Who Made Your Pants?

Gorgeous Pants. By women, for women.

Happy birthday Emily!

We love a reason to celebrate here at Who Made Your Pants? and today and tomorrow we’re marking two important dates with £5 off all of our ‘Rosalind‘ pants.

Today, April 15th, is our amazing Emily’s birthday. Emily is a graduate of the world renowned Contour Fashion degree course at De Montford University, Leicester and is building up her own business as a designer and volunteering with us while she does so. Em tends to wander around our factory singing quite a lot – she’s a cheerful soul! Em also makes great savoury pancakes and was the backbone our our Pancake Day celebration this year.

You may know that we celebrate birthdays here with offers on the birthday person’s favourite pants – well, our Emily has actually struggled to pick and so while she has called our soft and lovely ‘Burnt Caramel’ ‘a great winter pant’ because of the warm soft jersey, we’re combining her birthday offer with marking another date too and we’re giving you £5 of three different pairs of pants, all of our Rosalind shorts, through today and tomorrow.

Our pants are for ‘Women Who Want to Know’ and tomorrow, April 16th, is the 55th anniversary of the death of a woman wanted to know A LOT. Rosalind Franklin, whose important contributions to the world of science often go unmentioned, had a particular interest in structures at a tiny, tiny level – she made critical contributions to work around understanding the actual structure of DNA including taking fantastic photographs of the soon to be famous double helix. There are scientific awards in her name and while we can’t claim to match those, our ‘Rosalind’ pants were named for her as she won our poll of Unsung Women last year. We loved that so many people suggested and then voted for her and we hope to be part of the choir turning her from an unsung hero to a sung loud one!.

We hope you’ll join us in our celebration even if you can’t join us with birthday cake – shop the offer here until 23.59 on Tuesday 16th April.

 

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Now you see it, now you don’t… hello sunshine!

Good morning everybody! Isn’t it a gorgeous day! Has summer… really… arrived? Quick, get out there and enjoy it! After you’ve read this of course.

Things at pants central have been as busy as ever over recent weeks so there’s not been time for writing. All kinds of things are going on. Two of our fabulous and long standing volunteers have given notice – one is moving to Vienna, another to Reading. We’ll miss them both, loads, and more so the fact that they won’t be able to join us on our annual picnic!

We’re way ahead on our production schedule now, which is fantastic news, and we’ve Christmas pants all over the place. I have been wear testing and they are GORGEOUS. Assorted photographers have been through our doors and we now have some really brilliant shots of the pants that are fun and show off their colours. One thing I love when I go out selling is that people say how beautiful the colours are. I always reply that I’m too fussy about underwear to let anything that’s not gorgeous get made. I really do think that things that are pretty much necessary, like undies, might just as well be gorgeous. Why not have a little bit of lovely, every day, just for you?

I’ve been to a couple of awards events recently, and spent time with some brilliant people at both. At the Ogunte Women’s Social Leadership awards my friend Heidi came along with me and we had a very jolly time. I met Sam Roddick* of Coco de Mer and was a bit blown away when she told me she’d looked at our website! The next event I attended was Co-operatives Congress, last weekend, in Birmingham. It was at the Hilton Metropole and I kept getting lost – the hotel complex is VAST and it would have been entirely possible for me to have not gone outdoors from Friday when I arrived to Sunday when I left. We were shortlisted for two awards there, and one at Ogunte, and while we won neither, I was so proud of us getting to the final stages.

At the Congress awards dinner, I sat with Alastair Mumford of Topsham Ales, Tara M from The People’s Supermarket (who very deservedly won an award) and Vicki and Margaret of the Star Inn in Salford. Wine and chat flowed and it really was lovely to be around so many like minded co-ops type folks. Not to mention meeting all the Co-operatives UK people. Co-ops UK is the national body for co-ops, and we’re members of them and get support from them. I’ve spoken to them loads on the phone and it was great to put faces (and in some cases hugs!) to names. Some potentially very exciting stuff is coming out of Congress too – I met someone who works for a regional co-operative group that has department stores… they don’t buy from manufacturers or wholesalers independently but have to go through a buying group… and they want t introduce us to the group… We may still yet find that this doesn’t work out – it is more expensive for us to make things than for other people and there are certain mark ups demanded by some shops that we just can’t meet (some want 450% – that means that if they want to sell our pants at £10, they want to buy them for UNDER £2.50) but it is a very very good place to be.

The Royal Society for the Arts (RSA) is turning out to be a great network to be involved in. I’m delighted to say that a wonderful woman, another Fellow, has agreed to mentor me, and I am really looking forward to that. Two other Fellows have been providing me with business and financial advice and I am feeling that we have a much more stable footing now.

We’ve got some baby news! Our fouth wmyp baby was born a few months ago, to one of our longest standing workers, and we’re going to meet her tomorrow. We’ve scheduled co-ops training for tomorrow but I’m wondering how many women will be able to come – I’m not sure how the strikes are going to affect schools around here.

I’m going to round up quickly but there are two more things to say.

First, I’m changing the way I use twitter a bit – or rather, I’m making it clear that the @beckypants account is my personal one. I’ll tweet about work there, for sure, but I also want to be able to tweet abut the current political situation in a way that is clearly not linked to my job. The @whomadeyour account will be the whomadeyourpants? oficial twitter feed now.

And last, It’s summer – honest! Our colour of the month for June is Midsummer Mint and or June box set is called Blue and Green Should Never be Seen. And to the end of Co-operatives Fortnight – July 9 – we are giving 25% off all products on our site with code FRIENDS. Gift sets work our brilliantly – the Working Week should be £55 if all 5 pants and two postage were bought separately. It;s usually £40 for the set and with 25% off, it’s down to £30! BARGAINATIOUS!

Have fun in the sun folks – more soon!

*yep, Anita’ and Gordon’s daughter

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Do you read the Guardian? We were in it!

Well hellooo everybody!

What a week it’s been! Since my last posts about the picnic, the fountains and the new collection, so much has happened – as always! I find myself saying to people, ‘it’s been such a busy few weeks’ and then I realise I say that every few weeks..

Well, anyway, The last week has been extra specially exciting as we have been in The Guardian! We were featured in the Guardian Society pages last Wednesday, July 28th, and things have been a little bit insane since. We’re getting lots of phone calls, orders and emails, and we’ve had to scramble new procedures into play to cope with it all. We have forms to help our newer volunteers answer the phone and we’re taking on new ones to help out.

The article is here if you haven’t seen it

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/jul/28/ethical-knickers-sweatshops-collective-women

and it;s been linked to and references in India, Australia and the States! Exciting times! We’ve even had a contact from a documentary company! No idea what’s going to happen there, but it’s great to have even been contacted.

The publicity on Wednesday and Thursday were brilliant and my twitter habit became all consuming as were getting tweeted and retweeted and mentioned and linked to – it was great. We ended up on the Guardian eco stream as well as the society and main news one, and through the wonder that is twitter, we’ve managed to find a photographer and a fab fab cupcake company to help out with our upcoming photo shoot! It’s planned for next Thursday, 12h August – my 34th birthday! We’re hoping for sunshine so we can have some lovely natural light and the fabulous Heidi from http://www.cherryonthecake.org.uk has promised us some gorgeous cupcakes to set off the shoot nicely. Very very exciting! We’re also launched pre orders with DISCOUNTS – check our facebook page, my twitter feed or archive blog posts for details (you have to work for it!)

Thins seem, all of a sudden, to be a bit settled in the office. Not that there aren’t day to day disasters and hicupps, but that we’ve a constant stream of volunteers, there’s nearly always someone around to answer the phone, and the place is generally busy and buzzing. We’ve also got a placement student, Amy, in this week. She’s studying at Leicester De Montford University with the wonderful David Morris, who gave me my very first proper advice and introduction to the wonderful world or knicker making. Amy is really keen and even took pants home last night to sew bows on by hand in front of the TV!

The pants are looking GORGEOUS and I’ve worn two pairs now, a red and a black. They feel amazing. The lace is really comfortable and the fit is brilliant. THANK YOU EMMA KIDD! There are two women who have walked into whomadeyourpants? Over the last year that I know now have made themselves indispensable. Step up Della Cunio and Emma Kidd.

Della is almost indescribable. I think of us as standing back to bak, me looking out and talking to all the outside people – finders, press, customers – and Della looks in, managing everything inside here. As a big part of that she supports me – my head can go so fast sometimes it’s like a zoetrope, and Della has shown me that it’s better for everyone if I go and talk it out with her. If you ever come to see us and I’m lying on a table talking to Della, it;s because my head is abut to burst.

And Emma Kidd. Our Associate Product Designer and Development. Without her fab new patterns, I suspect we’d be really struggling. These new pants are so pretty, and so easy to make look brilliant. They are no walk in the park to make, there is effort and challenge, but the end result is stunning. I can’t wait for you to have them and agree with me!

I’ve got to rush off now – I’ve had eczema on my face for months and I’ve managed to get a cancellation appointment at the Doctor so I need to be there in 20 minutes.

Have a good week folks – thanks for your continued support, emails and calls. I’m constantly chuffed that my bonkers idea for pants has caught your imagination.

Becky

🙂

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We don’t want your money. Yet. (New pants, special offer. Woo!)

Right folks, I’ve been excitedly talking about our new collection for a while now and we hope (the red threads are apparently drying after dyeing. We were told to expect them end last week and they are not here yet…) to have some of everything made by the end of the 11th August. It’s my birthday on the 12th so how wonderful would it be if they were all ready and everything was good! Fingers crossed. The collection proper is due for launch during September (the sewing team will be observing Ramadan August 9 to September 11 so we may be down on attendance) but we’ll be building stocks up until then.

We’re delighted to be able to say that we are, from today, accepting pre orders for our new collection. Just like Jasmine, they are £10 a go, and P&P for one or two pairs (two is the most we can get in the box) is £2.50. We’re not taking your money (yet), just your orders. We’ll add your orders to our database when the pants are ready, send you an email and (if appropriate) a discount code, and bob’s your auntie, all you’ll need to do is log in and pay.

My very bad photos below will show you the very first attempts at pants in each colour – they will all be finished with a hand stitched flat flower bow centre front, scarlet on red, pink on purple and purple on black.

Everyone who ordered pants last time will be eligible for a 20% discount, and everyone who orders via twitter or facebook will be too. All you need to do is email pantsfutures@whomadeyourpants.co.uk with the following info

Title
First Name
Last Name
Address
Postcode
Contact number
Size
Choice of colour
How many pairs you want
Have you ordered before?
What was the special secret twitter offer secret code?
What was the secret special facebook offer secret code?

Very bad photos here ravishing red pants, perfectly pretty purple, brilliant beautiful black

Let me know what you think folks. Feel free to pass on the offers to friends.. spread the love

Becky

x

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