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Hello Boyos! Campaign launches to bring underwear production back to Wales

03 Sep 2023 4 minute read
Hello Boyos! Wynne Evans and Kiri Pritchard-McLean photographed by Chris Floyd.

David Owens

Not many people know this but until not that long ago the best pants in the world were made in Wales.

They made the world famous Wonderbra in Pontllanfraith. But then one by one the factories closed and a proud manufacturing tradition was lost.

But the people and their wonderful skills remain.

Now, Community Clothing is looking to restart underwear manufacturing in the South Wales valleys.

Sewing Bee judge Patrick Grant’s clothing brand and social enterprise hopes to reignite Welsh underwear manufacturing through the launch of an inclusive range of affordable, high quality underwear for men and women, made in Wales.

Wales’ history in underwear manufacturing is little known but until very recently many global brands made exceptional quality underwear in South Wales.

The original ‘Hello Boys’ Wonderbra ad featuring Eva Herzigova

Gossard made the famous Wonderbra in Pontllanfraith. But through the 1990’s and early 2000’s all of the major factories in the region closed, as businesses relocated production to the Far East, and the work that bound these communities disappeared. Today just piecemeal production of small runs and samples remains.

Community Clothing makes clothes in 42 factories across the UK. But in the past they have always worked with existing factories, filling spare capacity. Now they’re trying to restart major manufacturing from scratch. To get production off the ground Community Clothing needs orders. Customers are asked to pre-order through the campaign website and the ambitious brand is hoping to secure orders for 10,000 pieces of underwear.

If the target is reached then Community Clothing will use that to kickstart regular production and it is hoped that this will lead to as many as 50 skilled staff being brought back to the sewing room in the short term.

“Everything we do at Community Clothing is about making great clothes and preserving and creating skilled jobs,” said Parick Grant.

“There is a strong heritage of manufacturing the finest underwear in the South Wales Valleys, we want to see that tradition continue.

“Supporting our campaign means supporting the growth of good jobs in a corner of the UK that really needs them.”

The everyday underwear collection for men and women has been developed using 100% organic and single farm cotton fabric.

It is created using a supersoft lightweight single jersey for women, a soft and durable midweight interlock fabric for men and high quality elastics and fastenings, every piece is hand cut and sewn by seamstresses at the factory in New Tredegar in South Wales.

To bring the campaign to life, Community Clothing brought together a host of Welsh talent, including singer and actor Wynne Evans, comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Community Clothing’s Patrick Grant (not Welsh!) who were shot in their pants for renowned British portrait photographer Chris Floyd.

The inclusive collection will be available in sizes 6-20 for women, XS to 4XL for men and thanks to Community Clothing’s unique business model, this premium UK made underwear is priced from £9 – £15. Customers who support the campaign by pre-ordering from the underwear collection will also receive a 10-15% discount on the retail price.

The collection for women consists of a cami, two unstructured bra styles and three knicker shapes – a high rise, classic brief and thong in black, white, grey marl, sage and pink. The men’s range features three pant styles – a boxer, Y-front and brief, available in black, white, grey marl, navy and denim blue.

The collection will be available to pre-order at www.communityclothing.co.uk with delivery expected 4-8 weeks later, once production begins.

Find out more HERE


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Frank
Frank
7 months ago

I remember a factory and outlet store in Ammanford that produced woollen clothing and every label had “Made in England” on it!

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago

That story is a bit pants !

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
7 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

The product photos suggest that the kit is just as good as tht of other suppliers across the border. I have ordered some! Why do their models all have to be body builders? How about some real folk who are flat chested and pot bellied?

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