So do you know? The odds are unless you made them yourself or can afford posh bespoke knickers you don’t. They are made in some anonymous factory far away in some place you may never see and may never have to worry about.
For some, myself included, this is a troubling thought. Yes I love going to certain shops and getting five knickers for a tenner but I know little of the story behind the garments. I also don’t have time to make my own. Realistically we really should know who makes the items that we use in our lives. We should know who they are, where they come from and that they are paid a decent, living wage (if not more).
That is why I love Who Made Your Pants? so much and why I am recommending them as a Christmas gift. Or a birthday gift or a whatever gift! Based in Southampton, England they say that are about “amazing pants and amazing women” and I can’t agree more.
The premise is simple, they buy up the material that is left over from manufacturing in the big underwear companies and they turn them into special pants for you and me. The designs are great. Comfy, snug fitting and absolutely beautiful. There is plenty of lace which I adore and they come in a range of colours and styles to suit all tastes. Now I wouldn’t go for a jog in them (others on the other hand have run marathons) but I find them perfect for nipping around town or for those special occasions where you like to feel beautiful.
The best part of the whole company is that you get to find out who makes your pants. The company is run as a worker co-operative and many of the women working for the company are refugees from places like Somalia, Sudan and Afghanistan. Many of these women have been through great hardships and are looking to start new lives for their families. Who Made Your Pants? gives them this chance by providing jobs, a creative learning environment and a sense of fun and belonging.
This personal touch goes through all the models of the business. When you get a pair of pants delivered a newsletter is included to let you know all about the goings on in the company. Information is also provided about the women who made your pants so you can get a sense of who they are and what they are like. There are personal stories for customers and profiles of the team on the website. A very active social media presence also adds to the enhanced levels of customers service.
So what can you buy? There are one off pants and a Christmas Holly and Ivy selection. There is also an annual subscription which means that you get one pair of pants delivered each month. I have this and I have to say I do get excited each time I am due a pair. It is great to open the box and get a fresh new pair of beautiful knickers. All without the guilt that you are potentially buying from a sweatshop, the details of this type of factory can be found on the website also just to remind everyone why we need businesses like Who Made Your Pants?.
I have not linked to the prices as they were a gift and I would be in a lot of trouble if I went looking. I understand that they are not cheap but for the quality, level of design, materials and to support this type of business model which is so badly needed across industries I would say it is well worth it (and you are left with a beautiful pair of knickers!)
I was going to post photos of the pants that I own but I love them so much that they were all in the wash! The pictures above all link to the store.
Edit: I just received my Christmas pack which had three beautiful pairs of pants contained inside along with some very tasty chocolate. There was even a card which was address to me and my partner who bought the subscription as a present. Now that is customer service!
You can visit the store here: Who Made Your Pants?