Patrick has always loved great clothes; how they feel, how they age, the stories they can tell and the way they can connect us across time and place. He loves their provenance and the history of craftsmanship that is woven into all great clothing. And Patrick loves factories; the buzz, the chatter, their human and social stories and the role they play in building and binding communities.
Patrick’s grandad worked in the woollen textile industry in the Scottish borders, and later had the job of helping to rebuild the industry of those border towns as textile production moved overseas. Patrick spent childhood holidays with his grandparents in those proud mill towns and saw first-hand the devastating effects that the decline in the textile industry had on those communities. Patrick did a degree in Materials Science and Engineering (at Leeds) and began his professional career in 1995 at a blue-chip British manufacturing business called BICC which at the time had five factories across the North West and employed 35,000 people, most of them in manufacturing roles. These weren’t just workplaces, they were communities’ Like extended families they looked after their own, they provided structure to people lives, they gave purpose and identity to both employees and the towns where they were based. Today all of those factories are gone and not one of those manufacturing jobs remain.
As young man Patrick wore clothes made from natural wool or cotton, and which bore labels that proudly said, ‘Made in Scotland’, or ‘Made in England’, great clothes which got better with age, many he stills wears over three decades later.
Patrick began his career in textiles at Norton & Sons on Savile Row in 2005 where he revived the 200-year-old tailoring house, taking it back to its founding traditions of exceptional hand tailoring using only the very finest natural cloths, sourced from fantastic British mills many of which he still works with today. In 2009 he relaunched British designer ready-to-wear brand E. Tautz for which he was awarded Menswear Designer of the Year at the 2010 British Fashion Awards. In 2015 he took over the 160-year-old clothing manufacturer Cookson & Clegg in Blackburn, Lancashire saving it from closure.
In 2016 Patrick founded Community Clothing with a simple vision.
Make exceptional quality everyday clothes, make them from the best natural materials in fantastic British factories, and radically simplify the business model so that they can be sold at great value everyday prices. By doing this everyone can afford to wear great quality clothes that are ethically and sustainably made, and can play their part in rebuilding economic prosperity and pride in our local textile making communities.
Community Clothing is already having a profound affect ensuring full factories and more jobs at many of the manufacturers that we partner with. And as more and more people discover the brand that positive impact is growing rapidly.
Away from his day job Patrick is also well known as a judge on BBC One’s The Great British Sewing Bee which has run for nine very successful series educating a new generation about textiles and clothing, encouraging a reduction in clothing consumption, and promoting a resurgence in the skills needed to make, mend and recycle our clothes.
Patrick holds degrees from Leeds and Oxford Universities, an Honorary Professorship at Glasgow Caledonian University’s School of Business and Society, a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts, an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot Watt University’s School of Textiles and Design and an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire. Patrick is also an ambassador for HRH King Charles III’s charity ‘Future Textiles’, an organisation working to educate young people and sustain craft skills in the UK’s textile industry.
Patrick was born in Edinburgh on 1 May 1972. He currently lives between Lancashire and London.