Entrepreneurial Barking & Dagenham College students tackle poverty selling pants

A Pants Company comprised of Barking & Dagenham College students (from left to right) Thomas Gill, S

A Pants Company comprised of Barking & Dagenham College students (from left to right) Thomas Gill, Shaheen Iqbal, Phillip Newbury and Steven Upton - Credit: Archant

A group of entrepreneurial students will represent the borough in a national charity business competition, by selling as many pairs of pants as they can.

The team from Barking & Dagenham College will compete to market and sell ethically-sourced designer underwear as part of the Pantrepreneur Challenge, set up by sustainable underwear brand, Pants to Poverty.

Business studies student Steven Upton, 19, from Dagenham heads up the five-man collective group, who call themselves “A Pants Company”.

They were selected as part of an internal college competition which involved creating a detailed business plan, something Steven has really enjoyed.

He said: “It’s given me confidence to push forward with my own business ideas and really made me think more about the options open to us and the fact that we can do that while raising money makes it all really worthwhile.”

Taking part alongside Steven will be animation students Phillip Newbury, 22, from Romford and Thomas Gill, 21, from Goodmayes, media productions student Rhys Howard, 20, from Ilford and business studies student Shaheen Iqbal, 19, from Redbridge.

Proceeds raised from the competition will go to support the Pi-Foundation in India, which produces the cotton for the pants.

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The team now have until June to try and raise as much money as possible by selling the underwear for a chance to visit the cotton farm in India and observe first-hand the cause they have worked to help.

Adnan Mahmood, chief entrepreneurial leader at the college said: “A Pants Company really stood out to the judges.

“They have worked incredibly hard and I am so proud of them, they have learnt a great deal already and being part of the national stages will be a fantastic learning experience for them”

Students from about 20 colleges from up and down the country are taking part in the challenge, which aims to give students real-life experience of establishing and running a micro-business.

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