Who Made Your Pants?

Gorgeous Pants. By women, for women.

I know what your pants will look like, almost

Well, what a week it’s been!

On Saturday, the gig in support of whomadeyourpants? happened at the Half Moon in Putney. All the bands were amazing, and I’m hard pressed to say which I enjoyed most. For all I had to do nothing, I was really nervous before it started, but had a great time, and it was lovely to chat to people, notably an enthusiastic guy from New Zealand who bought a Tshirt, put it on straight away, and insisted on asking me who made MY pants. I had to say Marks and Spencer, but I hope that won’t be true for much longer. It was great to meet the bands in person and say thank you. scarlet/blonde and Nigel from madbouncydogs/electropuppy have been absolutely brilliant in setting it all up and I was really pleased to be able to say thanks with hugs to Dawn and Ditch – shame Nigel couldn’t make it, but there are hugs (and a pint) on tab waiting for him when we do finally meet. All in all we took about £680 quid from ticket sales and merchandise, which is a fine result. Suzerain, scarlet/blonde, The Blowups, VAHN, Nigel, all at the Half Moon, and everyone who came, danced and had fun – thank you.

I then had two days completely off work and cycled miles and miles with my friend Mark – over 60 miles in two days, it looks like. Beautiful weather, deer in Richmond Park and plenty stops for ice cream made it a really refreshing break before coming back in ready to rock on with work. Travelling must be a theme this week as on Wednesday the 27th, I drove 400 miles, to Macclesfield and back, with the excellent and wise June and Ria to meet a supplier. It took probably about ten hours driving all told, but the land up there was beautiful, we had plenty time to chat and get to know each other better in the car, and when we got there, we found some delicious fabrics. So, all being well, I now know what the first whomadeyourpants? pants will be made of. I’m meeting Ria tomorrow to look at designs, and then we’ll be able to work out accurate costings and, with luck, prices too. Hooray!

There have been some ongoing negotiations about our premises but even for someone like me who hates to count chickens, things are looking really promising. Currently, we are based at Fairways House in an office upstairs, but the plan has always been to move into a bigger complex of offices and spaces downstairs, next to a giant roller shutter door, which will be perfect for getting big rolls of fabric in and out. The current tenants of that space, sadly for them and their brilliant work, look to have to get smaller and take less space – but, for us, this means that we should have the space ready for when we start the actual sewing training in September. This fits with our plans to start selling on the first of December – so mark it in your diaries, pants for everyone’s Christmas present! In the meantime, I’m moving to the room next to the one I’m currently in next week (the neighbours want to expand and so it makes perfect sense), and so will be leaving the very first pants HQ. I’m quite sad about it, it’s been lovely to work here and it was the first place I really felt ‘ohmygod it’s really happening i’m in a proper office ohmygod’ type of thing, but a move feels like progress. To know that we’re in a temporary office because we’re waiting for the permanent one is a good feeling.

In a funny way, things are pretty quiet for me at the moment. The training is in hand, the business plan is being reviewed, the latest funding bid is being reviewed, the premises seem sorted, we can’t do much about starting sales and marketing til we have some samples, materials look sorted. I keep on finding filing cabinets and chairs that have been donated outside the office, so it’s a bit Christmassy every day! There are always a million and one details to complete – ethics and environment policies to write, more flipping funding bids to put together, a pile of stuff from the Health and Safety Executive to read – and there are some urgentish things too – find more women to replace the ones who dropped out because of childcare issues, finalise my job description and contract, find money to pay me (if you find any down the back of your sofa, may I direct you to our giant penny jar here ) but it all feels…under control. I’ve been told this feeling won’t last for long so I might as well make the most of it. We’ll see!

As well as the gig I mentioned above, Nigel has also, with the help of scarlet/blonde, Gothwin and others, put together a simply stunning album called whomadeyourmusic? Every artist (and there are some real crackers, old favourites of mine and new talent too) who donated a track has donated the royalty too, and if you want music for your ears before you can have pants for your rear, you can get it here here for just £6.50. Tracks have been donated by… in no particular order, just the order I remember them in…

New Model Army

Joolz

Howard Jones

Subgiant

ScarletBLONDE

Miserylab

New York Anxiety Attack

Kajagoogoo

Electromagnetic Impulses

Fisher

Victoria Conn

Katie Ellen

Sara Spade

…and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of them. When I was listening to the big haired Howard Jones and Kajagoogoo as a wee kiddie, and the awesome NMA and Subgiant as an adult, I’d never expected to have them hear of me, or my work, let alone support it, so it feels a bit weird!

We’ve some Tshirts and badges with the whomadeyourpants? logo on too, T shirts in mens XL, and S, M, L for women – not that that’s mandatory, you can have whatever size you like. They’re 100% ethical, supplied by the fabulous http://www.footprinters.co.uk, another worker co-op, and are ready to go too, all fundraising to get money together to keep the project going before – I’m working out how to sell them best online and will be in touch about that shortly.

Til then, enjoy the lovely weather everyone! And thanks as ever to everyone who has helped us along so far. Pants are getting ever closer!

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One Response

  1. Nigel says:

    T-Shirts and Badges will also be available from the MBD store very soon. Same link as above so you can buy a T-Shirt, a badge and a copy of WMYM all at the same time 🙂

    Just in case you’re wondering. ALL money goes to WMYP (apart from the paypal fees. They’re not budging – boooo!)

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