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25th July 2014, London

Success at SOURCE Summit 2014

More than 150 fashion industry leaders gathered together at the Ethical Fashion Forum's SOURCE Summit 2014 that took place this week at the Human Rights Action Centre in London.

“This year the summit reached new heights – inspiring debate, qualified delegates and a truly phenomenal subject meant that we really got inside some of the key issues and opportunities in the sector,” commented Ben Ramsden, founder of 3DPNL and Pants to Poverty.

Attendance

SOURCE Summit took place at Amnesty International headquarters in London with participants coming from all corners of the globe. It included an exhibition of SOURCE Founding Partners, some of the most exemplary businesses and organisations in the fashion sector.

SOURCE Summit took place at Amnesty International headquarters in London. © Rachel Manns

Hosted by writer and entrepreneur Amisha Ghadiali, the day started with a keynote speech by Ethical Fashion Forum's Managing Director, Tamsin Lejeune, and an introduction presentation by SOURCE's Editor-in-Chief, Sarah Ditty, who gave the audience an extensive overview of the latest research, trends and innovations in sustainability and fashion.

Sustainable fashion

The first morning panel The Leading Edge was chaired by Jo Confino, journalist and Executive Editor of The Guardian, Sustainable Business, who stirred up a bit of controversy around how to link financial profit with positive social and environmental impact.

Speakers included Summerly Horning, VP of Stakeholder Relations at Tau Investment Management; Ben Ramsden, founder of 3DPNL & Pants to Poverty; and Ed Gillespie, co-founder of Futerra Sustainability Communications.

“We believe that business is changing, it is in part due to external pressures but what I find most relevant about the topic today is that there is a real business case to investing in sustainable reform,” explained Summerly Horning, from Tau Investment Management.

Sharing insights

The second panel Business Leaders Speak gave the audience some insights into what it takes to grow a business and achieve sustainable success. Sara Simmonds, former buyer and advisor to Harvey Nichols and River Island, gave brands and designers a course on what they need to know to get their product right.

The second panel Business Leaders Speak gave the audience some insights into what it takes to grow a business and achieve sustainable success. © Rachel Manns

Mark Bannister from Echo Sourcing introduced visitors to the company’s pioneering factory in Bangladesh and how the team managed to build an ethical and profitable company in a place known for exploiting workers.

3D future of fashion

In the afternoon, delegates attended practical master classes and collaborative workshops, facilitated by experts like Christine Gent, the Executive Director of WFTO-Asia; Joanna Maiden, founder of manufacturer SOKO Kenya; and Russell Spiller, Sales Director of Mantis World.

From setting strategy to getting production right to growing sales and marketing sustainability, attendees finished the day having gained expert advice and connected with their peers one-on-one. The day wrapped up with a lively panel discussion chaired by Baronness Lola Young of Hornsey about the future of the fashion industry and how it might achieve 3D success.

“The textile and garment industry has a role to play, you are innovators and many of you are operating boutique businesses that are working with really interesting ideas about shared products, long value chains, etc. I think many of the things that you're working on have much more potency to drive wider change than you realise,” said Dr Maximilian Martin, founder of Impact Economy.

www.ethicalfashionforum.com

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