Patrick Robinson’s interest in fashion started early in his life. Growing up in Southern California, Robinson was a surfer, and part of the surfer lifestyle is wearing “cool” clothing. Robinson had always liked making things with his hands, and realized he could make shorts for himself and his surfer buddies from remnants of bold and colorful fabric that would really stand out.
His shorts were very popular and led to his decision to pursue a career in fashion. After graduating from the Parsons School of Design, Robinson went on to work in the fashion industry in Paris and Milan. He then spent four years as the head designer for Gap.
As a lover of nature and with great concern for the environment, however, Robinson wanted to create a clothing line that would avoid some of the waste and lack of sustainability that characterizes much of the fashion industry. For example, he points out that while more than 90% of textiles can be reused or recycled, just 14% of clothes and shoes actually are. In a July 11, 2020 article by Liam Hess of Vogue Magazine, Robinson said he built Paskho with as much attention to sustainability as possible because “I’m a nature freak.”
In 2015 a Kickstarter campaign was initiated with a goal of $50,000. The campaign ended with 367 backers and raised $68,770. Robinson says his clothing evokes an active, urban soulfulness, filtered through a cool, minimal aesthetic. Pieces are versatile enough to take you from a city bike ride to a lunch meeting, from working out to just hanging out. The clothes are manufactured from reclaimed fabrics whenever possible. In 2019, 43% of the clothing was made from reclaimed fabrics. The company is also committed to using fabrics that require less water and energy in the manufacturing process, and last year 57% of their designs were made from Bluesign® fabrics.
Robinson is not only concerned with the environmental impact of clothing production, however. Paskho also strives to battle racial and social injustice through the “Community-Made Initiative,” and has the goal of being 100% U.S. manufactured. During the height of the pandemic Robinson stopped collecting a salary so he could keep all of his workers employed.
Robinson acknowledges that 2020 was a difficult year, but the struggles caused by the Pandemic also strengthened his commitment to be more socially driven, and helped broaden his focus beyond the sustainable practices on which he founded his company.
Robinson named his company Paskho, which is an ancient Greek word for “passion.” Designing simple, comfortable and beautiful clothing, as well as following sustainable and socially progressive business practices is definitely his passion.