Yes indeed, this post is about who made my pants. Why? Because it’s an important question, that’s why. And it’s not only my pants (or yours) – the question could equally be – Who made my jeans? Who made my phone? Who made my milk? For 99.999% of the stuff I own, I don’t have a clue who made it. The supply chain for most of the stuff we tell ourselves we can’t live without is so vast that it is impossible to discover who, actually, did make the vast majority of it. But one thing we can all be pretty sure of – it’s not the folk that made our stuff, that benefit from us having bought it.
This bothers me. I would consider myself to be a reasonably ethical purchaser, yet really and truly, I know that pretty much every day, I’m lining some corporate fucker’s pockets, at the expense of the people who are squashed into an anonymous, frightened heap at the bottom of the supply chain. It bothers me – but I feel powerless to do anything real about it. So I muddle on, trying to do the best I can, and trying not to listen too much to the guilty voices in my head.
Well – luckily for the world, there are some amazing people out there, who don’t just ‘muddle on.’ And one of those amazing people is Becky. Becky set up a company called Who Made Your Pants back in 2008. In a nutshell, Who Made Your Pants exists to create work for women who would otherwise not have any, and, of course, to make luscious pants! Have a look – they really are lovely. And best of all, they come with a little tag attached that tells you who actually did make your pants!
I’m not going to shy away from the fact that the cheapest pair of pants these ladies make is priced at £12.50. Admittedly, my first reaction was ‘£12.50? That’s more than I spend on pants in a YEAR!’ (sad, but true – I must confess to being an M&S 5-packer for most of my born days). But then I got to thinking. If it costs £12.50 to produce a pair of pants, from remaindered lace that would otherwise end up in a skip, for a social enterprise that is not set up to make a profit, then what are the REAL costs of my bargain 5-packs, made who knows where in who knows what conditions? And once the thought had formed itself, I really couldn’t hide from it. So now, my pants drawer is being slowly but surely replenished so that eventually, every day I will know that at least ONE item I wear is making a real difference.
I wasn’t really planning on posting details of my (half now lovely, half still crap, old and holey) pants drawer on the blog, but in honour of Red Nose Day, Becky and the team are giving £5 to Comic Relief for every pair of these ravishing red pants bought by midnight tomorrow night – and I figured it might just be the excuse you need to treat yourself! 🙂
November 2014 – I’m joining this post up with Sam’s linky ‘The Truth About’ – click below for more truthful tales!