Do you know WhoMadeYourPants? Probably not! It was this thought that led Becky John to form the Southampton based co-operative WhoMadeYourPants? when she failed to track down pretty, ethical knickers for herself. Becky has been involved with human rights campaigning for many years as a member of Amnesty International, and she wanted to do something positive for others. WhoMadeYourPants? employs local Southampton women, marginalised through no fault of their own. About 80% of them are refugees who held good jobs in their home country, but have struggled to find work and settle into life in the UK, mainly due to a lack of English skills. WhoMadeYourPants? gives them a supportive, women-only environment to learn English, gain qualifications in sewing, hold down a part time job, and most importantly gain confidence.

So that’s the background info out of the way! I was prompted to blog about WhoMadeYourPants? because an article has just appeared in the Guardian. Press coverage has been steady, when the Observer mentioned them a few months ago they soon sold out of stock! I’ve been working with WhoMadeYourPants? as a press volunteer since October 09 and have met many of the workers. It’s really great to hear them speak about the opportunity they have been given, as many of the women barely left the house before. Becky hopes to expand the model across the country, and branch out to WhoMadeYourBra? but this will of course take time. I think the model is fantastic though, to use materials left over from the lingerie industry and manufacture something beautiful using local labour, here in the UK. Criticisms have focused on the cost of the knickers, £10 a pair, which compared to some High Street prices, yes may seem step. But compared to a lot of quality and designer lingerie it’s cheap! I hope this co-op gets the support it deserves, go on, get your guilt free undies!

I happen to know that a new range will be coming out soon, to replace the ‘Jasmine’ collection.

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