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THE BRA PROJECT

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Getting a well-fitting bra can be frustrating. Globally, over 80 per cent of women are wearing the wrong size bra due to limitations in shape and size and fitting methods.  

 

This becomes a bigger issue for women who have had cancer and reconstructive surgery. Their options for sizing and fit are currently limited, plus many of these women rely on bras to increase their confidence and symmetry.  

 

Two sisters studying at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) may have the answer. Xuxu Amoozegar-Montero researched design innovation and was recently awarded her PhD. She and her PhD supervisor Edgar Rodriguez-Ramirez have created a spinout company for their new bra measuring and design system which uses leading edge technology and has global potential. 


Both Xuxu and Aida have gone through the KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme, where they gained critical entrepreneurial skills and grew their networks. Together with the wider Bra Project team and support from Wellington UniVentures, they’ve secured additional KiwiNet to prepare to launch their new business. This innovative project won the HealthTech Awards for Best Translational Research at HealthTech week in 2023 and the KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme; an award from Te Tītoki Mataora; and Best oral presentation for Manufacturing and Design 2019. 

 

“While there are new companies, they’re still using the same design. What we’re going to do is solve the fit and comfort problems,” says Amoozegar-Montero. “We are using 3D knit technology to capture the unique and individual measurements of women’s breasts. Instead of a tape measure and just two data points for measurement – bust girth and cup size – our app uses 12 data points which will create a custom, seamless bra that fits.” 

 

“This will also make customised bras more accessible and more affordable because 3D knit technology is used all over the world. Getting those measurements will be simpler using our app, enabling the customer to measure at home and receive a customised bra in return.” 

 

They’re still investigating yarns, including Tencel. “It’s tricky. The yarn has to be very durable and supportive; it must hold its shape and be comfortable; it must feel soft against the skin. We also want the yarn to be no-waste, recyclable and sustainable,” says Amoozegar-Montero. 

 

“There is so much potential for a product like this but it needs lots of input from different fields, including the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and VUW’s women’s health research,” says Edgar Rodriguez-Ramirez, her PhD supervisor. It also includes working with overseas R&D facilities because they’re pushing New Zealand technology to the limits.  

 

The team hopes to bring their new bra and app to market in mid-2024. 

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