Flicking through a magazine the other day I came across an advert for Who Made Your Pants? (I’ll refer to them as WMYP) which is a worker’s co-operative based in the UK where they make beautiful lacy knickers out of fabric that is sold on by big lingerie companies at the end of the season, thus diverting it from landfill. The material is in good condition, it’s just that it’s left over and the companies are wasteful. Anyway, I had a look at their website and the pants are gorgeous. I want to own every pair! What’s more, they’re produced in good working conditions and the brand is even actively working to empower disadvantaged local women. Basically, Southampton, where their factory is, has a high population of women refugees from war-damaged areas in Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan who are often highly isolated. Many of them have never had a job before and haven’t been through education. WMYP employs these women and offers them training and support. They start off working on the production line and after a period are invited to join the co-op, meaning they have a vote in how the business is run and own part of it. They are also offered training to go into other areas of the business, such as marketing and finance. And if you really do want to know who made your pants, you can find out. Every pair has a little swing tag with the date of it’s manufacture on it. You can type the date into a clever app on their website and it’ll tell you who was working on the production line that day. How’s that for transparency in business?
On the about page of their website, is says:
”Who Made Your Pants? is a campaigning lingerie brand based in Southampton, UK. We’re about two things – amazing pants, and amazing women.”
Well how great is that? I think WMYP is awesome because they produce a high quality and beautiful product, whilst making a positive impact to the lives of people in their local area and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. This is such a great example of what I call a ‘future-facing’ business – a business that makes money out of doing good.
So why don’t you treat yourself to some pretty, ethical lingerie that’s bound to make you feel amazing? Or for you male readers… Don’t you think your lucky lady would be over the moon to receive such a gift? I’m sure she’d be singing your praises for weeks to come! At a price ranging from £12.50 – £28.00 per pair, (mostly £18.00) my only criticism is that they seem a bit on the pricey side. However, we’re probably all just a it too used to cheap garments with the real cost being borne by other people besides us… This is most likely just the price you pay for a quality product made with fair labour.
So anyway, I’d like to offer my congratulations to Becky, the WMYP founder, for starting something so great. I’ll be treating myself as soon as I’ve brought a Sunrise ticket!