A clever friend of mine once remarked ‘shopping is political’. And it is.
She also pointed me in the direction of something that has rapidly come to be one of my favourite things.
It’s called the Year of Pants.
And it works like this. You subscribe, then each month, you receive a pair of pants through the post (gift-wrapped in a very pleasing manner.) They are selected for you, and they are THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PANTS.
But the fact that the pants are so beautiful is not even the most remarkable thing about these pants. These pants are by WhoMadeYourPants?
They are made in a small factory in Southampton by women who are trained in the intricate art of lingerie production. Many of the women who work there are immigrants from places like Somalia and Afghanistan, all of them have had difficult experiences; all of them want to learn new skills and work.
This is what Who Made Your Pants is all about:
“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.”
What an astonishingly simple, wonderful idea.
(It’s also, on a practical level, a brilliant way of refreshing your underwear drawer, if like me, you’re getting bored of worn-out M&S multipack offerings.) Each pair of perfectly formed knickers that you buy comes with a little label telling you exactly who made your pants. So you really DO know exactly who made your pants.
By purchasing one pair of pants, you empower women, support sustainable manufacturing and contribute to the revivial of British manufacturing, all at the same time. AND you get a stunningly beautiful pair of pants.
See? Shopping is political.
If you want to read more about WMYP, or the way that they are revolutionizing the way that underwear is sold to women, then you could read the interview with Becky, founder of WMYP on The Debrief.