BehindBras: Confident, Valued and Empowered
Business: Luxury Lingerie - Social Conscienceness
BehindBras is a social business with a difference enabling women who have been to prison to be retrained and reintegrated back into society, whilst employing them, after they have qualified, to help revenue generation via a smart affiliate marketing model. The model: training plus employment is unusual by any measure but after analysing many routes, it was chosen to add scale and sustainability. The graduate is then mentored into a contributing qualified businesswomen, contributing and growing of the brand, benefiting society. We're like no other design house. We design 'Luxury Lingerie with a Socially Conscience'
We specialise in intimates, nightwear and shapewear. With innovative designs augmented by a sumptuous colour palette, fine materials and exquisite attention to detail. The offering splits into a bespoke line which will sell to super affluents in year one (e.g executives in fashion, media, entertainment and banking). A lower cost-initiative (mass market premium line) begins selling via affiliates at the end of year two including the first graduates of the BehindBras training academy.
Why Help Women in Prison?
The women BehindBras targets are often members of society who are at risk and struggle to be accepted in society. Most unfortunately, find themselves on the pathway back to prison soon after release. In the current climate where perfect citizens struggle to get work, what chance does an offender really have? And how can these women be helped in the least expensive and most meaningful way? Here is a brief statistical synopsis of this issue*
* Prison Reform Trust, Bromley Briefings. Prison Factfile Autumn 2015
The problem is real, yet small enough for us to help: Women offenders account for ca.15% of the probation caseload and 5% of the prison population. Reoffending is high, as is self harm and suicide.
Risk of not helping is high: many come from disadvantaged and abusive environments; 46% of women prisoners have attempted suicide.
Women prisoners are on the rise: the number of women in prison nearly trebled between 1993 and 2005. In 2015 there were 3,948 women in prison in England and Wales; over 2,000 more women are in prison today than there were twenty years ago.
Minority are violent offenders – prisoners can be helped! Some 82% of women entering prison have committed a non-violent offence, most commonly for theft and handling stolen goods. A survey of prisoners found that nearly half of all women (48%), compared to just over one-fifth of men (22%), committed offences to support someone else’s drug use
Reducing reoffense and reimprisonment by training Women released from prison are more likely to reoffend, and reoffend earlier, than those serving community sentences.
We have spent considerable effort building up a unique means to reduce reoffense and recommitment to prison in two ways
- Building strong relationships with universities, corporarate organisations, consultants, specialists in fashion and the Ministry of Justice to evolve a workable plan.
- Devising a business model which is sustainable whilst training and employing these groups
Primary market research highlights that the target clients for our bespoke lingerie are affluent, empathetic and incentivised to help women. They often will have seen difficult times themselves and identify strongly with BehindBras.
BehindBras Enterprise Academy
Within our brand we will launch BehindBras Enterprise Academy. This delivers a wide range of training and ensures that trainees ex-prison are prepared for work; selling ranges from the core brand. New skills and a future career as lingerie specialists within the intimate apparel industry will be achieved by designing, manufacturing and selling lingerie through a social franchising model as a ‘business in a box’ for each client. Within the programme expert business mentors are positioned to give our clients the appropiate skills and advice to run a successful franchise.
A strategic collaborative team will be made up of key fashion experts, fashion universities, retail organisations, fashion interns, graduates and serving/former female offenders to design and manufacture our products to produce a diffusion line from the brand. The team will focus and emphasise the philosophy of the collections promoting the alliance of skills and knowledge.
I have spoken to many of these ladies and they are ready looking forward to these challenges as, on release from prison, often they find their options extremely limited.
An Impactful Business
By supporting and training, BehindBras will reintegrate ex-offenders (and in due time vulnerable women as a wider group) to become returning citizens to reduce reoffending and improve reintegration options, which are currently extremely limited. The benefits will become noticeable, through promoting personal growth and consequently building positive lives.
Social impact is potentially strong; acquiring life, relationship and employability skills that will help serving/former offenders re-integrate and resume their place with family and society, to reduce harm as well as improving their work prospects and their health. Ultimately, this reduces re-offending which is a potential saving to the taxpayer of around £40,000 per annum for each offender if they stay out of prison as well as the dramatic, life changing impact on these ladies and their children, parents and friends. The model may well on a longer timeline support men or help the creation of an equivalent enterprise for male offenders - support for BehindBras now could have extremely far-reaching impact.
Support our Business to Make this happen
BehindBras is the first intimate apparel brand which focuses specifically on serving and former female ex-offenders and believe we can make a difference. We want your help and support to raise their spirits with #2ndChances and future careers through our brand.
I believe the support from Virgin Voom will assist delivery of a strong business plan, it will help a strongly motivated team and could change many many lives due to its social impact implications
By combining luxury pampering with a social conscience and helping women who need help, we can resolve an overlooked problem.
Financial support is required to deliver the plan and raise the academy, temporal support, mentoring is also required and I believe this can all be achieved if you support my pitch.
Thank you very much for help us to launch the brand and being a part of this project, every vote and pledge of support really matters.