Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Talking pants for justice

Today I thought I'd talk pants. Many of you probably think I talk pants most days but we'll let that pass.

I cam across a wonderful new-ish company this morning as I was trawling the Guardian website. This story alerted me to whomadeyourpants? a Southampton worker co-operative that utilises the skills of refugees and migrants in the manufacture of ethical underwear.

This is a fantastic project at so many levels...

In a world where most garment workers are still earning less than $2 a day (even in those workshops where companies are putting pressure to raise standards; see this report from the War on Want website), here's a company offering good quality jobs to people, paying reasonable wages.

In a world where fashion houses and high street stores are urging us to buy ever cheaper, almost disposable clothes of dubious provenance, here's a company making quality garments of good design quality that founder Becky Johns says you can wash and wash and wash without them falling apart.

In a world where people throw up their hands in the face of injustice and inequality, here's a company founded by a woman who said I can do something to make a difference. You can read about this initiative in an inspiring Guardian story here and check out the company's website here and Becky's blog here

And soon the company plans to offer ranges for men - we have ethical underwear needs too! So, if you're buying pants, ceheck out this site.

It's great to come across initiatives like this one; it lifts the spirits on a morning when the news from Afghanistan and Westminster is depressing to come across someone making a real and positive difference to the lives of the poorest and most marginalised in our society.

It inspires me to think what can we might be able to do here with the refugee projects that we have connection with.

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