Patrick Grant’s clothing brand and social enterprise, Community Clothing, hopes to reignite Welsh underwear manufacturing through the launch of an inclusive range of affordable, high quality underwear for men and women, made in Wales.
Wales’ history in underwear manufacturing is little known but until very recently many global brands made exceptional quality underwear in South Wales. Gossard made the famous Wonderbra in Pontllanfraith. But through the 1990’s and early 2000’s all of the major factories in the region closed, as businesses relocated production to the Far East, and the work that bound these communities disappeared. Today just piecemeal production of small runs and samples remains.
Community Clothing is not new to championing British manufacturing and already offers fantastic quality everyday clothes made in 42 factories across the UK. But in the past they have always worked with existing factories, filling spare capacity. Now they’re trying to restart major manufacturing from scratch. To get production off the ground Community Clothing needs orders. Customers are asked to pre-order through the campaign website and the ambitious brand is hoping to secure orders for 10,000 pieces of underwear.
If the target is reached then Community Clothing will use that to kickstart regular production and it is hoped that this will lead to as many as 50 skilled staff being brought back to the sewing room in the short term.
“Everything we do at Community Clothing is about making great clothes and preserving and creating skilled jobs. There is a strong heritage of manufacturing the finest underwear in the South Wales Valleys, we want to see that tradition continue. Supporting our campaign means supporting the growth of good jobs in a corner of the UK that really needs them.” Comments Community Clothing Founder Patrick Grant.
The everyday underwear collection for men and women has been developed using 100% organic and single farm cotton fabric, also knitted in the UK in Leicestershire - an area famous for centuries for its fine knitting. Created using a supersoft lightweight single jersey for women, a soft and durable midweight interlock fabric for men and high quality elastics and fastenings, every piece is hand cut and sewn by exceptional seamstresses at the factory in New Tredegar in South Wales.
To bring the campaign to life, Community Clothing brought together a host of Welsh talent, including singer and actor Wynne Evans, comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Community Clothing’s Patrick Grant (not Welsh) who were shot in their pants for renowned British portrait photographer Chris Floyd.
The inclusive collection will be available in sizes 6-20 for women, XS to 4XL for men and thanks to Community Clothing’s unique business model, this premium UK made underwear is priced from £9 - £15. Customers who support the campaign by pre-ordering from the underwear collection will also receive a 10-15% discount on the retail price.
The collection for women consists of a cami, two unstructured bra styles and three knicker shapes - a high rise, classic brief and thong in black, white, grey marl, sage and pink. The men’s range features three pant styles - a boxer, Y-front and brief, available in black, white, grey marl, navy and denim blue.
The Community Clothing Welsh Pants campaign will launch on Thursday 31st August. The collection will be available to pre-order at www.communityclothing.co.uk with delivery expected 4-8 weeks later, once production begins.
About Community Clothing
Community Clothing is a British clothing brand and social enterprise founded in 2016 by award winning clothing designer and judge on BBC One’s The Great British Sewing Bee Patrick Grant. Community Clothing does good things for people and communities in the UK, creating jobs where they’re needed most. The mission is simple; to sell great quality clothes at prices people can afford; to make these clothes in the best British factories from the finest natural materials; and by doing this to create work and support skilled jobs in regions of the UK that need them most.
In short, Community Clothing sells great quality clothes, at affordable prices and consequently creates loads of fantastic jobs in places that really need them. To date Community Clothing has created 279,000 hours of work and supported 1,880 jobs. Community Clothing has a network of 42 partner factories all over the UK, located predominantly in the Northwest, Yorkshire, the East Midlands and South Wales.
Community Clothing has developed a unique business model that keeps costs super low, enabling the brand to produce clothes in the very best UK factories from the best materials, and still sell them at affordable prices. The unique business model utilises off-peak production, creates seasonless, brilliant basics, supports ultra local supply chains and promotes radical simplicity.
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