A Sad End To Patrick Grant’s Mill Mission

I’m afraid that today we are the bearers of bad news. Back in March we told you about Patrick Grant’s latest venture in the textile industry. You can read the full blog post here, but the bones of it were as follows.

Patrick had been using a mill in Blackburn (quite near Croft Mill) to supply his cult fashion label E Tautz, when the mill announced they would not be able to take any more orders from his company as they were closing down Patrick sprang into action.

He highlighted the challenges faced by the skilled stitches in the fashion industry, with many designers and clothing stores working in two main times (to prepare for the Autumn/Winter and Spring/Sommer collections) work is often seasonal and can leave both businesses and people struggling.

When he bought the mill, he created Community Clothing, which was funded by the public as a means to create jobs for the people of the Blackburn Mill. As well as supplying to designers, he decided they would also sew pieces of clothing (designed by himself) and sell them directly to the public at a reasonable price. We loved the fact Patrick was so passionate about workers in the textile industry, especially since the mill in question was so close to home.

Sadly, just a year after he purchased it Patrick Grant has announced the mill will once again be closing down, as it goes into voluntary liquidation. Patrick Grant had managed to secure high profile clients for mill including Marks and Spencer, created an apprenticeship scheme and doubled the workforce. It is now believed however that all 45 members of staff were told on Wednesday the 18th May that they would be made redundant.

It is believed the step into liquidation has come after a ‘major’ un-named client withdrew their business from the mill, in a statement to Drapers magazine “I feel deeply sorry for all of our staff. Twelve months ago I had high hopes that we would find a way to return the business to profitability, but with the loss of a major part of our business we can no longer keep the factory running”

Although we are of course terribly sad for all of the families affected by this closure, we are glad to hear that Patrick has vowed his Community Clothing Campaign will still continue, just in other mills around the UK.

 

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Patricia
    25/05/2016 at 3:12 PM

    If only Marks and Spencer would start to manufacture here again! They (in my opinion) were responsible for the closure of so many small factories in one fell swoop during the 90’s. Many more followed until there was virtually nothing left. The workers were renowned for their high standards.
    M & S are struggling with their clothing division now and I, personally, strongly feel they should concentrate on their core basics (which are pretty abysmal now) and manufacture in Britain again. Not everything, of course, as that would affect profits, but a small amount could kick-start our manufacturing and others would follow. It would strengthen confidence. (And they could atone for the past!!!).
    Didn’t Mary Portas’s factory suffer because of one main supplier cancelling their order??? I think they bounced back…..maybe Patrick’s will, too……there could still be an 11th hour rescue….

  • Reply
    Angela Foster
    26/05/2016 at 9:03 AM

    I think this is terrible. Mr Grant was doing a terrific job and I am so sad that somebody who comited themselves to the project pulled out causing so much damage
    This is our heritage, our traditional skills are in danger of being lost.
    Mr Grant, I am so sorry. Wish I could turn the click back for you.

    • Reply
      Rebecca
      31/05/2016 at 2:54 PM

      It is terrible to think all them skilled workers who have now lost their jobs. I really did hope Patrick would have been able to save the mill.

      • Reply
        Angela Foster
        31/05/2016 at 6:03 PM

        It is truly awful. Patrick tried so hard and his ideas are sound. We need British manufactoring back!

  • Reply
    J skd
    03/02/2017 at 7:29 PM

    As a textile design graduate unable to find work in the UK, it’s so sad that this once core industry in the UK is now almost gone. We can’t compete with offshore imports filling the high street and driving down clothing prices. Consumers are not so discerning either. Fashion moves so quickly now no-one cares if their clothes are poor quality or made in foreign sweat shops, provided they are cheap.

    • Reply
      Rebecca
      06/02/2017 at 9:28 AM

      Hello,

      I am sorry you are struggling to find work, it is such a shame that somebody with your skills is in a position like this. I think we need to return to a time when the skills involved in dress making were as valued as they once were, I think a lot of people (who don’t sew) tend to take for granted all of time and effort needed to create a garment.

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