Who Made Your Pants

Yes, you!  Who made your pants?  No idea?  Nope me neither.  I mean I’ve no idea who made my pants not yours!  I’m not sorting through your knicker drawer.  honest.  But I’ve just found a company who have made me sort through mine.

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In my mini one woman war on pointless environment-destroying people-crushing stuff  I’ve had a ban on buying new since November 2011.  I’ve not been perfect but I’ve done OK.  It occasionally drives Chris mad – we are currently in a standoff over the patio.  Having sourced all the materials bar the last few bags of sand on Freecycle he is now threatening taking his wallet to a DIY superstore!  eeek

In particular I’ve been doing particularly OK on the buying clothes.  Or rather the not buying clothes front.  It helps that I’m a cheapskate and it helps that I’ve been buying chazzer shop or vintage clothes since I was a teenager but most of all it helps that I’m lazy.  I just can’t really be bothered shopping for threads, so I don’t.

There has been one desperate jumper bought as a student on a community placement in February.

I was cold but expected to look smart.  It was electric blue and cheap.

I fell and I fell far!  Not only was it new but It was from Primark!  Sorrow and shame.

Girls and Guys.  If you are going to buy new then at least buy from a company that even pretend to give a shit about their workforce and the world their workers live in.  Do not do what I do. If it makes any difference at all.  I do wear that jumper a lot.

I also bought this gorgeous dress which for some reason I got fixated on.  (I sold half my wardrobe on ebay and used the money to buy the dress and petticoat.)  Plus I got a bridesmaid dress and shoes for Eve’s wedding.  (Yes, that Eve).  I think I’ve bought a pack of socks and for the past 18 months that’s probably my tally of shame over.

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The dress of dreams

Not so bad.  However there is one thing I draw the line at, used knickers.  I’m guessing I’m probably not alone with that one.  For a while I dabbled with the idea of making my own.  From recycled materials.  Chazzer shop Tshirts and lacy net curtains etc.  This was during revision hell of final year exams.  I planned to set up my own business selling upcycled super hip knickers.  I’ve got the designs and everything.  You couldn’t make it up could you?  Needless to say once I sat my last exam and handed in my last bit of coursework I didn’t even fire up the sewing machine for one pair.  Pathetic.

So when I found this link last night I was over the moon.  Who made your pants combine two ethical business ideas. Upcycling waste fabric and caring employment.

They say

“We think that every day should be a good pants day, and that there should be a little bit of gorgeous under everyone’s clothes, something just for them. So we buy fabrics that have been sold on by big underwear companies at the end of season, stop them ending up as waste and turn them into gorgeous new pants that have a great start in life. They’re designed to sit flat under clothes, have no VPL, and be comfortable and all day fabulous.

We also think that it’s not really on for anyone to be made to work in bad conditions just for a cheap pair of pants. Who could feel lovely in something made in a bad place? So we make our pants in a great place. We’ve a little factory in Southampton where we create jobs for women who’ve had a hard time. The first job everyone learns is making the pants. We hope that all jobs within the business can be filled by the women as they gain skills though – if someone is interested in marketing, or finance, we’ll arrange training.”

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Pink Pants!

Unfortunately the pants aren’t cheap – but I guess that’s because they reflect the true cost of clothing.  It’s something we are usually shielded from – paying rock bottom prices in places like Primark for items that other people effectively pay for – with shit working conditions or polluted local environments.

On consideration I could probably afford a pair once in a while.  I’ve got by for the past 2 years not buying any new knickers so I hardly need to buy loads any time soon. In the future I plan to just buy a pair or two from these guys whenever I have some spare pennies.  Provided they last then it will be worth it.

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8 thoughts on “Who Made Your Pants

  1. Libi, I’ve been reading your last few posts and just loving your blog. We appear to be thinking about many of the same things – I laughed when I read your post about taking containers to the takeaway – I’ve just started doing the same thing at the butcher, and feeling completely daft.
    I’m totally with you on the ethical underwear thing – what a great company, and gorgeous knickers! Now to find one in Australia…

    • Ah you are far too kind. Thank you Jo. I woke up today to find that my lovely Chris secretly bought a pair of WMYP?’s for my birthday. They haven’t arrived yet but I am so excited! Good luck finding some frilly yet kind knickers in Oz. I promise If my insane luxuary knicker label ever comes back into being I will post across the globe. Probably best to find something a little more likely to post in the next 100 years however. 🙂

  2. Oooh, that is very good news, thanks. I will get on with saving up then, and calculating the dismal exchange rate while I wait for the review. Which model will you be getting? Will your blog shortly be turning into a Victoria’s Secret-style review platform for ethical undies?

    • Jo, I am so sorry for not replying sooner – work has been mad! Chris got me a pair of shocking pink Aimee shorts. They arrived proper speedily and I can honestly say they are super gorgeous. The packaging was pretty nifty – paper tape and all reusable or compostable and but still dead pretty. I’m having a bit of a dance for my birfday tonight so will road test the knickers and then get back to you in true Victoria’secret review styley.

  3. Yay for ethical pants! You should follow my friend Alana who’s set up her ethical personal styling company and is making it her mission to educate women on such issues! (@dressupcycle on twitter or http://www.dressupcycle.com). After quitting my job to run to Paris with Cam I am also not allowing myself to buy anything new (probably ever!), which is tough when everyone looks so immaculate and well put-together in Paris! But also very liberating – learning to make the most of what I have already 🙂 Great read Lib x

    • Thanks Rhianne, I remember seeing a link to Alana’s page last year and then couldn’t find it when I was looking for it more recently. Good luck with your buying nothing new in the city of style. 😮

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