Become the next pantrepreneur

Pants to Poverty founder Ben Ramsden has launched a design competition for those who want to get into the grundie business.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012
What do you call a man who runs an underwear business? Why, a pantrepreneur, of course. We know that because Ben Ramsden, founder of fair trade smalls brand Pants to Poverty has just launched a competition designed to find the next one – and he’s called it the Pantrepreneur Challenge. Sounds (under)cracking.

The competition’s in conjunction with the ‘Gazelle’ group of further education colleges, and has asked wannabe undy designers to create a pair of Olympic-themed knickers: long jump long johns, for instance. Or synchronised swimming trunks. Or perhaps something for the pant-athlon? (Although we’d caveat that any budding designers will have to be careful about their placement of the Olympic rings).

To win the prize, students at the 15 colleges taking part will then have to produce and sell their pants. The team that sells the most will then get to travel to India to see the Pants to Poverty supply chain in action – ‘from cotton to bottom’, as the press release put it.

That should tick plenty of boxes for the Government, which is not only keen to encourage young entrepreneurs, but is similarly enthusiastic about forging trading links with developing economies like India. During his visit to the country in 2010, the PM said he wanted a ‘stronger, more successful relationship’ between the two countries. ‘The potential benefits are numerous for both India and ourselves.’ Although it’s worth mentioning that, since India has just banned all cotton exports, the gusset may very well be about to fall out of the pant industry…

Ramsden, who’s been running his business since 2005, reckons it’s all a way to encourage would-be entrepreneurs to get kicking (or should that be get keck-ing?) in business. ‘For young people starting their careers in today’s economic climate, it is more important than ever to encourage and inspire them to start their own businesses and get experience while at college.’ Especially while the economy is so pants...

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