Kylie Boreham is a proud girl boss, an eco-warrior, a confessed 'rebel at heart', and an advocate for female empowerment. She's also the Founder of Powerpants, an ethical and sustainable women's underwear brand, and she's on a mission to create a better world for all women.
Kylie's personal experience with domestic violence was traumatic and life-changing, and it took several years to find herself and her joy again. Over time, her positive affirmations became the foundations for her brand, and now, her statements, 'You are beautiful', 'You are brave', 'You are loved', and 'You are powerful', adorn every pair.
Powerpants' ethical and sustainable knickers serve as a daily reminder of the strong women we are and the self-love we all deserve. For Kylie, it's about empowering women with the encouragement they need to embrace themselves, and by turning her own life experiences into a passion for empowering women, she's making the world a better place, one pair of knickers at a time…
How did your Powerpants journey begin?
I was having a bit of a life crisis, to be honest. I was taking a break from my corporate job after having my third bub, and I was doing some serious soul-searching. How might I combine my passion in a business that helps women to feel good? A social enterprise! How can I get more women to think about the journey their clothes make before hitting their wardrobe? Start with their underwear! Ethical underwear feels good, but what could feel better? Underwear with self-love affirmations! And how can I help even more women? Let's provide financial support to female survivors of violence! The idea for Powerpants stopped me in my tracks, and I couldn't get it out of my head. From the concept to the launch of Powerpants version 1.0 took 18 months. Slowly but surely, step by step, hurdle by hurdle!
You're an advocate of 'stepping into your power'. What does that mean to you, and why are you passionate about helping women see their value?
We live in a world driven by consumerism, social media, comparison and competition. There are unrealistic expectations for women about what they should have or who they should be. Too many women are feeling anxious, depressed and, at the core, unworthy.
I know what all that feels like. I've spent more than a decade on my journey of self-love and acceptance after a relationship ended violently. I found myself with a broken heart, broken face and broken confidence – the confidence was the hardest to heal. Changing how I spoke to myself changed my life. It all starts with the reframe. I'm not the woman that let a man abuse me; I am the strong woman that rebuilt her life from rock bottom. We all have the capacity to feel the good feels, and we can learn to choose our emotions rather than be controlled by them. Affirmations are a great place to start. Stepping into your power starts with letting go of that voice in your head that says 'you are not enough'. It ends with living life on your terms, the way you want to live it – not by the expectations of others.
You support the women who work in your supply chain with ethical wages, and you pay it forward with donations. Why do you operate in such an empowering way?
Being empowered as a woman can look vastly different depending on where you live in the world. For our beautiful, talented garment makers in Jiangyin, China, being empowered is having safe working conditions with fair pay. For the women we raise funds for in Papua New Guinea, being empowered is having the financial resources to escape violence and rebuild their lives safely. For those of us that are lucky enough to have the fundamental rights and safety that we deserve, being empowered is using our voices and choices (and boundaries) to live our best lives.
In every decision we make at Powerpants, we consider how we might make our customers feel special and how we might do that ethically and sustainably. It's great news for the world that there is a growing expectation for businesses to put people and the planet ahead of profits. I hope that one day it's just the way things are rather than a point of difference for brands like Powerpants.
What practical steps can women take every day to practise self-love and self-acceptance?
Firstly, I should say that practising self-love isn't limited to a pamper session. I think it's anything you do for your mind, body or soul. The way you start your day is so important. I got myself into a bad habit of checking my phone as soon as I woke up – email, news and social media. Sound familiar? Are you doing that now? I realised I was giving away the power of what I gave my attention to. Emails usually remind you of all the things you have to do, the news is usually sad or shocking, and social media can suck the life from you.
These days, I have a bunch of healthy habits and self-love rituals that I do before the 'checking'. I've become the 'badass door bitch’ to my mind in the morning. As soon as I wake up, I turn my attention to gratitude. Then, I do some yoga or meditate before doing some creative work that lights me up. Of course, I set my intention for the day and choose how I want to feel when I choose my underwear. Today, for example, 'I am powerful'.
But, like many, I don't always have the luxury of time in the morning. With three little chicks chirping for my attention, some days, I stick to the bare minimum:
1. A minute of gratitude, always before my phone.
2. Rehydrate – get that water into your body, and before coffee!
3. Stretch, dance and smile, before work.
It's amazing how a few small and seemingly insignificant changes can have a big impact on the way you feel all day.
Not all knickers are created equal. Why are Powerpants better for our bits than the average pair?
Often, underwear is designed to make you look good for someone else, but Powerpants are designed to make you feel good for you. From the way they're made to the way they're packed with love and a matching affirmation card, we're turning an everyday item into something that can bring joy. And, of course, they're super comfy. We all know non-toxic, breathable fabrics are better for our bits than synthetic fabrics too, which is why Powerpants are ethically made with organic cotton!
Step into your power and shop the full Powerpants ethical and sustainable women's underwear range here.
The Fashion Advocate x