From pain to purpose: This entrepreneur transformed spine injury into period underwear innovation

While undergoing intensive rehab, Leigh Carcel experienced incontinence, which led to her create Ecoflo.

In 2019, entrepreneur Leigh Carcel faced a life-altering spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the waist down. She was told that she would never walk again. For several months, and with the help of family and friends, Leigh eventually reclaimed her mobility against all odds.

While undergoing intensive rehabilitation, and learning to walk and run again, Leigh experienced light urinary incontinence. She needed a solution that would support her as  she was training and doing everyday things like shopping or catching up with friends. While there were disposable, single use products available like disposable hygiene products and diapers, they were bulky, uncomfortable and definitely not good for the environment.

After Leigh Carcel recovered from spine injury, she not only walked and ran again—she became an entrepreneur.

The breakthrough happened when a friend suggested leak-proof, reusable underwear. It was a game changer. The leak-proof reusable underwear provided a renewed sense of confidence and liberation for Leigh. It allowed Leigh to embrace life’s adventure without hesitation.  Not only did they address her incontinence, they also proved ideal for when she was menstruating.

Eco is in, taboo is out

Leigh founded Ecoflo to offer women in the Philippines a more sustainable alternative to single-use, disposable feminine care products. While the concept of period underwear has been gaining traction in other parts of the world, the choices and awareness in the Philippines are fairly limited. The intimate wear brand is the first and only to be developed in the Philippines with the sole intention of creating high quality, sustainable, and impeccably designed period underwear.

Leigh says, “As a young brand we are dedicated to looking at new materials and production methods to help reduce our carbon footprint. Perhaps one day we can also explore the possibility of sourcing local fabrics for our underwear.”

The Philippines is a leading contributor of plastic pollution of the ocean in the world today. It accounts for 36% of the world’s total plastic waste, according to a recent Plastic Polluters Study. Of the overwhelming 350,000 tons of plastic that enter the oceans from our shores alone, a good portion of it comes from single-use, disposable napkins, tampons, and diapers.

“We want to normalize difficult conversations about menstruation, menopause, pregnancy and other taboo issues,” shares Leigh.

By creating leak-proof period underwear that are stylishly playful, Ecoflowants to erase all sense of taboo surrounding real and important female care concerns—periods, incontinence (yes, it happens to all of us!), and excessive sweating down there.

“We want to normalize difficult conversations about menstruation, menopause, pregnancy and other taboo issues,” shares Leigh.

Underwear designed by the Ecoflo team is informed by the need for a snug fit, all day comfort, and ease of movement. For its maiden collection, Ecoflointroduces five different styles to suit every lifestyle, occasion, and body type. “Pads or diapers can be bulky and uncomfortable. They are also not good for the environment,” she says. “As we were developing the designs for our underwear we wanted to make sure that they fit the body and could be worn for long periods of time. The fabric has to be breathable and  buttery soft. Quality is also a very crucial point of consideration that would allow women to wash and wear them for months on end.” 

The Sensual Classic Bikini (ideal for light to moderate flows) features a high cut silhouette and lace trimming on the sides. The Hikini Sheer (for moderate flows) with its elegant mesh details is cut high to cinch the waist and elongate the legs. The Lacey Timeless Bikini (for moderate flows) is a mid-rise style that features tone-on-tone lace brands and a delightful range of soft hues to choose from. The Snug and Active Bikinis are intimate wear essentials that support you on your heavy days. They are crafted to fit your body as it moves throughout the day, and comes in lively hues like Sage Green and Maroon Plum.


A product for women, by a woman, for all body shapes.

Apart from being guided by ideals of sustainability and empowering women, inclusivity also influences the design and overall brand direction of Ecoflo. The brand considers women of all sizes and body types. Undies by Ecoflo also cater to those navigating incontinence during and after pregnancy, as well as women over the age of 60. Leigh adds, “They can also be worn during workouts to absorb sweat.”

The brand’s messaging also put emphasis on diversity. Its visual narrative focuses on the shared stories of women across ethnicities, ages groups, and lifestyles. “We also hope to educate our audience and empower them–to shift to sustainable solutions, break taboos, and turn the unmentionable into pride,” says Leigh.

For more information, visit their website and follow them on Instagram .

The new lifestyle.