Who Made Your Pants?

Gorgeous Pants. By women, for women.

WOW! It’s almost time for the WOW festival (and you could get some free pants)

The WOW – Women of the World – Festival at the Southbank Centre has been a firm fixture in our calendar for a few years now. It’s a great weekend event of talks, debates, liveliness and exploration covering everything from politics, science and sex to fashion, war and power – even vajazzling –Β and we just love it. It’s not uncommon to see fabulous women like Sue Perkins. Jenni EclairΒ BidishaΒ Shami Chakrabati and the Vagenda team around the place and it just feels brilliant, positive and fun.

I genuinely love going and feel proud that we get asked back every year. It’s a fabulous place to meet women who are trying to make positive changes and opportunities, and to learn about new things that are going on.

This year we will be taking our massive blue suitcase of travelling pants back to the marketplace there – and we’d love it if you came and said hello.

And here’s where the free pants come in!

If you buy one of our lovely lovely logo T shirts from us on the 24th, 25th or 26th of February, and wear it to meet us at the WOW Festival, we will bring you some free pants!

All you have to do is write FREE PANTS and your pants size/style/colour in the text box that asks for a gift card message/alternate address as you checkout with your T shirt – we will bring those pants in your size to the WOW festival, and when you turn up in your T shirt, we will hand them over!

Here’s hoping to see you there!

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Pants, #TeamHonk Snowdon and Red Nose Day

We love this. We were part funded by Comic Relief and now we’re able to give something back. Kind of πŸ™‚

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Pumpkintastic!

Hello there pants fans!

There’s a tang in the air and it definitely feels like autumn is here and winter is around the corner. We’re had our first frosts here in Southampton and there was a fun pumpkin festival locally this weekend where I bought bright orange pumpkin bread!Β  Hope you are all warm and well where you are.

The work we do here with our team is as much about teaching employability skills as it is about making and selling our gorgeous pants. They are the vehicle, if you like, through which we provide the training and support that we do. Over the next few weeks we are focusing on precision and paying attention to the sewing machines.

Some of our machines look a lot like a sewing machine you might have at home. Others look very different and these do the more complex work that we need. Many of them have four threads coming in from the top and a bobbin, too, and we tread a fine line between wanting the team to understand them and be able to fix them, and not letting non experts loose on expensive bits of kit and damaging both the machine and their own confidence. When we pull out a bit of time, such as now, to do deep training, we are able to spend time on these tricky technical things. We think that having our team understand how to fix and maintain the machines they use will increase their feeling of ‘ownership’ of their tools and this as their space, and that in turn will add to their feelings of responsibility and pride.

I was in London last Thursday for one of the most amazing events I’ve ever been part of. October 11th was the first ever ‘Day of the Girl’ and I was asked to go ‘speed mentoring’ young girls on the London Eye at the eye watering 7.30 AM. It was great fun to meet the girls and the other mentors (PR guru Lynne Franks was wearing our pants, BBC presenter and documentary maker Cherry Healey has said she’d like to help us) but sad to be reminded that girls around the world are still routinely excluded for education and therefore control of their own futures. I came back more determined than ever to do more and better for the women we seek to support.

Your purchase helps us do just that so a sincere thank you – by buying our pants you’re helping us make a real difference but also getting yourself something lovely I think that’s a win win – hope you do too.

Very best wishes

 

Becky and the Who Made Your Pants? Team

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We found Buried Treasure!

Pants fans, we are excited!

We have happened upon one single solitary roll of the gorgeous hot pink lace we use to make our Pirate Pink shorts. They are usually made from lace that is 16cm top to bottom, and this new stuff is 23cm top to bottom.

This is them made up in the 16cm deep lace

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We’ve made a sample pair and they make up into really lovely vintagey feeling high waisted pants. Very 50s style in look, as the extra lace up to the waist clings and curves in creating a really flattering look. And the cling factor holds so they have our usual qualities of no VPL, forgetaboutability and all day comfort.

We’re going to make just a tiny number, about 40 pairs of these. The current Β£5 off offer holds for them until the 16th October too. If you want them, move fast – three pairs have been snapped up already and that’s from one email and one tweet!

Drop us a line to hello@whomadeyourpants.co.uk telling us your size – if you’re an exisiting customer we can just ping you a payment link.

When they’re gone they’re gone!

Becky

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We showed the Green Party leader our pants :)

Howdy doody pants fans!

How are you all this week? Well and happy we hope.

We had a very exciting week here at Pants Central last week – the new leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett came to see us! We were really pleased to show her around and every one of us made delicious food to welcome her. It was really interesting to see through an outsider’s eyes how we are perceived, as even though is what we do every day it’s easy to get caught up in the details sometimes. We’ve no affiliation with any political party – we’ve previously shown local MP Dr Alan Whitehead around too and have regular open days too, to which anyone (including you!) is welcome to come. Next one, December 4th.

Our team are still learning how to make our new Rosalind design of pants, and the precision that we are seeking to teach is coming through. We’re not setting any production targets for them yet but we’re looking forward to doing so, as we’ve been doing that for a while with our lacey Aimee shorts. There’s a whiteboard in our corridor where we report back to the team on how many they made against target and whether they were up or down, in percentages. We finish it off with a smile (or unsmiley!) face for a quick, at a glance, ‘are we happy’ report. They love looking there, and we’re building this board up as being a central store of knowledge. It’s one way of connecting the team to the rest of the business, so that, in time, they really understand how their work contributes to our ongoing existence.

Speaking of contributing to our ongoing existence…. We’re doing what we do to build a better world for women, and not just right here in Southampton. We believe that business can be good, that jobs are important and that earning wages is empowering. By buying from us, you are voting for a world where things are better. We’re glad to be heading there with you – and if you can help this happen faster by telling your friends about us, well, we’d be thrilled. If you’re on twitter, we’re using the hashtag #buildabetterworld and we’d love it if you did too.

Big love and best wishes

Becky and the Who Made Your Pants? Team

@whomadeyour #buildabetterworld

News in brief…

Becky went to a fantastic Space Weekend at local science centre Intech and held moon rock, Della’s been to a family wedding, Amy stewarded a twilight run for a cancer charity, Zuhra is being nagged by us all to give us the recipe for her delicious rice, Sacdiyo’s children’s hamster died :-(, Samia is attending extra classes, Batol has perfected making Turkish Delight, Yasmein is still missed, Nisha and Jackie is planning to put her decorative writing skills to good use

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Fit, Sizing and riding up

We’ve been asked a few times recently about the fit of our pants, specifically about the question of ‘riding up’ and so I think the time has come to write a bit more in depth about our styling, sizing and fit.

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Our two current styles, Aimee and Rosalind, are both designed to fit and cling closely without any elastic to hold the pants up. The stretch and cling all comes from the fabric. To make the fit perfect, we fit a size ten on our designer, and a size 16 on me, and that way we know that our styles work for real women at either end of our size range.

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Neither of our styles gives full coverage of the bum – the back panels sort of skim across halfway down the buttock, and this is where the scalloping on our lace ensures no VPL.

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Now. What that doesn’t tell you is that our pants have a centre seam. This is – and there really is no other way to say this without sounding like a double meaning is intended – a divisive issue. Some women love it, and find it perfectly comfortable. I honestly can’t feel my pants on me right now, and I am concentrating on trying to! Other women can’t bear it. In many cases, this relates to women who are used to a traditional ‘brief’ shape which has elastic at the waist and leg, a single panel of fabric going from side seam to side seam, and gives quite full coverage. If that’s what you are used to, our pants will absolutely feel different on. This centre seam is part of what makes the fit so good but it has to be said, it is designed to, er, fit snugly between the buttocks, and so, what I might feel as ‘snug’ someone else might feel as ‘riding up’

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Saying all of the above, we’ve reviews on our site by women who have loved their comfort while running marathons and doing zumba classes.

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I think what it all comes own to is personal preference. And what you’re used to. If you have worn centre seam type shorts from other places, and know what you are getting in terms of fit, then I would be confident you’ll be happy with our pants. If you are looking for something a bit more ‘brief’ type, I’d say watch this space until we bring out side seamed pants.

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In all cases, do do please be aware that our sizes are designed to CLING and the pants WILL fall down if you buy them too big. We’ve been told by a number of women that they ‘always’ buy pants a size too big to prevent digging in. No elastic = no digging in so that problem isn’t going to occur, but you may well find the pants move about and feel a bit odd if you buy too big a size. If you’re an M&S/Next type of shopper buy your usual size. If you’re between sizes, go down not up. If you are a Top Shop/Miss Selfridge/Zara type shopper, you may find our sizes a bit generous, so again, go down a size rather than up.

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We’re ALWAYS happy to talk through any sizing questions over the phone – call us on 023 80225536 We aim to make every day a good pants day – let us make than happen for you!

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Becky

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Welcome back Samia!

Hey hey pants fans!

I totally failed to get a newsletter written last week – I came straight back from my holiday and into a couple of days work in London so item just ran away with me. So I have lots to tell you today!

I had a lovely time away but it is always great to come back. News that happens during absence seems to feel more momentous, and two bits of it were. In utterly, utterly joyous news, our gorgeous Samia is back from Afghanistan. She brought us all (all!) presents, including beautiful hand embroidered tops in perfectly chosen colours for me, Della and Zuhra. She also *drools* made a lovely coriander filled potato and cauliflower dish for us, which lasted all of about ten seconds.

As is often the way, though, as one door opens, another closes – or something – and our cheery chatty Rhama has had to leave us. We’ll miss her and hope that we can find a way to work with her again.

In the workshop, we’ve been both making up our gorgeous new black lace into our Aimee shorts, and training has been going well on the new Rosalind pants. Our volunteer Amy has told us that she thinks the quality of the pants made in training is higher than the high street. Who are we to disagree πŸ™‚

In other parts of the building, we’re now partnering with a local college and have English lessons here one morning a week. These aren’t for our team, but are part of our softly softly strategy to get local women to know who we are – they learn fast, two have already asked for a job! Sacdiyo has joined the class, as well. The classes are noisy and fun, which is A Good Thing for learning to be.

Speaking of learning, we’ve had a number of discussions about upcoming exam changes and the difficulties with writing in English. Imagine doing a maths exam in a language that’s not your first language. You might get the maths wrong because of your English, which – though clearly unavoidable – must be really frustrating.

Anyhow. It’s good to be back – and not just because I love the hugs and kisses I get after I’ve been away πŸ™‚ Thanks for your support of us and what we do – every pair of pants YOU buy helps build a better world for our team. We couldn’t do it without you.

Big love

Becky and the Who Made Your Pants? Team

News in brief…
Becky is brown but happy to be home, Della has a new gadget (iphone5), Amy has joined the gym and is going regularly, Zuhra and Sacdiyo have been teaching Samia to make our new pants, Batol is missing Yasmein, Nisha has some more theatre sewing work, and Jackie is enjoying working on her brother’s boat.

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Of crowdfunding, Mo Farah, sample sales and our Rosalind pants

Hello pants fans!

Hope you’ve managed to get out into some of this elusive sun! It’s teasing us, we think.

It’s been another busy week at Pants Central. Our gorgeous and so comfortable new Rosalind design is now on sale and was named in a public vote via facebook and twitter – lots of votes too for Ada Lovelace and Amelia (Earhart) so we’ve plenty choices to come for our next styles. It was great fun watching people nominating names and then commenting on each others suggestions.

As our team are off for Ramadan, we’re having a seasonal sort out and tidy up. We were very excited to find some samples from way back when we started our Aimee shorts. There are about 30 pairs, in a couple of core colours – Black, Red, Purple – but have different arrangements and colours of bows. Some are a very patriotic – red pants with red, white and blue bows on! As beautiful as they are, they never made it into production so we’re selling these off at half the usual price through August, and when they’re gone they’re gone!

Our crowdfunding initiative is going from strength to strength. We’re raising money to buy a new sewing machine and training materials, to teach new skills. Fundamentally though what we are teaching is versatility, precision and attention to detail – core employability skills. We’re just doing it, as we do with everything, through the power of pants.

We need to raise just Β£6000, have raised Β£2160 already – and we think that just 45 more people will make it happen.

The campaign is live here http://buzzbnk.org/wmyp Pledges start from Β£0 to be a cheerleader to Β£15 for which the kind person gets a thank you card and discount code with various intermediate levels all the way up to Β£300 for which the kind person gets hand delivery of pants to London, tea at the Royal Society for the Arts, a limited edition shirt, new pants, current pants, a thank you card…

One of the things that we love about working with our team is the connections we start to feel. I think every single one of us cheered when Mo Farah won the 10,000m race the other day. A number of our team are from Somalia, we eat Somali food here and love it. One of the Somali women we’ve worked with in the past described abuse directed at her and her children right here in Southampton – I really hope that Mo’s win will give those people who think ‘refugee’ is a pejorative term pause for thought and that they’ll be proud of his achievement.

Anyway. Thanks a million for supporting us with your purchase. We love what we do, and we simply couldn’t do it without you.

Becky and the Who Made Your Pants? Team

News in brief…
Becky is getting excited about her week off exploring York, Della is getting on well with her new ukelele, Nisha is off to Poland for three weeks, Amy is learning about tax law and seems to be enjoying it, and Jackie has been enjoying prettying up our gift wrapping

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Pants – and science!

We just sent this press release… Exciting, yes?! We’ll be there every day, too!

WHO MADE YOUR PANTS? SOUTHAMPTON’S VERY OWN KNICKER BUSINESS, IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE IT’S SUPPORT FOR THE FIRST EVER WINCHESTER SCIENCE FESTIVAL.

 

Gorgeous pants and Science might seem an unlikely combination but the connection lies in the commitment both organisations have for supporting and promoting women.

 

Managing Director Becky John said, ‘Who Made Your Pants? is all about empowering women, and science is still an area that is often thought to be ‘men only’. Many of us were put off science at school and it can remain a closed book, something that someone else does. As someone who has, as an adult, grown to love the way that science helps us to understand our world, I’m passionate about enthusing women and girls with the curiosity to poke things and ask what makes this work?

 

Winchester Science Festival’s aim to promote women in science, and the fact that over half of the speakers in this inaugural year are women, is a delightful testament to the fact that this is not ‘men only’ – we just need to show it off.’

 

Festival Director James Thomas agrees, ”The fantastic rise in public interest in science has started to chip away at the traditional ‘old men in white coats’ image of scientists but Winchester Science Festival also aims to try and dispel the ‘men’ part of that misconception. From Hypatia in ancient Greece to Rosalind Franklin’s pivotal role in the discovery of the structure of DNA, women have always played a crucial role in the advancement of science and I want to celebrate this at the festival’.

 

The Festival programme has been carefully planned to include a broad range of subjects and a full young person’s programme will run alongside the adults’ events.

 

Talks range from Dr. Tori Herridge discussing her latest discovery of Dwarf Mammoths on Crete to

Professor Jim Al-Khalili sharing his love of paradoxes found at the cutting edge of physics.

 

 


 

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New Pants! Coming soon!

Hello there!

The bonanza Bank Holiday is over and it’s back to earth with a bump. Hope you enjoyed your time off, whatever you did with it. We’re back in to some exciting new developments….

A lot of thought goes into our pants. We’re an empowerment project using work to support and nurture women, so our designs reflect what our team can do well, quickly, to build confidence, and then how we can best develop their skills by incorporating new designs, stitches etc. Our current pants use three different machines and stitch types, and so to develop skills, we need to move onto a new design. Conversely, until the skills develop, we can only make one design…

Emma came to visit us last week and brought with her a variety of patterns and examples and we have settled on what will be our next design. I’m not saying much yet as I want it to be a grand new thing, but I have been fortunate enough to have to wear test (I know, my job is tough at times…) an example and it’s lovely. It will introduce a new type of fabric, and will introduce new cutting techniques, new stitches and – in many ways – a level of flexible thinking that is critical to empowerment. Confidence is a fragile thing at times and while we know that our team are, and have been for a while, confident in their abilities with our lovely lace shorts, it’s quite a thing to move onto something different. We don’t want them to feel ‘can’t do’ so the transition into a new product will take a bit of support and management by us. Watch this space for more…

In other very happy news, Emma also approved a gorgeous white lace. We have rejected over 20 so far as not being good enough but we’ve wanted to offer a basic white short and so are really pleased. This will be at the same price as our basic black Β£12.50 and you can pre order them now, along with a White Working Week gift set including 5 pairs of white, and a Your Basic Week including three white, three black and one of our gorgeous shocking pink. Find them all here http://whomadeyourpants.co.uk/shop/pants.php

That’s all for this week. Hope you have a good, summery one!

Becky and the team

News in brief…

Della has definitely booked a holiday, Becky got a perfect view of the sun SECONDS after the Transit of Venus finished, Samia has mastered a new edging stitch on our baby overlocker machine, Sacdiya has been learning to pick and pack pants, our volunteer Amy has finished her Maths degree and is no longer a student, Hawa and Batol are learning a new stitching technique, and Yasmein and Zuhra are studying for exams.

Our open day is coming up! Read all about it here

https://beckypants.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/come-and-meet-the-people-who-made-your-pants/

and book here http://whomadeyourpants.co.uk/shop/misc_products.php?misc_id=21

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