LONDON — Patrick Grant, the Savile Row tailor and designer behind the British label E. Tautz, is teaming with eBay to launch his latest project, the non-profit label Community Clothing.
The new label will focus on creating quality staples for men and women and will use U.K. factories’ slow periods for its production in order to generate jobs and answer some of the key structural issues the country’s clothing and textile businesses are facing, such as seasonality of demand.
The partnership with eBay will introduce the label to the retailer’s wide customer base, which totals 18 million users.
“I’m a longtime fan of eBay. So much of what is in my wardrobe and studio has been bought on eBay, including all sorts of pieces which have inspired collections for E. Tautz. When it came to Community Clothing there were two things that were important – trust and reach – and eBay has both, with over 18 million customers visiting their site each month,” Grant told WWD. “Also, one of the big ideas behind Community Clothing is the bringing together of factories directly with consumers — an idea reflected in eBay’s marketplace.”
Rhian Bartlett, eBay’s director of fashion retail, explained that Community Clothing’s ethos resonated with the company’s open trading philosophy and they expect a popular response from the eBay customer.
“What sells well in the U.K. will sell well on eBay. In the U.K. generally, staples and classic cuts and fits sell really well. In the last three months we’ve sold 1.9 million jeans and 970,000 pairs of trainers just in the U.K.,” said Bartlett.
Twenty pieces from the collection will launch on the site on Wednesday, including a raincoat, sewn in waterproof British Millerain cotton twill, herringbone jackets and classic denim trousers.
“A core part of the Community Clothing idea is that the collection is underpinned by simple pieces that we have made during the quiet periods in the factory year. For Community Clothing to work, it needs to be those everyday staples that sit in everybody’s wardrobes: a simple navy mac, a crew neck lambswool sweater, a riveted selvedge denim jean,” explained Grant, adding that the non-profit label’s collections are in many ways the “absolute opposite” of the collections he designs for E. Tautz.
“Both brands are about making great quality clothes but E. Tautz is constantly innovating in cut and fabric. Community Clothing is about those everyday pieces of clothing you might otherwise buy from Uniqlo, or Gap, but these ones are made locally and by buying them you’re playing your part in sustaining and creating jobs and communities in Britain.”
Grant aims to develop the label by constantly adding more staples to its offer, from classic white shirts to peacoats and blazers; “Basically, the concept is to round out the line to include all the everyday basic items that we might often buy from the high street,” he added.
In addition to the partnership with Grant, eBay U.K. is further expanding its fashion offer with the addition of the Curve Fashion Hub, a dedicated category on-site that offers an edit of the best plus-size pieces from across the marketplace. It’s set to launch next week and will also offer dedicated content such as styling tips, trend guides and editorial images to accompany the product, which ranges from small boutique sellers to U.K.-based high street brands such as Boohoo and Very.
The editorial content will be enhanced with added features, such as automatic “Shop the Look” browsing tools to enable customers to shop the products on display.
Bartlett explained that the launch of the Curve Fashion Hub was a direct response to consumer demand, as plus-size fashion is one of the most popular categories on the site.