Who Made Your Pants?

Gorgeous Pants. By women, for women.

Go pants team, go!

Great news! Not quite a year since I started working on this full time, I have just been told that we finally have the team all pretty much signed up. 25 women have committed to learning and being involved, we’ve very nearly every scrap of paper we need from them, and most of them have actually started English classes. Hooray!

We’ve been struggling with getting women involved, not becuase they aren’t interested, but because childcare is elusive, expensive and vital. And I wrote a while back about how I *thought* we had the team sorted. But the childcare issue means we have had lots of drop outs from women who would love to be involved, but who have no-one to look after their little ones. But a call this morning form the fabulous Allegra at CLEAR http://www.clearproject.org.uk/uk, who is doing a brilliant job of being both in CLEAR and Pants’ Treasurer, and it really does look like we’ve done it. And while we were talking on the phone, another woman came forward too, so we should have 26 – which is great, as I suspect there may still be one or two more drop outs.

Our hope initially was to work with 10 women, but advice from June, the sewing and production trainer, suggested we could support 25 workers. I’d personally like to help every single one of the 80 or so women who have shown an interest, but I know it’s better to do a small good job than a big bad one. So this is the start.

The Sector Skills Council for Fashion and Textiles (which is shamefully being threatened with closure) can provide us with up to £600 per woman for training, and this will go a long way to making sure we get really thorough training. Which will go a long way to making sure we make fab pants!

Life in the office is currently a little bit dull. Documentation and filing and writing blinking funding bids is not what I enjoy most, but it all needs to be done and so I am doing it. Lovely Tara from Wessex Partnerships has done absolutely amazing work on a bid I hopw to send off on Monday, and she’s trawling through the business plan too. In my last job, I often had to support people on their own business plans, so I *know* it’s important, but in my head, a little voice is screaming ‘it is just going to work, ok, we don’t need all this detail’. That voice is getting a stern telling off. We’ve had a few rejections recently, so news of the £450 from Southampton City Council Active COmmunities team (for posters in a variety of languages for emergency situations) was very happily received, not just for itself, but for the fact it was a yes after a number of no’s.

In other news, whomadeyourmusic, the brilliant album of donated tracks, seems to have taken on a life of it’s own. Nigel of electropuppy is a one man marketing machine (thank you Nigel) and if I have it right, the album is now available for download from here http://www.madbouncydogs.com/store/index.php?selected_artist=36 and has been released as a physical CD from here http://www.dpulse-america.com/, both at £6.50. Nigel called me last week and I got so excited by what he had to say I got a bit muddled, but if I remember correctly, if we sell 1000 copies, Universal are going to get involved with distribution into outlets they work with. Whoda’ thunk it, eh?

I’m just getting photos together of Tshirts and bagdes; they too will be available for sale soon, hopefully by Wednesday next week. I’ll let you all know as and when…

And in a final exciting tale, I’ve a second meeting with Ria, who is desgining the pants, this afternoon. She had masses of designs, and we whittled them down. I hope to have something approaching the final ones today, which I’m then going to show to people and get some feedback on. Progress, progress, progress!

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