Underwear has long been associated with a form of empowerment. Whether it’s wearing no underwear, wearing them on the outside of your clothes or wearing them on your head – there’s a clear message of confidence and a statement of rebellion. Or madness.
So what happens when we take this simple but powerful piece of clothing and pair it with secret statements from the heart? You get Powerpants by Bham, that’s what.
A creation by Sydney-based entrepreneur and mum-of-three Kylie Boreham, Powerpants empower the women who make them, the women who wear them and the women who benefit from the proceeds.
It was born out of a desire to support female survivors of family violence and help women who are paid unfairly, living in unsafe environments and feeling unworthy.
“As a survivor of family violence, I knew too well the journey of rebuilding a life and confidence when life doesn’t turn out as planned,” Boreham says.
“I wanted a vehicle to help support women from many different levels.”
When it came to starting her label, Boreham says she was inspired by the environment, women’s rights and mental health.
“The final decision to create Powerpants came after I read an article about ethical fashion in 2017,” Boreham says.
“I was inspired to find a way to get more people thinking about the journey that their clothes make before they reach their wardrobes, specifically the social and environmental impact.
“And what better place to start than the first item of clothing that we put on every day.”
Her underwear line, Powerpants by Bham, is ethically made from certified organic cotton, with $1 from each pair going to female survivors of violence in PNG.
The line is made by a team of talented garment makers in a socially responsible factory in Hangzhou, China.
Boreham says she chose a manufacturer that looks after their staff and is so impressed with the quality of the work that comes from the team.
“One of the talented workers, Wang, explained to us that she has been making garments for over 15 years,” she says.
“She loves her job and the sense of achievement that comes from making each garment. She also loves her time off to exercise and travel.”
Powerpants are made with 95% GOTS-certified organic cotton and 5% elastane. Boreham says fabric certification was important to her so she could assure her customers that their garments are good for them and the planet.
“You can really feel the difference between regular cotton and organic cotton – the comfort factor is next level,” she says.
To reduce waste in the production and shipping process, Powerpants are wrapped in recycled and recyclable packaging. When it comes to the post, the brand opts for regular only, as it’s the most environmentally friendly option.
Powerpants are available online in women’s sizes 6-22. Each pair is printed with a secret affirmation to remind women how powerful they are.