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Mary Portas launches Kinky Knickers made in her British factory – and they’re not pants at all

Mary Portas Kinky Knickers

Kinky Knickers by Mary Portas

(If you are looking for stockists of Kinky Knickers see the bottom of this page)

I must admit that when I reported back in October that Mary Portas was to make a television show with Endomol about British manufacturing I was a little sceptical to say the least. Back then it had been reported in the fashion press that the show would be called Mary’s Sweatshop – so I had every reason to fear the worst. The name did not conjure up the image of quality craftsmanship that I like to believe is what makes Britain great. Instead I had visions of a factory akin to Baldwin’s Casuals churning out poly jersey leggings and trying to punt them to Primark.

Kinky Knickers by Mary PortasIt appears that I was wrong. Because this evening saw the launch of the products that Mary has been working on with her factory in Middleton, and it was at that most British of department stores, Liberty, at which she chose to do it.

They weren’t nasty leggings either, which given the time that she had in which to staff the factory and train the machinists, might at some point have seemed like her only option. Instead she has produced a range of lacy pants, cheekily named Kinky Knickers. And they’re actually quite good.

Kinky Knickers by Mary PortasThe packaging is spot on, in a backing Britain, war-effort kind of way. And priced at only Ten Pounds they certainly prove that buying British does not have to mean breaking the bank. In fact I do wonder whether, with the cost of the rather nice box, she is actually making any money on these at all.

I look forward to the show when it’s on Channel 4 in March, in the meantime if you want to buy Kinky Knickers you will have to pop along to Liberty.

UPDATE December 2012: Kinky Knickers are in stock at the following retailers:

House of Fraser

Liberty

John Lewis

ASOS.com

 

Kinky Knickers by Mary Portas

Kinky Knickers by Mary Portas

Comments

156 Comments

  1. mancunian on February 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    great night. Lovely review

    • Grace on February 14, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      I see there is no price attached to the knickers – I don’t think they look any better than Marks and Spencer but have a feeling they won’t be three pairs for £10 Regards Grace

      • on February 16, 2012 at 8:32 pm

        Hi Grace

        It does say in my article that the knickers will retail for ten pounds. Whilst they might not match Marks and Spencer’s 3 for a tenner, at least by buying these you know where they are made and can support employment in the UK for those that made them.

        • chris parrock on March 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm

          Come on Mary send me a pair of your knickers!

          I want to try them. Anything made in Britain is worth trying ans supporting. All sold out in Liberty. Where can I but them?

          At last some one willing to try to get industry back on its feet.
          I have every faith in you Mary. You can do it single handed.

      • Donna on March 23, 2012 at 9:03 am

        I think a lot of people think that M&S products are British made- my husband used to work for Christys towels – which M&S buy from and all the manufacturing has gone to India, only packaged in Britain!! so I definately will be buying these knickers – keep our workers in jobs and pay decent wages so we can put money back into society – no more cheap/nasty knickers that fall apart in god knows how many washes – well done Mary!!

      • KJS on March 29, 2012 at 11:08 pm

        They are very reasonably prices when you compare them to similar quality knickers by Triamph or Marisota. The multi-buys from M&S are ok, but you get what you pay for. For £10 you are getting a pair of quality, British made knickers and you’re investing in your own country.

        • KJS on March 29, 2012 at 11:10 pm

          Clicked submit too soon……..

          M&S multi-buy knickers are fine for the gym, but the Kinky Knickers £10/pair are luxurious knickers that you can feel good in when you go out 😉

    • Flos on December 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      Great work and still going strong

  2. Sarah Williams on February 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Really love these as my fiance is one of the lads who make these (the blonde one) cant wait to open mine valentines day!! Thank you for putting this my fella will be made up as they have all worked so hard to make them 😀 xx

    • on February 16, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Thanks for your message Sarah and hope that you got the Valentines present that you wanted! Kate

  3. Katy Phillips on February 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Great to have a product made in Britain.

  4. Claire Lewis on March 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I agree that it is great that she is publicising UK made products, but have to say, they don’t look as stylish as the ones made by http://whomadeyourpants.co.uk/, who have already been in business for around 4 years, manufacturing in the UK, in Southampton, and making lovely classy,comfy lacey pants, my faves!

    • on March 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      Hi Claire
      You are right – Who Made Your Pants have been in business much longer and they make great knickers for a worthwhile cause.
      There are many lingerie companies still manufacturing in the UK, despite what Mary’s programme may have us believe.
      Watch out for an article coming on this site soon about all of these great British lingerie companies!

  5. sophie on March 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    HI

    Can you buy these Kinky knickers online?
    Thanks
    Sophie

    • on March 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      Hi Sophie
      They were first launched at Liberty in February but as I write they have mainly sold out.
      They are also going to be on sale in House Of Fraser and Boots at some point.
      I would imagine that that will tie in with the broadcasting of the TV programme Mary’s Bottom Line, which shows the making of the knickers. Due to be on Channel 4 mid-March 2012.
      Kate
      x

  6. Helen on March 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I’ll be buying some of these, apart from the fact that they’re really pretty, I love knowing at they’re made in the uk at a factory that’s teaching folk a useful trade. They’re should be a whole lot more of this and the consumer should be supporting it. Well done mary!

  7. valerie irvine on March 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Really like the look of these, their story and the fact they are made in Britain. Price looks fair too.

  8. Sarah B on March 4, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Seen these in Saturday Telegraph, where can I get them in Nottingham or online?
    Looked at Liberty but only showing XS I am a size 10-12
    All the best with venture
    SarahB

    • on March 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      Hi Sarah
      Please see my comment above about when / where they will be on sale.
      Kate
      x

  9. Margaret Wedge on March 4, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I gather the lace is British made but how about the material the ‘body’ of the knickers?

    Can they be bought anywhere else than Libertys
    Margaret

    • on March 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      Hi Margaret
      I’m not sure that the body of the knickers are made with British lace as I don’t think that there are any stretch lace manufacturers left in the UK – I would love to stand corrected though.
      They will soon be on sale in House of Fraser and Boots – maybe try ringing their head offices to find out when as unfortunately I don’t know.
      Kate
      x

      • Trudi on April 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm

        They are completely made in the uk, the body of the knickers is Nottingham lace and stretched there too!

  10. Delphine on March 4, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I am keen to try a pair, but there is limited selection and those on offer are only availabile in XS. No good for big bums like mine.

  11. A Batchelor on March 5, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Where can I buy some? Libertys are out of stock. Nothing on ASOS site or M & S.

  12. Michelle robson on March 8, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    An amazing woman doing an amazing job!! I shall b following the journey, keep up the good work,

  13. Barbara on March 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Gorgeous knickers and just what I have been looking for, but why oh why do they only go up to a size 14?
    Come on Mary an average British woman is now a 16 and we want to support British manufacturing too!!!

    • on March 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Barbara
      I agree – I don’t know what they were thinking of by alienating half of the British buying public who is over a size 14.
      Obviously more profit is made on smaller sizes as less fabric is used – but it doesn’t lead to a sustainable business if half your potential customer base is unable to buy the product.
      Hopefully it is something that will be addressed in the near future.
      Kate

  14. Linda on March 11, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I also need size 16 unfortunately. Make them and I will definitely support this cause. Bring back British manufacturing and British pride.
    Best of luck for the future everyone.
    Linda

  15. sandra plant on March 13, 2012 at 10:45 am

    The responses about the price, surely people realise that some knickers made abroad are a lower price because the
    workers are paid a very low wage.
    I will certainly be buying some.
    Sandra

  16. Elyn on March 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    With 3 daughters and 3 grand-daughters, I’ll no longer have to search round for a good British pressie – might even have themn myself! GOOD LUCK TO ALL!

  17. Elyn on March 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Please may we have a “something blue” for my daughter’s wedding?

  18. Derrick on March 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Yes these knickers look very pretty and they maybe made in GB, but I wouldnt buy them, the name puts me off for a start, and lace, jeez,

    Couldnt they just make ordinary knickers, solid colours, no wonder they are taking 12 minutes and just so everyone can say they had a hand in making em, volume is what is going to count, not a ‘collectors’ item or limited editions, it was cheap prices that lilled the indusdtry, fight fire with fire, make cheap knickers that will sell, do a bit of research, I wouldnt buy these for my wife, daughter or grand daughter, so that is one customer that is lost, repeat that many times, these knickers are just flashy and showy, I think woman want something that does the job and is comfortable, get to an airport, not muppets in the street, try workers that want comfortable underware, but then what do I know, I’m only a bloke,
    In 9 months these poor sods are going to ber back on the dole and these knickers relagted to items for collectors and found in ebay, maybe a few odds and ends shops
    I cant see it taking off, (did they think of underwear for blokes as well ?)

    • smile at the world and in time it will smile back on March 16, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      Oh I’m over joyed at your positive attitude… As it ever occur to you why we are up the creek without a paddle with such influential folk like you to motivate us…. A man with such an out take on women’s knickers and what women want…..!!! Mmmm and the thought of my grandad buying me knickers is quite gut churning…..!!!

      I like the idea that iv put something back into the economy and not back into my pocket….!!!!!!

    • sandra on March 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      Maybe you should ask the females in your family if they want them rather than assuming they don,t. I and all my friends would rather have a nice lace pair than polyester mix which is what most foreign cheap manufacturers use.

    • Sharon on June 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      I have already purchased 2 pairs and they are very well made, good quality and extremely comfortable, they are not collector’s items, when I can get more I will be buying them. They have now employed a further 7 people at the factory and orders are still coming in so hopefully your prediction of them all being back on the dole again in 9 months will NOT come true. I wish them all very good luck and cannot wait to see what they come up with next.

      With regards to your thoughts on fighting fire with fire and coming up with “cheap” that is not what this is all about, its about us as a society realising that you get what you pay for and £10 is not a very big price to pay to know that not only was virtually everything sourced here but it was made here too and all the money I pay for each pair will stay in the UK! I am proud to buy British and hope that in the future I will be able to buy more things with “Made in Britian” stamped or labelled on them somewhere!

  19. Caroline on March 15, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Fantastic! Knickers with heart! I love Mary Portas! She is amazing and so passionate. I wish more people felt this and were actually willing to do something like her.

  20. Eleanor on March 16, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Well done, Mary Portas & team. I shall certainly be buying these knickers when they come out to the provinces.
    It gives your heart a lift to see someone who firmly believes in backing Britain and helping our youth unemployed build a better future.

  21. just a man on March 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Liberty’s stock today consists of Extra Small in all colours, Small in only one colour and maybe a few Medium.

    Neither the M&S nor John Lewis website have any trace of their expected arrival.

    I wonder if the product is intended to be widely available or is just puffery to boost the programme?

    Disappointing.

    • Hmm on March 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      ASOS and House of Fraser, John Lewis, boots and liberty sell kinky knickers… And thry have done a good job of selling out fast. Sooo yes.. Disappointing isn’t it, that somebody has put any effort in to britain and the British sit around waiting for a hitch so they can get ther judgemental fingers on a keyboard and express a negative opinion.
      So what if extra small is the only size in some shops. It’s a start. Not a perfect one, but you would think we would be routing for our country to strive. It’s quite sad that your biting the hand that is trying to feed us.
      Shame on you. GO TEAM BRITAIN!!!!

  22. Diane on March 22, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Really heartwarming to see something actually being made in Britain when we have lost so much to cheap foreign imports. Knickers are a good start, what about Mary using British seamstresses to make her House of Fraser clothing line as well.

  23. Elaine Bartlett on March 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I’ve just bought three pairs to review on my Faceworks website, I’m loving the feel and the quality. The packaging is beautiful, and each pair has a little ribbon hidden inside with the name of the person who made them.
    The article I read about the project said that if demand is high enough, production will continue indefinitely rather than purley as an experiment for TV, so get out there and BUY BRITISH!

  24. gibbo on March 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Loved the tv programme, and now looking forward to buying them, hope I can find a shop that does. Gud work Mary and the Middleton factory, well done to you ALL and the guys too.

  25. bekki on March 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    XS = UK 6-8;
    S = UK 10-12;
    M = UK 12-14;
    L = UK 16-18

    they go right up to a size 18 according to liberty.

    I just bought a cream pair and a pink pair from asos in a medium with my 25% student discount 😀 cant wait to get them

    • Rachel on April 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      According to Mary’s twitter – she says they go up to XL which is presumably 20-22 but i cant find any that show going up larger than the L and like everyone one else – none in stock anyway. Not sure that all retailers offer all sizes – Boots certainly didnt – maybe good old M&S will have the larger ones when they finally get some!

  26. jo on March 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    What a missed opportunity by the Queens Jubilee tour in Manchester today .Would have been a wonderful British gesture if she had paid a visit to this factory .I will definately buy these knickers for myself and gifts.Well done Mary Portas.

  27. nikkie on March 24, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Just ordered my wedding knickers from this range. Glad to be supporting British people. Did look at the other website mentioned earlier but can’t afford the £18-£24 price tag for one pair.

  28. Sue on March 24, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I used to work as a machinist back in the 80’s but sadly got made redundant 3 times in 3 years as all work including M & S got shipped abroad. I still miss those days. A huge well done to Mary for what she is doing. We should bring more jobs back to this country. The quality is so much better. Well done to all those workers in Middleton.

  29. jill on March 24, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I can’t wait to buy half a dozen pairs of Kinky Knickers – when they are made in XL. Any hope in
    the near future.

  30. jill on March 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    any chance of items being made in size XL for us bigger girls.

  31. Carmel on March 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    They do make them in larger sizes – the Large is a size 18 – 20 and the medium is a 14 – 16. I bought a small as a size 10 and they would very easily fit a 12, they are comfortably loose on me

  32. stephen on March 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    what is the name of the company that will be suppling the knickers to the trade , would love to stock them in my buissnesses , any help would be great .

  33. Loraine on March 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Just watched your “Bottom Line” fab programme. I’ll be buying three pairs – one in each colour.

    Well done to all

  34. Naomi on March 30, 2012 at 11:24 am

    FAB,FAB,FAB! COME ON BRITAIN!
    Its about time Britain took some pride in it’s self, products and people. We should all get behind this as this is the start of the British Revolution. Everyone keeps moaning about no work, no money and its all because we dont support our own people and country. If everyone made a stand like this we would soon be back to a much wealthier state. If you can buy British you should. This country is full of talent and the more people fight for british products the more manufactures will produce. It’s a no brainer!!!
    I have cleared out my draws and am stocking up with these… Keep up the great work, cant wait to see the next collection!

  35. Annette on March 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Tried to buy some at M & S and Boots but sadly they have not found their way to the East Coast. I really want to support this enterprise and can’t wait to buy them.

  36. ian on March 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Saw the program, was inspired now want to buy some for my wife. Cant find anywhere to buy them 🙁

  37. Patricia Howells on March 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Can’t seem to get these anywhere (preferably M&S)

    When will the next batch be available please?

    Thank you

  38. Gina on March 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I am going to buy them, one because they are useful and secondly to support the British economy and those british people who are employed.
    I didn’t realise until I saw the programme how lucky I am to have a job!!!

  39. Fiona on March 30, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Got my kicky knickers from selfridges only a few left. Great programme and will support british worker and produces.

  40. Patricia Howells on March 31, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Tried on-line at Selfridges – unable to find!

  41. Sue Metcalfe on March 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Loved the show, love the ethos. Well done everyone and I really do hope that Kinky Knickers is sustainable. Can’t wait to try them.

  42. Jackie on April 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Looking forward to buying my first pair of Kinky Knickers soon – on a mission next week. As long as they cover the cheeks of my backside I will be happy to buy more, but that’s my bench mark and why I have by-passed the likes of La Senza (my favourite bra retailer) in favour of Asda of all places. Cover my butt, Mary, and you’ll have my undying loyalty. Ride em up, and my first pair will be my last. I’m more than happy to invest a tenner a pair for British made and to support those fabulous stitchers. I’d pay £15 for a pair that fit and stay. Don’t let me down Mary 🙂

  43. Jill Goodman on April 9, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Loved the programmes, well done to all those involved. It’s time someone did something to bring industry back to the U.K. Disappointed that M &S in York had none and are sold out on line. Hope that the factory is expanding to keep up with demand. Along with coal, steel and shipbuilding, textiles is another industry that the North East has lost, so come on other entrepreneurs if Mary Portas can do it so can you.

  44. […] a little UK manufacturing unit. Even Mary Portas may be interested seeing as her Kinky Knickers are flying out of the […]

  45. Steven on April 25, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Once supply can match demand for Kinky Knickers is there any chance of some cool pants for the boys??! Well done everyone in Middleton, well done Mary, excellent work!

  46. ann on September 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Loving the knickers – shame I could only get hold off X small pairs! Will have to lose a stone or two to ever wear them . Come on Mary – train up some more of your excellent staff!!

  47. Tracy Scott on December 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    I have wanted a pair of kinky knickers since seeing Mary Portas in action, 8 months later I finally have them!!!! so looking forward to wearing them. I will be buying more!!

    How proud I am to be wearing British made knickers!!!!

    Thank you Andrew x

  48. Jackie on December 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I bought two pairs from Asos – large which say for a size 14. Beautiful but a little big so have ordered two pairs of medium which say for a size 12. Quality of the pants is superb, and I think I will be building up a collection. They DO cover my cheeks – which was my major concern – and they do fit nicely. Looking forward to the medium’s arriving any day soon.

  49. Anna D on February 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    We watched the series and supported the buy British idea.
    Recently I found some in stock, ordered them from ASOS , excellent service and quick delivery.
    I am so disappointed with my burgundy pants, the elastic is visible especially around the midline seams ( to be honest it looks as though I have ginger hair popping through the lace at the front) not a good look as I have black hair!
    As they have been worn ( and washed at the right temperature ) a few times I don’t think they can be returned even though they are faulty , either the lace itself or the way the seam was stitched.
    i have other quality pants which still look good after lots of wear.Has anyone else had a similar problem and should I try to get a new pair?

  50. S on March 30, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Hi Anna D

    I have had the same problem with the Kinky Knickers elastic appearing as white strands after one wash at the correct temperature on two pairs so far. One has been returned and replaced by the retailer and have yet to approach them again about the second pair. Very disappointed and have not heard back from manufacturer as to quality control problem. Hope you are successful in getting a new pair replacement or refund.

  51. kmac on November 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I’ve had the same broken elastic problem !!! Such a wonderful idea…….but they last only one wash before the elastic goes and appears around the seams like tiny hairs. I have 4 pairs in different colours and they all look ridiculous ! I was looking for a way to contact the manufacturers but I’ll juts write to John Lewis and Liberty where I bought them from. I think this is a design flaw with the lace….

  52. Gill on January 23, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I watched all the programmes and was really keen to support this British enterprise. My partner managed to get me 2 pairs for Christmas 2012 – not cheap at £20 and very hard to source, but he managed it. One pair is pink with the orangey rather fluorescent lace edging and a size small. The other is ivory, also small but significantly bigger than the pink pair. I’m a size 8 to 10 and the ivory pair was on the big side for me from the start. Also the colour was frankly dingy from the start – the knickers looked like a white pair which I had mistakenly put through a dark wash! And when they were washed they wore so badly, looking misshapen after omly a few washes. In particular the ivory pair quickly developed a hole.where the body joins the lace edging which is seriously baggy and saggy now. I am so disappointed and have worn them very rarely. I hate buying pants from China but have to be honest that the knickers I buy from M & S – often at £10 for 3 pairs – wear so much better and keep their colour and shape. I am saddened but not surprised that the company has just gone into administration.

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