Unorthodoxx Women

A unique boxing brand with products designed specifically for women. 

March 2019

UNORTHODOXX was created with female boxers solely in mind. From the professional and elite amateur end of our sport; to the women who practice boxing for fitness, or partake in white collar events. We are equally as focussed, dedicated and passionate about the sport as our male counterparts, and there are more of us than ever. We were tired of feeling like an afterthought for mainstream brands, unwilling to make gloves that fitted us properly. The female designs were borderline offensive. The usual catwalk of a splash of pink, and even flowers. No thought, care or investment in the functionality and suitability for women. Our mission was (and is), to support female boxers to practice their sport with safe quality equipment and clothing that fits, and look damn BOSS whilst doing it!

How did it start?

It started from personal experience, I bought various gloves that were ill fitting and just didn't fit correctly. I remember one pair so big they looked like joke gloves. That’s where the research started, and I realised how underserved we girls were despite the growing popularity of women’s boxing.

What are the real benefits of have women specific gloves?

Benefits are primarily hand and wrist support and protection. Our complex layering in the gloves provides this and the wearer should immediately feel the benefits, and also notice that the transfer of power is greater. Our customers have reported how well their hands and wrists feel after heavy bag sessions. I noticed this myself too. It’s very reassuring for those of us that like to train a few times a week or hit the bags pretty hard.

They also look and feel neat and in proportion, and we’ve even been complimented many times on how nice they smell. The smell wasn’t by design, but we’re glad the girls like it. 

What challenges have you faced along the way?

The biggest challenge was finding that fit. We may all be women, but we still come all different shapes and sizes. We used a wide data set of women’s hand, wrist and forearm measurements. We used focus groups for testing and rejected prototype after prototype. I am a perfectionist. I rejected so many I started to doubt the whole project. It’s been tough. I admit there were some tears of frustration, and a few gloves thrown across rooms. I’m so pleased I persevered. I am genuinely super proud of the products. The feedback has been incredible. 

 

Where do you see your brand in 10 years?

We have no plans for world domination. We’d like to grow and be going strong in 10 years; but we will grow with the sport and the needs of our customers. The most enjoyable part of the journey for me is being actively involved in women’s boxing and feeling like I’m making a difference in my own small way. I’d like to think in 10 years’ time the mainstream brands and media will be taking women’s boxing more seriously too.

In the near future, we will develop our main product, our gloves. Potentially sparring/fight gloves and junior sizes. I have a particular interest in new technology and materials like vegan leather. New lines and developments will come along organically, in line with what our customers tell us they want to see.

Is there any research to support what you are doing?

Like the gloves and women’s boxing in general. Not enough attention has been given to our needs to inspire any credible medical research. We can only rely on evidence of women in the sport. Their complaints on forums, injury experience and boxing knowledge. There are many resources online that state the dangers and impracticalities of wearing ill-fitting gloves. I suppose its common sense really, as we always say you wouldn't wear men's fit, or one size fits all shoes so why wear men's fit gloves?

What problems are women facing in boxing?

It can be summed up as lack of respect for the women’s sport. Women are still facing prejudices within boxing at elite and grassroots levels. It’s not exclusive to boxing, or even sport. We get less media exposure, considerably lower purse for fights, and financial support is a rare as hen’s teeth. All that said, there is positive shift. You can feel it. Pretty much every boxing gym has women training regularly, so boxing women are becoming the ‘norm’ in these once masculine domains. White collar events have helped enormously in introducing women to the sport. We have progress, our biggest problem is the speed of it, but we just have to keep doing what we are doing.

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