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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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 🙂

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 🙂 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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Back to the Future

Hey hey pants fans!

I’m writing this on the 12th September so it can be sent out while I am away on leave. It’s always bit nervewracking to do that – you never know what might change or happen in the intervening time. So if by the time you get this, the media is full of dinosaurs resurging, or a lottery winner giving their winnings to charity or some other huge news… well, you’ll know why I’m not talking about it.

So, anyway – last week was an exciting week here. Our team are doing really well learning to make our gorgeous Black and Caramel Rosalind style. It’s lovely to see them progress, and be able to laugh at their early mistakes – it takes a level of confidence to be able to do that, and it’s great to see that growing. We’re not just about technical skills here – there is no sewing industry locally into which our team can transfer their practical skills. But the skills we are able to teach around team work, versatility, problem solving, team work, attention to detail, practising, quality – all of these skills are transferable across the board.

Our team has shifted a bit recently – Asma had a baby and so while she was insistent she’d be back, the busyness and tiredness that we predicted has kept her away, Yasmein has gone to the Sudan for a while – and the dynamic has changed. Often, our colleagues who share a language stick together at lunch – now that some of the ‘lynch pin’ members of those groups have gone, there is more mixing. There is more English being spoken as it is becoming the common language. We were sad to see colleagues go – even though we know they will be back – but it is actually working out really well.

We had a lovely little discussion last Tuesday about Battersea Dogs Home. Some of us Brits were talking about Paul O Grady’s current TV show and our team were looking a bit blank, so I explained about what Battersea Dogs Home is – and I also explained the word ‘soppy’ saying us Brits can get very soppy about our dogs and cats. The Brits in the office are fairly evenly split between having dogs or cats at home, and it was interesting to learn about the ways different cultures see certain animals. This then led onto a conversation about black cats, good and bad luck, walking under ladders and other superstitions. I find learning about these little things about cultures, that we all just know about our own, fascinating.

Time to go. Hope you are all having a smashing week and thanks for supporting our work. Every pair of pants you buy, every penny you spend with us, goes towards building a better world and a brighter future for real women. Love it 🙂

 News in brief…

Becky is away in Spain for her holiday, Della is keeping her bike in our office after a theft from the LOCKED work bike shed, Amy has visited sailing club. Nisha has been planning new training exercises for new recruits, Sacdiyo and Zuhra are enjoying training on the Rosalind style, Batol has started a class and Jackie is continuing to make gift bags.

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Our team are back today!

Howdy pants fans!

How was your Bank Holiday? We all had a great time – I went bike riding, and got rained on, built sandcastles, and got rained on, Della went camping, and got rained on, Amy went dogwalking, and got rained on, but we all had fun.

It’s a very exciting day today – our team are back in TODAY and well, have we missed them. The place is just not the same without them being here. We’re going to be introducing our Rosalind style to them very soon – our designer Emma and superviser Nisha made up the first batch to iron out any niggles in what’s called ‘the order of construction’ – basically how you do it, which steps and which order, and now we are going to be teaching the team to make them next. This will teach them new technical skills but it will also teach them that they are versatile – we talked about the word and concept recently.

Last week was also pretty exciting. I went on a very exciting trip to our suppliers with our brilliant designer Emma. We found some gorgeous new fabrics and Emma is now working out some exciting new things with them. We’re hoping to be able to roll out some pretty pants incorporating gorgeous printed fabrics very soon!

Our crowdfunding initiative is still going steadily but with just about eleven days to go we still need to raise the remaining 54% – £3240. If you could spread the word, we’d be so grateful! Some great people promoted it for us over the weekend – Dr Alice Roberts (BBC Coast; Incredible Human Journey), Dr Helen Czerski (BBC Orbit; Horizon, Transit of Venus), author Alom Shaha and Guardian columnist Martin Robbins. If you’ve not heard about it, we’re aiming to raise £6000 in pledges by mid September to fund a new machine (which can be used to make man pants as well as woman pants!) It’s live online here http://buzzbnk.org/wmyp Pledges go from £0 to £300 and every single one helps us grow.

I’m going to run off now, the team are due any minute and I forsee lots of hugs and kisses. Don’t want to miss those

Big love to you all and sincere thanks for your support

Becky and the Who Made Your Pants? Team

https://beckypants.wordpress.com http://www.facebook.com/whomadeyourpants @whomadeyour

News in brief…
Becky is recovered enough from her accident to cycle more than 3 miles at a time, Della slept well in her tent in the New Forest but was glad to get back to the football on telly, Nisha had a great time in Poland and is back talking about pickled vegetables, Amy’s been visiting family and is spending slightly less of her time reading tax books, and, Jackie has made us some smashing gift bags.

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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 £6000, have raised £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 £0 to be a cheerleader to £15 for which the kind person gets a thank you card and discount code with various intermediate levels all the way up to £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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