Who Made Your Pants?

Gorgeous Pants. By women, for women.

T minus 20 days

We’re smiling in the office today.

This time in three weeks our factory team will be back with us. Zuhra will be a married woman and we’re looking forward to photos and stories of her wedding. And we’re looking forward to our boisterous lunchtimes. It’s really not the same without ten people bustling around making tea and heating rice and getting jars of honey stuck to the table.

We’ve been incredibly busy while they’ve been away though. We’re still very much a tiny organisation – just me full time in the office, Catherine half time in the office, and volunteer Gill doing three part days. Between us, we pick, pack and post your orders, answer the phone and your emails, load our website up, plan new pants, order fabrics, go and visit other factories, order threads and bows and check lightbulbs and make sure the rain hasn’t leaked in (again) and write blog posts and newsletters and name pants and manage money and apply for investment and grants and pay the bills and the wages and order post it notes and paper and work out what the best way to make patterns is and a million other things that you’d never think of.

As well as all of that day to day stuff which keeps us busy, we’ve spent a LOT of time this summer working out ways of making things run more smoothly here when our wonderful colleagues are back. Small organisations like us are often caught in rock and hard place situations. You’re too busy to make a big change that would make you less busy. We’ve done one of these this summer – we’ve introduced a new order management system which generates all the order paperwork at the touch of a button AND prints out address labels. All of that used to be done manually – thirty orders could take five hours to process. On Tuesday, we processed 83 orders in four hours. This is a HUGE, huge shift and means Catherine is more free to do other things (like leave work on time more often, we hope)

And there’s more. From changing the layout of the machines to make the work flow more smoothly to designing new paperwork to make applying for holiday clearer, and up to working out what whiteboards in different part of the factory need to say so that everyone has all the info they need – and a little bit more too, just to stretch the brain – we’ve taken the opportunity to work out how we can make pants faster. Because if we make more pants in the same amount of time, that means each pair of pants makes more profit. And that means that the 75 women on our waiting list might start getting phone calls asking if they’d like a job.

We’re smiling in the office today.

This time in three weeks our factory team will be back with us. We’re looking forward to working faster with them, to making jobs for their friends.

And we’re looking forward to showing them the emails and photos you’ve sent us while they’re been away. ‘We’ is all of us. The factory team. The office team. And the supporters team – you. We – together – are doing this wonderful thing. Thank you.

 

We’re smiling in the office today.

 

 

 

 

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