¬†Mineral Thongs,¬†High Rise Briefs¬†and¬†Cheeky underwear.¬†Why did we choose TENCEL‚ĄĘ? Because it produces:¬†

  • Super soft fabric - perfect for sensitive skin.¬†
  • Super breathable fabric - so light it feels like you're going commando.
  • Superior moisture-wicking¬†fabric -¬†making it an excellent choice for sensitive skin.
  • Zinc-infused lyocell fabric,¬†limits the growth of bacteria ten times more effectively than organic cotton¬†undies!

bacteria growth in underwear

In a clinical study conducted by Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, it was also discovered that zinc-infused lyocell fabric provides very strong antibacterial activity against both Staphylococcus aureus (the bacteria that causes itch and skin irritation) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (the bacteria than leads to UTIs). 

It yielded a log reduction greater than 3, which means a reduction of up to 99.9% of bacteria over a 24 hour period! Let's hear it for zinc!

Consider replacing your underwear every year

This may sound a tiny bit excessive, especially considering we wash our lingerie so frequently, but according to the Good Housekeeping Institute, even clean undies can contain up to 10,000 living bacteria.

Why is this? Because there's about one million bacteria in just 2 tablespoons of used washing machine water! According to Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, who has done extensive research on the germs that fester in our washing machines,

"If you wash a load of just underwear, there will be about 100 million E. coli in the wash water, and they can be transmitted to the next load of laundry... There's about a tenth of a gram of poop in the average pair of underwear." 

Yep, it's pretty gross. This is why we recommend replacing your underwear every year and where possible, hand washing your delicates separately using our all natural undie wash.

If you would like to learn more about vaginal health and wellness, check out our IGTV series featuring health care professionals specializing in women's health, fertility and gynecology.

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