Get Cheeky with Bum Chums, We talk to the Brand about their style
Bum Chums is a company we have worked with for a long time here at UNB. We love them because their underwear is a lot of fun and well made! I mean bright red metallic fabric and big mesh? What’s not to love! We had a chance to talk to them about the brands.
Each brand has is founded for many different reasons. How was Bum Chums founded?
Long story this one guys! But the truth is… It really started when I was studying at University. I was working 5 jobs at the time, one full time and 4 part time as well as studying by distance. I had to work so many jobs because I couldn’t get a student loan for my courses. I’d just handed in a Law assignment and was headed home and thinking about Christmas Gifts for family and friends. Although my mates were maxing their plastic to buy things, I knew I hadn’t the cash to do that. So… Backtrack to School days… My Brother and I are real close and we used to love outdoor stuff. Building dens (usually with power tools) and rolling round in dirty places and exploring. Well our school trousers usually took a beating and needed regular repairs, as school uniform was expensive and you got one a year back then! So our mom very quickly taught us how to use sewing machines. “Watch how it’s done sons, next time you’re on your own”!
So this gave me an idea. Christmas presents… Pants.
I went to the local market and found a nutty lady selling what I called “Stretchy Material” on the stall. I told her what I was planning and her words were “Best of British”!!! She meant good luck! I didn’t know it until I got to know her better, but Lynn, had once run many of the Factories in the local area before they closed in the 80’s. I didn’t know how difficult stretch fabrics were to work with, but she helped give guidance and an unhealthy taste for expensive industrial machines.
From the first pairs of Christmas presents which my friends loved, many asked for more and more, until eventually I got alright at making them and they all suggested I did it as a business. To be able to keep the world in well-made pants.
One of the reasons our underwear is so well made is one because Lynn wouldn’t let me make anything that wouldn’t hold up to her scrutiny, but also because I’ve bought poorly made pants before. Ones with holes under the elastic because it’s done with 2 needles and not included and I’ve had the pants with the unfinished front pouch with raw overlocking irritating my bits!
In short, I wanted to do better and I still stand behind that today… Still learning and still working with the resources I have but unwilling to compromise on quality.
What is your philosophy for making great pairs of underwear?
Great underwear simply starts with care. Remembering that your pants are the most intimate piece of clothing you own, both so far as comfort goes but also as far as feeling sexy. Your underwear is the base foundation of a gentleman’s outfit, so it needs to be well made, supportive and make you feel sensual at the same time.
You make everything in the UK at Brief-Towers, what was your decision for making it all in the UK and not outsourcing production?
In-house production was something that was decided long ago. Having seen the collapse of the UK textile industry and then the plight of off-shore manufacturing. I wanted to make sure we did things the right way. It took a lot of time to source; just finding UK suppliers was difficult as so many had closed. The benefit is really provenance. I know the lady who crafts our elastic waistband, the guys who knit and dye our fabrics. I know that each pair of pants we make have the same love put into every pair. I know that no one has been locked in our factory to make them and no one is being exploited to do that. I can sleep soundly knowing that our pants are made ethically. Also, if there’s an issue that needs to be resolved. I’m only 2 hours drive from our furthest supplier and can fix most things over a coffee, ensuring high quality throughout. People sometimes say our pants are a bit more expensive than others, which I understand, but consider that our entire process from start to finish is essentially fair-trade and then they don’t seem so expensive at all.
Where did you get your cheeky style over the years? You have had styles such as the In2Cooler, NutSack & Sneakpeek.
Cheeky style! Well guys, shouldn’t underwear be fun? I mean not many other people do it this way. Styles like the In2cooler and the likes were designed with a specific solution in mind. In this case to eliminate sweaty crack & sack; a plight of many a gym going man. We just add a splash of light hearted British Humour to the mix and we’re away.
Mesh plays a big part of your collections, why do you guys love mesh so much?
Oh that’s easy… We get asked for it so much. It’s the largest search term on all of our platforms and people contact us all the time asking for more. It can sometimes take us a while to source an ethical solution to the fabrics, but once we have… We’re away… Everyone likes to show off just a little bit!
The latest collection has matured some but still has the fun style (the Kink and Illuminati). How did you evolve the brand from the earlier collections?
The cut and finish has really evolved with the re-investment in machinery. The styles were re-done to be more in line with a man’s form, taking note of the places we need support and moving the lines to match. We added the more chunky binding to the Hipsters, our boxer style, to help prevent pants riding up and to add more value to them. There are pants for every occasion and so we wanted to add a more mature collection or two to balance the need for practical every day pants along with the attention seeking styles we also carry!
You have some great swimwear. We have reviewed it in the past, are we going to see more new swimwear soon?
Yes, swimwear is next on our list of things to do. However, we’ve been testing sustainable fabrics from many suppliers over the last year and none of them so far have met the mark as far as colour-fastness and vibrance together. We don’t want to compromise on quality and certainly don’t want to sell swimwear that runs in cold water… So it’s going to take more looking at!
If you could have a celebrity be photographed in your underwear/swimwear who would you like to see in them and why?
Ooooh… I’d have to say Wentworth Miller, the hot dude actor probably best know as the Tattoo guy in Prison Break… I’d love to get him in my pants. Ahem! No really… In the Bum-Chums! But in all seriousness, as a small brand wanting to grow, if there are any celebrities willing to post a selfie in our pants… I’ll make you a pair myself. We need all the help we can get.
What is something interesting about Bum-Chums our readers should know about the company?
Bum-Chums is essentially a one man operation! Although we’ve tried outsourcing before, it didn’t quite work and so everything is done by just one person now. With a little help on the accounts and book keeping side of things. From design, manufacture, packing, photoshoots and shipping, it’s all done by just one guy.
What would you say to someone who’s not tried your underwear? Why should they try them?
If you own a dull, dreary pair of pants with more skids than the French Alps, falling apart and feeling sorry for themselves… Then it’s time to try Bum-Chums. Our pants are designed to fit, stretch and give in all the right places and the polyamide fabrics we use are designed to last. Every pair is put together lovingly and ethically to bring you the most pleasure we can.
Where can our readers find your underwear?
There aren’t many stores who carry our brand, although if you’re in the UK, there are selected Nice ’n’ Naughty stores and we really hope to be able to stock in the Clone-Zone stores too at some point. We keep knocking on the door. However, the main place to buy them is www.bum-chums.com
If anyone knows a store who would like our pants, we’d love to hear from them. Finding stores where the Bum-Chums brand would fit in well is difficult because of the niche market we sit in.