Meet your Pants Makers!

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Today is the 24th of February so in exactly two months it’s Fashion Revolution Day. The day where people around the world will remember the anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh that killed 1129 garment workers and injured many more.

Fashion Revolution asks people to turn their clothes inside out to ask brands “Who made my clothes?”

Last Fashion Revolution Day everyone who makes our pants from farmers to tailors, our `Pants Makers` turned their own clothes inside out to ask for more transparency.

This year we want to go a step further and link the Pants Makers with you, our Pants Lovers.

Giving makers and wearers a chance to talk to each other is a great opportunity to prove higher level of transparency in fashion supply chains is possible.

But, before asking the Pants Makers to link with you, we want to make sure you are ready to be part of a Value Chain Community of happy people.

There are Pants Lovers all over the world but the Pants Makers but don’t know where their Fairtrade and Organic cotton goes.

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Therefore, until the 24th of April, help them map out the Pants Value Chain Community by simply tagging on social media:

@ChetnaOrganic @Armstrong #India @Pantstopoverty #London your Pants are in #location #FashRev.

We want all you Pants Lovers telling us where our Fashion Revolution branded Pants are going.

Once the Pants Value Chain Community is mapped out, on 24/04/15 we will link Pants Makers and Pants Lovers to celebrate Fashion Revolution together as a big family.

For the occasion, we are having a Pants Flash events in London and all over Europe.  To know more join our Facebook Event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/345320609007193/

Finally, to get as many Pants Lovers involved as possible we just reduced our prices. Everything is now at £15, £10, £7.5​ or £5.  Tell your friends.

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We are back from India – The outcomes

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December saw the return of the entire Pants to Poverty team from a two month whirlwind adventure in India, back to London, just in time for Christmas!

This time in India facilitated the development of our 2015 strategy, our new collection (coming up in the summer), and most importantly, the strengthening and deepening of our relationships with the amazing people who make our pants!

Not only did this incredible adventure take our business to the next level, but it also helped team members Jaz, Rosie and Romain, truly understand the value of the work we do with the communities on the ground, and exactly why buying ethically is just SO important.

Nothing has ever got us as excited and motivated about what we do, than meeting our farmers and factory workers and living alongside them!

One morning, for example, in the rural, tribal village of Dhanora (P), a couple of the farmers took us for a walk into the fields to show us the Water Shed programme Chetna Organic (the company we work with), have helped them develop to effectively irrigate the cotton fields with rain water. There, in the middle of nowhere, we realised we were a bit peckish for some breakfast. The farmers promptly started a little fire with some wood and cooked up some of the grains in that very field…it tasted like popcorn and was absolutely delicious!

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We even followed up our breakfast by brushing our teeth with a bristly stick from a nearby tree – perfect for the job!

The farmers we work with live closely to and truly respect the environment they live in. Our job is to enable them to continue to do so; keeping their culture and biodiversity alive!

The farmers also clearly explained to us the benefits to them of growing organic cotton, and the true costs of using pesticides, not just to the communities but to the environment. Costly pesticides also led many farmers into a spiral of debt, leading to scarily high suicide rates amongst farming communites. It made it clearer than ever to us, that Organic Cotton is the future of the fashion industry, right from the source.

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So do your bit and support the lovely farmers by getting your world-changing Fashion Revolution branded pants here!

As a little pressie to you, and to make the decision even easier, use the discount code PANTSLOVE15 to get a 10% Discount 😉

To find out more about what we have been doing in India, check us out on Youtube,  Facebook andInstagram.

With Love,

The Pants Team xx

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Dhanora Tande – Cultural Deepening

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Whilst being guided through the cotton fields of our farming village Dhanora P, we stumbled across the tiny hamlet Dhanora Tande.

Dhanora Tande do not supply our cotton but have recently started working with our partners Chetna Organic and are in the process of becoming an organic farming village.

Our first arrival was incredible we were welcomed with dancing and singing and many many introductions. After sitting down, with a translator, we started to learn more about each other, for example,why many want to convert to organic farming, many mentioned health and money due to dangerous pesticides in conventional farming and organic premiums. During our talk we were also pleasantly surprised by the real sense of women participation in the village.

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Despite our impromptu arrival we received such generous ity as before we knew it someone had been round every household collecting just one chappati, to put us together a lunch.

Being just a few miles apart we were bewildered by the difference between both Dhanora Tande and Dhanora P, the difference in language, dress, wealth and community set up.

During our second day in the village our bond with the locals grew even stronger, the women brought out their best clothes and spent hours dressing and doing our (Jaz and Rosie’s) hair in festival dress.

 

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The men also put romain in a white Doti and shirt the tribal equivalent of a suit. The White should be perceived a smart and respected.

When the time came it was hard to say goodbye to such a beautiful community, but we will look forward to  re-visiting  the villagers and seeing their progress and benefits in converting to organic farming.

To see the pantastic Vlog from our time in Dhanora Tande visit our Youtube page. To catch up with the rest of the journey and get updates on future videos from our journey subscribe to our channel.

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Dhanora Pi Village – Cotton Picking


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Last week we swapped what would be our daily London commute, for an hour by Tuc Tuc from Chetna’s office in Utnoor to the Village of Dhanora Pi. Found in a restricted area the villagers of Dhanora Pi, part of the Gond tribe, lead a more basic Indian life style.

By working closely within the community, our aim was to learn more about their culture and lifestyle, how our work with Chetna helps them to live sustainably, and what can be improved.

Thursday the 6th was our first day of cotton picking. We arrived at half eight in the hot winter’s sun. Walking through the fields of cotton we passed many small plants, it was explained that the unfortunately monsoon had come late and destroyed a lot of crop, this meant the farmers had to replant.

Arriving in a beautiful white field we were shown how to pick the balls of cotton from a flower (about 4/5 balls per flower) at the same time, using each individual finger. Within minutes our lack of skill and experience became apparent as the other workers raced down the rows of cotton in the field.

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As they day we went on we started to get to grips with daily life in the village, arriving early to help with daily chores, we felt a real sense of friendship as the women helped us tie our sari’s and men with Romains lungi.

To the amusement of many we helped with morning chores and slowly discovered more about the lives of the people we work with. And by the end of our visit we had learnt hat the villagers wanted help to improve, education and water systems and this will be our next task within the community, and our next task is to develop solutions for them.

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Towards the end of our stay Jungabi mother and Guru of the village. Who started the first village school with her own money in 1987 and is now the oldest resident of the village and inspiration to many, laughed and sang thanking us for the work we our doing in the community. Her reaction to the Pants to poverty team and the work we are doing was one we will never forget.

At the end of our stay the villagers had a cultural party for us, all dressing in their best clothes we danced and sung and laughed until the time came we had to leave.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to be the first to see the amazing footage from our time in Dhanora Pi and the cotton field. Beautiful shots from early morning in te village to vibrant dancing on our final evening!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to be the first to see the amazing footage from our time in Dhanora Pi and the cotton field. Beautiful shots from early morning in te village to vibrant dancing on our final evening!

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Travelling in India

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Namaste (Hello) from India

6am Tuesday the 21st, the pants team made up of Romain, Jaz and I (Rosie), all met at Heathrow airport to travel to India to meet our boss Ben.

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Arriving in beautiful Mysore on Wednesday lunchtime we met Ben, Cameraman Chris and Photographer Fabien. We joined them just in time to see behind the scenes of a incredible shoot of the cotton to bottom process, the finished product soon to be published will literally make you hair stand on end.

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During our move to India as well as creating our new collection influenced by our makers and document the cotton to bottom process, we aim to commit complete cultural integration.

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By complete cultural integration we mean to completely leave our British cultural habits and engross ourselves in the Indian culture, and live the lifestyles of the people that make our products.

So far we have celebrated Diwali, climbing Charmony hill to make Pooja, learning to drive tuc tucs around the city. Adopting local dress and customs for example eating with only your right hand.

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Throughout this Journey we have documented on a Go Pro camera and have put together our first trailer, click here to see what we’ve been up to so far and follow us on social media and our Youtube channel!

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Diwali | About the festival and its significance to Pants to Poverty

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Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an ancient festival celebrating the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. The word Diwali or Deepavali literally means ‘a row of lamps’. It is timed to coincide with the new moon (the darkest night of the month) in October or November, meaning the actual date varies from year to year.

Enthusiastically celebrated around the world, Diwali marks new beginnings and a renewal of commitment to family values. It traditionally symbolises joy, love, reflection, resolution, forgiveness, light and knowledge.

Based on the lunisolar Hindu calendar, Diwali marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year and also represents a new year of production at Pants to Poverty. For us, Diwali sees the renewal of our commitment to our manufacturing community in India as well as the renewal of our beautiful brand, ahead of our exciting re-launch early next year.

A big aspect of the positive changes we’ll be making at Pants to Poverty include developing a supply chain in alignment with the cycle of the cotton farmers, synchronised with the land and its crops, allowing us to work more effectively alongside our farming communities.

Diwali falls after the summer harvest in the Hindu Calender month of Karthikai and dates back to ancient times. It has religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and marks the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, hope over despair. About one billion people, approximately 15% of the world’s population, celebrate Diwali and it is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Guyana, Malaysia plus many others countries.

The Times of India says, ‘Today the Festival of Lights really stands for a re-affirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill, and a religiously sanctioned celebration of the simple and not so simple joys of life’.

This year Diwali falls on the 23rd of October, and our lucky team at Pants to Poverty are heading out from London to India to celebrate. We will join our farmers and factory workers in celebrating the harvest after a tough year of drought, heralding a renewal of commitment and a new year of production with exciting things in the pipeline!

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We’re moving operations to India!

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Pants to Poverty is moving to India to embark upon a fallow period in advance of fertile plans for 2015.

All of our operations will continue as normal, but we will be run from the farmers’ office in Odisha, India so that we can document (and where appropriate) assist with the harvest of the cotton that makes our world-class underwear.

“In advance of our exciting plans for 2015, it’s crucial for us to align the brand with the cycle of the farm, which means ensuring that our seasonality works with their farm cycle and not against it!” Romain Renoux, head of marketing.

The India trip will educate us on the cotton to bottom process that our pants go through and at each stage along the supply chain, we will live, work and learn more about the realities of life for the communities they partner with, by spending time with the people who make our clothes we hope to strengthen our relationships. And from this will be born the new collections, designed with the people who make them!

In order to ensure all is in order before we move to India, we are helping our network of hundreds of stores around the world stock up with Pants before Christmas! If you need some pants before Christmas then best stock up now!

‘We are excited to be stocking up on Pants ready for Christmas and enjoy working with such an ethically sound company. We are delighted to support Pants to Poverty and their trip to India to meet the makers,’ Siobhan, The Fair Shop.

To help us in this worthy cause we’ve created a bunch of Pantastic offers for all Pants lovers, including loyalty schemes. Whilst in India operations will remain the same, but will be complimented by an exciting series of vlogs documenting the trip and bringing a piece of the magic the brand creates to all of our pants lovers! Raise your undie-weariness and jump online to grab your top drawer Christmas presents now as they’re selling fast, and then you can sit back and enjoy the footage from India!

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