A conversation with Community Clothing
As part of our #LeedsFashionFutures project, we recently spoke with Jenny Whisker from Community Clothing - to understand more about how their innovative social enterprise is helping to provide more good jobs to skilled workers at clothing manufacturers across the UK.
Community Clothing is a social enterprise set up by Patrick Grant - who many of you may know through The Great British Sewing Bee.
You can catch up with the conversation with Jenny on our YouTube channel:
Community Clothing work with clothing manufacturers across the UK - and you can find out more about their innovative business model here.
One of the main innovations is around off-peak production. Due to the seasonality of much of the fashion industry, there can be big peaks and troughs in work at clothing factories - which can obviously impact on their ability to provide good, stable jobs.
This is where Community Clothing comes in - as they work with clothing manufacturers across the UK to produce clothing for Community Clothing during those quieter times.
They also have a focus on what you might call utility clothing - everyday essentials - rather than ever-changing fashion. This allows them to iterate current designs - rather than invest in the expensive process of designing completely new items. This cuts out another key cost - thus leaving more margin to pay the people who make our clothes decent wages.
Patrick Grant talks more about the Community Clothing business model - and the reasons it's needed - in this Tedx Talk
We think it's an inspiring business model - providing one way to perhaps buy more of your clothes from a supplier that's investing in local factories, providing good employment for highly-skilled workers.
Through our #LeedsFashionFutures project, a collaboration with the RSA and their Regenerative Futures project, we are exploring how to create a different kind of future for clothing and fashion - a future which has sustainability at its heart. You can find out more about the project here.