This is the second of three giveaways in May here on Rarely Wears Lipstick, with prizes from the lovely people at Who Made Your Pants. Each week, I’m going to focus on a different aspect of their fantastic business. This week’s theme: Jobs and training.
Through a bit of planning and an awareness of the needs of others, Becky and her team provide an extremely caring and educational workplace for the refugee women they employ. As well as learning how to make pants, the women who work on the production line learn English and gain other skills/knowledge to help them adjust to life in the UK, obtaining a little bit of freedom from their home life and become more employable too. There is even a small IT room with donated computers that the women can use to learn skills that would be useful in another job. You can tell that WMYP are special as they have a whole section of their site devoted to the women who make the pants.
As a worker co-operative, we’re kind of all about the workers. We were formed specifically to empower women, and we do this in lots of ways.
The women we employ and work with are primarily refugees, from Afghanistan, Somalia, the Sudan – often places where there have been wars. They may have been educated or worked, they may not, so their needs are all different and our training and support varies in relation to need. We used to find potential workers through other refugee support agencies but now we have a huge waiting list – one of our workers seems to have brought every one of her friends along in case there are new jobs going!
For many of the women we work with, it’s important that this space is for women only. All the women feel safe here, which means they can relax and learn and socialise at lunch time without having to worry. No-one learns well if they are uncomfortable or scared and so we do everything we can to create a warm, friendly, fun environment. It seems to be working.
We provide all kinds of training in employability and UK norms as well as production. Employability is important – if you’ve never had a job before, how do you know you’re supposed to call in sick? We can also point the women in the direction of other services should they want to get some help.
Alongside this we have our break room where we women come together, share food and just be women together. Every lunchtime we are treated to a gorgeous array of smells and flavours, as everyone eats together. Everyone has a locker in too, so their belongings are safe while they are working. And we have a space for prayer, a Board room which we use for training and meetings, a dedicated packing area and our stock room.
Every time you buy a pair of our pants you’re keeping another woman in a job.
GIVEAWAY: This week, to fit with our theme, WMYP are giving away a pair of their Rosalind shorts “as they were our second style, specifically designed to teach new skills.” To enter, you’ll need to be on Twitter. Follow @whomadeyour and look out for their tweet(s) with the hashtag #RWLgiveaway. Retweet any/all of them to enter. You can also follow @lipsticklori, look out for today’s tweet with the link to this blog post and retweet it. You have until 6pm on Friday 23rd May to enter, when Becky at WMYP will select a winner at random from all the retweets. Good luck! P.S. If Rosalind isn’t your style, check back next Monday.
Images via Who Made Your Pants?