Eco-friendly postpartum underwear takes out Grand Ideas competition

Friday 17 May 2024

Postpartum underwear aimed at promoting healing after childbirth, whilst also being eco-friendly and comfortable, has been crowned the winner of Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University’s Grand Ideas competition.

Nurture, designed by Isabel Nicholls, has taken out the top prize.

Last updated: Friday 17 May 2024

Design student Isabel Nicholls impressed the judging panel with her product Nurture, which combines sustainability, comfort and practicality. The underwear she designed absorbs lochia (postpartum bleeding), considers pain relief, cares for tears and scars and is comfortable for new mothers.

As the first-place winner, Isabel will receive $5,000 of seed funding and support from the Student Enterprise team to help develop the product.

Professor Stephen Kelly from Massey Business School sat on the judging panel, and says Isabel introduced a well-considered product concept tailored to the needs of a significant market, with a clear explanation.

“Isabel also provided a detail-rich presentation which allowed the judges to assess the potential value of the product, understand key design features, and assess why the design had advantages in the current market. She also added value by suggesting alternative market opportunities.

“She clearly outlined how the Grand Ideas prize would allow her to further develop the product and bring it to the market successfully. The judges were of the unanimous view that Nurture was a deserving winner of the Semester 1 2024 competition, and we wish Isabel well in the development of the product and the market,” Professor Kelly says.

Isabel says she’s excited and grateful to have been selected as the winner.

“The funding will help me immensely in my studies, with the hope to get my product to market in the future.”

Second place was awarded to Agribusiness student Cameron Hopkins for LzrGuard Agrishield, a concept for adaptable virtual fencing for farmers. Cameron’s idea promises to revolutionise traditional farming practices by offering a flexible and efficient solution to livestock management.

Judge Eve Kawana-Brown from Venture Taranaki says Cameron’s pitch was compelling and watchable.

“He provided a good customer-use case for his product concept, describing well the problems his innovation could resolve. With great visual simulations of the product in use, it was almost possible to see it really doing the intended job.”

Cameron receives $2500 for second place.

Third place went to design student Kylie Boxall for Chest Binder, a concept that meets the needs of individuals seeking comfortable, safe and effective chest binding solutions. Kylie receives $1500 towards her concept.

Dr Jeanette Rapson from Massey's Student Enterprise team says the innovation demonstrated in Kylie's product was impressive.

"Kylie’s clear engagement with potential users at every step, as well as a genuine commitment to making a difference in the world, is truly inspiring.”

Grand Ideas winners from left: Isabel Nicholls, Cameron Hopkins and Kylie Boxall.

Student Enterprise team member Brad Booysen says there were a number of innovative ideas and passion displayed by participants in this year’s competition.

“Each idea showcased the potential to make a meaningful impact and we congratulate the winners on their well-deserved success.”

For more information about the Grand Ideas competition and future opportunities, visit Massey University’s student enterprise website.

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