Bill Pittendreigh was a business executive and was highly involved in promoting the textile industry in the late 20th century.
He was elected president of the Southern Textile Association for a one year term in 1956, after serving that organization for as Vice President in 1955. He was given that organization's highest honor, the David Clark Award in 1967.
He wrote "A Short Study In Textiles" in 1982, which was used as a textbook in several American universities during the 1980s and 1990s. He was President of Georgia-Alabama Traffic Association,1967. He was appointed by Governor Richard Riley in 1980 to the South Carolina Legislature Textile Study Commission, which he served on for many years. After he retired, Pittendreigh served as Industrialist in Residence at Clemson University's School of Textiles.
Throughout the 1960s he served as a consultant with several developing nations in Africa in helping establish or modernize their textile industries.
He was also highly involved in research. Pittendreigh frequently referred to the textile industry as "humanity's oldest industry," referring to the biblical story of Adam and Eve's covering with fig leaves as evidence. However, Pittendreigh constantly argued that research in the field of textiles was lacking and continually called for companies to invest more in research and development. At the beginning of his career he was a minor participant in a project that helped develop parachutes using nylon rather than imported Japanese silk. He helped develop types of disposable diapers and held a patent on one such product.