Have you ever wondered how many countries your pants have crossed before they end up in your shopping basket? Or how many hands have touched them before they reach the shop?
Becky John, social entrepreneur and founder of whomadeyourpants? asked herself those same questions and believing that everyone should be able to answer them, she set up her own business to do things differently. We interviewed Becky to find out more. You can read the interview in full on the Ooffoo website. Here are some juicy snippets…
When Becky John answered the telephone ‘Hello, who made your pants?’, I knew that I was going to enjoy quizzing her about her knickers. Becky, the founder of a Southampton based workers cooperative, had agreed to a telephone interview. She promised me I would be inspired and she didn’t disappoint! Becky is a buoyant and passionate woman, and I felt every breath of her story as she told it.
Becky makes and sells ethical pants using upcycled materials, with a team of volunteers and refugee women whom she is helping through the scheme. She dreams of a day when all knicker-wearers will be asking how many hands have touched their knickers before they reach the shop and how many countries they’ve crossed on the way to the shopping basket.
“I’d started to realise that I didn’t have to do what I didn’t want to do. I knew I was ready to make a big change; that I didn’t have to stay within the constraints of a safe job and a safe income. Putting these feelings together with my ambition to do something socially responsible and my love of knickers was a perfect match.”
“I love beautiful underwear – it makes you feel sexy and confident, but I didn’t want to compromise my ethics to have it… [ so I ] …decided to make and sell the kind of pants I wanted to wear.”
“I had begun to realise that women are just subjected across the world to crap messaging and societal norms that even in our culture don’t support women to feel as strong as they could. Having found my own strength I wanted to help other women to help themselves…Our motto is that we work with women who have never had opportunity, or have had it taken it away.”
“I had a job earning lots of money to do nothing. Now I am poor and busy, doing something I love. I’m so happy.”
whomadeyourpants? are members of Ethical Junction. View their profile here.