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Friday, July 19, 2024

All sewn up – University’s Honorary Fellow and Sewing Bee judge Patrick Grant brings expertise to student project

Patrick visited students at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to give his thoughts on their Community Connect project

Patrick Grant – BBC One’s Great British Sewing Bee judge, and UCLan Honorary Fellow – has been working with final year students at the University, lending his British fashion industry expertise to help shape their latest project.

The Fashion Promotion and Marketing students have been working in groups on a brief entitled Community Connect, in collaboration with Patrick’s brand, Community Clothing, based in Blackburn.

Founded in 2016, Community Clothing aims to produce high quality everyday clothes in British factories, with a simplified business model that means they can be sold at great value everyday prices. In this way, the brand is committed to rebuilding economic prosperity and pride in our local textile-making communities, with many of its UK partner factories located here in the north west. 

Inspired by this focus on the power of British clothing production and the many voices and hands involved, the teams of students have each been asked to develop an idea for an editorial campaign that tells a story about a community within a community. The students have looked at a whole range of different community groups: from equestrian communities to beach cleaning groups, as well as staff that work at some of Lancashire’s incredible mills. They have then produced a suite of images and video to give their chosen group a strong fashion identity and bring their story to life.

Patrick visited UCLan’s campus on today Thursday 9th February 2023, spending time looking over the students’ campaigns, and offer his thoughts and feedback. 

Patrick said: “Lancashire has historically been at the heart of the British textile industry, and it’s a real privilege to now be investing in the revival of that industry in the county – there’s so much local talent and pride to harness here. I’m really pleased to be sharing my knowledge and experience with the students at UCLan, who I am sure will go on to be part of the bright future of fashion and textiles in the north west.”

One recent UCLan Fashion Promotion and Marketing graduate – James Tresadern – is now working with Community Clothing in a marketing role, and there may be other opportunities for students and graduates in the future.

Eve Astle, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Promotion and Marketing at UCLan, said: “It’s brilliant that our students are getting the kind of opportunities that mean they can work closely with industry experts like Patrick. Real-world learning is so valuable when it comes to preparing students for their future careers, so having these connections to businesses – particularly those like Community Clothing, with great local links and a great fashion ethos – are vital.  It means everyone, no matter their background, is getting the same chance to develop and grow, and having expert input has given this project real credibility. I know the students have found it a bit nerve-wracking at times, but they’ve also told me they have also really enjoyed and learnt from the experience.”

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