Who Made Your Pants?

Gorgeous Pants. By women, for women.

More than just being sexy

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking with you about finding ways to take pictures of women in pants that aren’t sexualised or objectifying. We think there’s more to women than just being sexy (as wonderful and fun as that part of womanhood is, it’s not the whole of our lives and we – and you – do tend to wear pants when we’re just *being*) and we genuinely think that every day can be a great pants day without it having to mean anything more than that.

Lingerie blogger Denocte agrees…
 
‘I hate that lingerie is always advertised as having to be sexy of course for the male partner. because how dare a woman wear something comfy, pretty, etc for herself, right? outrageous!’

You’ve asked us for images so that you can see where our pants sit on bodies. We came up with one idea: superheroes! And we had great fun with our friend Roz – a writer, student, spinal surgery survivor and model. She leapt around London and was a great example of how comfortable our pants are for high kicks and quick changes in phone boxes. Photographer Flo has worked with Roz for ages and you can see how much fun they had – Check out our images here - we love them!

You’ve also given us some great ideas – thank you! We’ve had suggestions (and offers to make these happen!) of…

  • ‘…me at my legs bums and tums class wearing pants over my leggings’
  • ‘…reading the economist on the loo with your pants just visible’
  • ‘…leggings then your knickers and a woman doing sports – weightlifting!’
  • women creating artworks
  • women studying in a library

We’ve had some more detailed suggestions..

‘You could have pictures of various shapes, sizes of (real, not model) women (not necessarily showing their faces doing all those things – then the same women in WMYP pants – cool, calm, happy and confident that their pants won’t let them down

We’ve also had some great pictures shared with us of women doing brilliant things in our pants – climbing Snowdon and skydiving

So – what next?

Well, these are all wonderful things, but we know that not everyone feels like a superhero – and even those who do don’t feel like one all of the time. We also know that not everyone can (and not everyone wants to) jump out of planes or leap about in a superhero outfit – we’ve had a lovely review from Meme on our website saying…

‘Comfort in a pair of pants comes first and foremost for me, not only as I’m in a wheelchair most of the time, but also as clothes can cause pain at times, wearing something that doesn’t cut in was paramount. I can safely say that these pants fit my brief!’

So we know that great pants are important for all kinds of reasons.

We know you – we – are more than one thing. So who else are you – and how can we show that? You’ve asked us for images so you can see where the pants actually sit on real bodies – tell us, how can we show this in a really positive way? We KNOW you have ideas so please – please – do tell us about them!

Share your ideas with us from today until the 4th September – use hashtag #morethansexy on twitter, tell us on facebook or email us. The team will pick their favourite and we’ll shoot it in October.

We’re so looking forward to hearing your ideas!

twitter @whomadeyour

facebook /whomadeyourpants

hello at whomadeyourpants dot co dot uk

Filed under: Uncategorized

Woop! Becky is shortlisted for an award!

Wahay! Are we excited today!

I am delighted – and proud, and a bit surprised – to announce that I have been shortlisted for an award! It’s the Social Enterprise UK award ‘for Women’s Champion’. What an honour! Thanks a million to Lepsa Stojkovic for the nomination.

There is a long wait until the result is out – the winner will be revealed at the Awards ceremony on Wednesday 26th November at LSO St Luke’s, London hosted by comedienne and television presenter Sue Perkins.

What a lovely piece of news!

 

Filed under: Uncategorized

Who’s that girl?

The eagle eyed among you will have notice the names Rosalind Jana and Florence Fox popping up across our social media and blogs regularly recently.

Well we’re delighted to tell you that we’re working together on our ‘More Than Sexy’ campaign (watch out on Wednesday!) and that Rosalind and Florence are now our official ‘go to’ team for all things photography. We thought about saying that Rosalind was ‘the face of’ Who Made Your Pants? but it just sounded odd. So we’re not.

Rosalind is a writer, model, student, spinal surgery survivor, winner of the Observer Ethical Awards ‘Best Dressed’ in 2013 and junior editor of Violet magazine. She says,

‘Working with WMYP brings together two things I love – ethics, and really nice pants. Getting to play the superhero by prancing around in knickers and shiny leggings on a busy London street was a lot of fun, made all the better by knowing that the gorgeous underthings I had on help to provide jobs and support for refugee women’

Florence is her friend, and is herself an award winning photographer (yes that’s Rosalind in the picture!). Her wedding shots are just delicious but we loved the spark we saw in Rosalind in the shots they’ve done together. We think Who Made Your Pants? superpoweredjobcreatingpants are about happiness and fun and all of those things come through in the photos Florence has taken of Rosalind. There’s also something intimate and honest that can only come from having fun with an old friend – and were thrilled to be able to bring that connection into our photography. 

We’re so proud to be working with two such amazing women – we hope you’ll join us in looking forward to seeing more of their work very soon

 

Filed under: Uncategorized

Parties in parks

The school holidays have started here in the UK and we’re thinking of long hot days and endless weeks off school – remember that feeling? *sigh*

I’m celebrating my birthday this weekend (early – I had an aged aunt who stretched out her birthday by opening presents every day in the run up and wind down, which I’ve always thought was A Good Idea) and while I can’t invite you all along, and we can’t take you back to childhood summers, we can give you a summer treat and so for one weekend only there’s 10% off all things seaside and playful.

Our weekend treat includes SeaShell MaBelle and Checkmate to name but two, and few pants packs as well so check it out here.

Ends at 23.59 on Sunday the 3rd – happy weekend!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Hannah Pants are GO!

Introducing… Hannah Pants!

We are delighted to share with you the wonderful pants made by our wonderful placement student Hannah!

The style is  a very simple lace brief, low rise, with a narrow elastic waistband. We’ve been asked for something that gives less coverage but retains the no VPL finish of Aimee and Rosalind so we hpe we’ve hit that particular nail on the head with these.

Hannah made 81 pairs of these in three colours and we’ve named them to remember aspect of Hannah and her personality.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat is a deep and heavy black lace. There are just 15 pairs of these so get them fast if you want them! Hannah pants in black will be priced at £9.50 but these are at launch pricing at £8.50 all weekend.

WMYP  019

Named for the white Dr Marten boots Hannah was wearing on her first day with us, These Boots Are Made For Walking are made from the same white lace as our Wonderful White Aimee shorts. From Monday, these will be priced at £12.50 but these are at launch pricing at £10.50 all weekend.

WMYP  021

And finally, The Icing On The Cake is made from the same lace as our Pink Fizz and is absolutely gorgeous. This design for us really was the icing on the very delicious cake of Hannah being with us! As with the white, from Monday, these will be priced at £12.50 but these are at launch pricing at £10.50 all weekend.

WMYP  017

Given the interest we have had already we expect these to go FAST!

We had such a good time with Hannah here and are so proud for her – we hope you love her work as much as we do!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Coming soon – Hannah Pants

This summer, we have been really fortunate and have had a great placement student.

Hannah came to us for one month, on Monday the 2nd June. We had two applications from students at Leicester De Montford for our summer placement, one from a third year and one from someone just ending her first year – Hannah. When we read Hannah’s email we kind of just knew a good person had found us. That first email folks – it makes all the difference. In hers, Hannah showed us that she *knew* who we were and that she got what we’re doing and why. And we loved that.

So,  after meeting Hannah and seeing quite how capable she is (she has four jobs. She rows. She teaches. She’s a student. She’s 20. She’s amazing) we let her do whatever she wanted, She worked with the team, did every job in the factory, and then after the team went on summer break she worked with us on maximising efficiency in production by changing the factory layout. She lifted, shifted and hoovered, picked and packed pants, made up the mailing boxes – she did a little bit of everything, with a smile on her face and quite often singing, too.

And then we talked about pants. Hannah had an idea for a simple style in mind, and we quickly found that we had a huge win win situation on our hands. For us, we were going to get a new style that was 100% grounded in the existing skillset of the team. And for Hannah, well, she was going to have a live product.

We picked three some part rolls of fabric and we agreed that Hannah could pretty much do what she wanted.

She made one simple design. By adding lace to the waist we have a second design. By adding lace to the waist and the legs we have a third. By adding lace to the legs only we have a fourth.

Now we consider ourselves to be pretty good at making things do many jobs but this was beyond our wildest dreams. Remember we said above that Hannah just *got* us – this was the evidence, She really, really did.

We usually name our pants via facebook polls after women who have been forgotten but we think you’ll agree that these are definitely Hannah Pants. The style with elastic on the waist will be called May, and the third Steph – both names that are important to Hannah. The fourth we’re still mulling over.

Hannah Pants will launch on the 25th July. There are 81 pairs in total, split (not equally) between three colours and across our usual size range. Some are already reserved.

We genuinely hope you love them and will pass all feedback to Hannah.

Filed under: Uncategorized

What do you want your pants to be?

Who Made Your pants? is about two things – amazing pants and amazing women. We’ve been delivering training and making jobs for women who need them since 2008 and making pants for women who want to know who made them since 2009. Right now there are just ten of us employed – eight women who are refugees and two of us who are British born and raised, and our volunteer Gill too. But with a waiting list of 75 more women who want jobs, and more women knocking on the door regularly, we’re keen to keep doing both for a while longer.

We’ve a problem though. We get asked for images of women in our pants – women want to know where they sit on their body. And we’ve never felt that we have found a way that we can do this without sexualising or objectifying the women involved. Since we started way back in 2008, we’ve accrued just three publicity images of women, made for us, pro bono, back in 2010, and aside from those, we’ve just got pictures of our pants.

As a democratic organisation, we as team have talked a lot at Who Made Your Pants? about what sort of images we’d like and that we feel comfortable with and that we think sum up what we think our pants are about. And for us that’s about strength, and fun. Our pants create jobs – that’s pretty strong. And our factory is a fun place to be. We’ve looked together at magazines, trade press, websites and catalogues. And what we’ve found is that the images seem to be either highly sexualised, utterly passive, or of slices of woman. None of us think that they show what we think our pants are about. And so we want to find a new way.

We think that there is more to women than their sexuality. We all agree that women can be (if and when they want to be) sexy and sexual – but we just don’t think women should have to be – or have only that choice of how to be perceived, or to perceive themselves. We all want pants for the days we’re just *being*. So, we’ve talked and got nowhere. But recently, I was speaking to Lucy from No More Page 3 and she suggested that instead of trying to answer this question ourselves, we could ask YOU. Get many brains onto the problem. And we all thought that was a great idea. We’d ask for YOUR ideas on how we can do this and then we, as a team, will pick the idea we think best represents our work and we’ll do a photoshoot using that idea.

We’ve had one idea that we loved – superheroes! And so on Monday we took some pants to London and met our our longtime friend and supporter Ros, and her friend and longtime collaborator Flo. Ros is a student, writer, model and spinal surgery survivor. Flo is a photographer and bookbinder who loves working with people in an unobtrusive and natural way. They’ve been friends since they were small and you can just see how well they get on in the pictures they’ve taken before.   We had a great day – Ros was diving in and out of phone boxes and leaping about training her cape. Two little girls asked if she was a superhero and wanted their picture taken with her which was wonderful.

We’ll share these pictures in a few weeks when we’re going to be kicking off the appeal for ideas formally too and then we’ll make the decision with the team in September. But in the meantime – tell us. What do you want your pants to be? How do you want that to be represented?   We’re so looking forward to finding new ways of making great images with YOU!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Summer, summer, summer time

As you may well have seen, this summer our team are taking an extended break. The factory is closed until September but we’re here in the office all the way through – apart from three days.

We are going to be closed on July 7th and 8th, and then again on July 23rd and there will be a number of afternoons when there is no-one around either.

Now you may have heard us say this before but it bears saying again. We really are a tiny, tiny team – just one woman, me, employed full time in the office, Catherine is employed part time in the office and works mornings, and then we have our wonderful volunteer Gill who does three part days in the middle of the week. There’s no customer service team, no marketing department, no IT team. Oh how we look forward to the days when we have those people!

On July 7th there won’t be any of us in Southampton at all. Office Manager Catherine and I are going to be in London all day on our second ever photo shoot (the last, which gave use the image top right here, was four years ago!). Given that we’re an hour and a half away in Southampton, this is going to be a long long day for us – and so we’re going to be closed on Tuesday too, to recover.

And then on Wednesday the 23rd, we’re going to be closed too. We’re doing two things that day. We’re going to spend the morning working on some Big Complicated Changes to our shop to make it work better for you and work faster for us, and then, I am taking Office Manage Catherine and volunteer Gill out for the afternoon. I am going to buy them lunch and some drinks and say a huge thank you to them both for all the work they do. They both put in so much time and love and sheer hard graft to keep WMYP going that I want to love them right back and say thank you.

And then we”ll be back, bright and breezy, on the 24th.

There are also a few days where I will be away – at an awards presentation, pitching for £10,000; at the hospital (eek) and on supplier and other factory visits. On those days, there will be no-one around in the afternoons but we will pick up and respond to emails and voice messages the very next working day.

Now feels like a good time to say, too, thank you to YOU. So many of you have been with us for so long. Right now we’re growing – and there have been growing pains. We’ve let some people down recently and we need to work out how we can best use the limited staffing we have in the office to best effect to get us good and big so that we CAN have a customer service team, a marketing department and an IT department. We don’t want to let you down. We want to get big, make more jobs and continue giving YOU good pants days. We hope you”ll enjoy being along for the ride with us.

Thank you :)

Becky

 

**EDIT July 18th – We’ve also just found out that I am a finalist in an award and need to do a presentation in Birmingham! It’s at 10 am on Tuesday 29th so I’ll be travelling up in the afternoon of Monday 28th July, meaning that there will be no-one around then either.

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Uncategorized

Dinner for two, with a view

It’s not often that you get to watch ferries and container ships pass by

photo 3

out of your window while you eat your dinner but that’s exactly what happened just over a week ago, when I was able to take our wonderful placement student Hannah to a great local restaurant.

Kuti’s is a well known name in good food in Southampton and the surrounding areas. They have four restaurants and when they asked for bloggers to go and eat and review the Royal Thai Pier I have to say I jumped at the chance.

I’d booked for a post work dinner on a Monday night. Hannah was coming to the end of her time with us and I wanted to take her somewhere lovely as she’d worked so hard and contributed so much to WMYP. The Royal Pier looks beautiful as you approach it and from the moment the door was opened by a smiling woman who ushered us in, I knew we were in for a lovely time.

The weather was good and we were able to sit next to a window in the Waterfront View Room and idly watch sail boats and container ships pass each other. At 6.30 we were only the second table of diners but by the time we left, the room was happily buzzy.

Kuti’s talks about the service being ‘discreet’ which is is but it’s attentive too, so you’re never left waiting long. We ordered the vegetarian set meal for two and this is the ONLY Thai restaurant I have ever been to that acknowledged immediately that this meant there would be no fish sauce or oyster sauce, and, ‘sorry, but the prawn crackers aren’t suitable’ for me as they aren’t vegetarian. Given that there is another Thai restaurant in Southampton which specifically states on it’s menu that ‘none of our dishes are vegetarian’ this made me feel immensely cheered and considered –  the standard offer for vegetarians is still, in many places, ‘well you could have that without the meat’ that consideration is something that I will happily pay for.

Our starter of vegetable tempura and other treats didn’t last very long – we had cycled there after moving loads of things around in the factory so were both pretty hungry. I can only show you what was left

photo 2 (1)

 

Not much!

The tempura was so light we spent a good few minutes musing on how it had been achieved. And the dips in their own right were amazing – and after this picture was taken most of what was left on the bottom of those little bowls was scraped out by us.

Then came the main course.  It was presented so prettily it was (almost) a shame to demolish and was served very nicely by the staff – I can’t commend them enough to be honest.

 

photo 4

It included a luscious green curry, and two dishes I’d never tried before – sauteed aubergines with chillies and sweet basil in salted bean sauce, and sauteed fresh tofu with cashew nuts in chilli oil. Aubergine and tofu have – in my experience – tended to easily become slimy puddles of sadness but in both cases here the flavours and textures were perfect. No slime – that’s what we like! Along with this we also had stir-fried mixed vegetables in soya sauce and steamed Thai fragrant rice.

We entertained the possibility of pudding but it was struggle to even manage the fragrant Jasmine tea.

By 8pm we had two very happy, full tummies. I hadn’t mentioned when I arrived that I was there with a view to write a review, but I did when I paid and the Operations Director Kamal came to meet me. He talked to me about what we do at WMYP and told me – as I already knew – that Kuti’s are big supporters of the local community. I particularly love that they are licenced for civil ceremonies – Southampton has precious little public access to the water and this would be a gorgeous place to celebrate.

I’m genuinely happy to say that the meal was delicious, the service faultless and the whole thing flawless.

If you do get the chance to go to The Royal Thai pier I hope you take it. Sometimes, when the cruise ships go out, there are fireworks and you could have dinner here and then stand outside (or stay in the warm) and watch them. Hannah and I both had a lovely time there and I hope Kuti’s continue satisfying tummies and supporting local activity for many years to come.

Most of our dinner was on the house so this counts as a sponsored post. But I’ll be going there again and paying. Worth every penny.

 

 

 

Filed under: Uncategorized

Will you help us? We want to challenge the whole way pants (and women) are pictured.

Next week we’re going to be in London – Hartland Road, near Camden market from 12-2 and Trafalgar Square from 4-6. And we want YOU to come along and answer us one question.

What three words sum up what you want from your pants?

We’re asking you this because we have a conundrum.

Here at Who Made Your Pants? we’ve always said we’re about two things. Amazing women and amazing pants. And it’s true. We think that our pants are gorgeous, and wonderful – they create jobs. How cool is that? And at the same time they are a little bit of fabulous for you, every day. They’re not about being looked at, about seducing, pleasing or appealing to anyone but you, the woman wearing them. They’re not about sexy.

We want images of amazing women wearing our pants. We don’t want to sexualise or objectify (and by that we mean that ‘slice of torso wearing pants’ style of shot as much as anything else) women. We want to show the amazingness of women – their strength, activity, liveliness, power, grace, sense of fun. And that pants don’t have to be about sexy. And in fact, they’re most often not.

But we really can’t think of many ways to take those kinds of shots. No pillow fights or ‘look we two girrrrls just happened to be in the same room pouting at each other’ – you know the type of thing we mean. So we want you to help us come up with new ways of doing things. When you tell us what you want from your pants we can start to use those ideas to help us.

And THEN it gets MORE exciting.

We’re working with Observer Ethical Awards ‘Best Dressed’ winner 2013 Ros Jana, and Dulux/Guardian photography competition winner Florence Fox and some other super (at the moment secret) women on this and we’re going to use these first answers to launch a photography competition this summer.

We’re going to ask EVERYONE WHO WILL LISTEN how they think we could style, shoot and make these images – and then one brilliant idea-haver will see their idea come to life later this year with a photo shoot, a wonderful model and a great photographer and it will be used to launch a new style of our pants.

So. There are three ways you can help

1. Come and find us in London 7th July and tell us what you want from your pants. Camden 12-2 and Trafalgar Square 4-6. We will be making ourselves obvious.

2. If you can’t join us, take a selfie/make a video telling us ONE WORD that sums up what you want from your pants and share it with us on twitter @whomadeyour instagram @whomadeyourpants #whatiwantfrommypants

3. Start thinking about how YOU would show women being amazing, in pants, and tell us on twitter @whomadeyour instagram @whomadeyourpants

We will build a montage of photos and clips that we and you take of YOU telling us this and then share that to help us get MORE ideas.

We want to change the way women are seen. We think we’re about more than being sexy. And we can’t wait to hear your  ideas for making that happen.

EDIT – July 2nd. We say above that the photo shoot later in the year will feature ‘a wonderful model’ – this is not to say that the winning idea has to include a single, solitary woman. It could includes twenty or two hundred women, – surprise us!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers