It was great to be surrounded by so many ethically minded people from the fashion industry earlier this week at the Ethical Fashion Forum’s Sustainable Fashion Drinks. We met to hear more about the exciting plans ahead for Mysource and share our experiences on what marked a 10 year anniversary for EFF. I left feeling encouraged by the curiosity and drive in the room, and only hope we can continue to foster such meeting points for the ethical fashion community.
I was returning from a bank holiday weekend out of the city and heading straight towards a Sustainable Fashion themed drink. A variety of individuals from the sustainable fashion world slowly began to gather around the bar, whilst a few familiar faces appeared to share long overdue stories.
First we heard from the Ethical Fashion Forum team about their plans for Mysource, an online platform which will see the Ethical Fashion Forum connect one end of the supply chain to another. The room filled with all these voices from different stages of the supply chain, as we then gathered in groups to discuss topics such as ‘sustainable sourcing’ in more depth. As we each got to share our perspectives I came to realise just how important these forums for discussion are. Often the complexities of tackling ethics and sustainability in the supply chain unsurprisingly make the voices of sceptics louder than the optimists. However rarely does the industry meet not in a platform for debate but in a setting for collaboration. Through my work with Corporate Responsibility professionals this year I’ve realise the importance of collaboration in the responsibility space, and huge gap for best practice sharing. Whilst I’m more often sat in corporate environments these days, it was refreshing and awakening to see all ends of the supply chain represented in the discussion.
With this in mind I’m excited to see the Mysource online platform grow and develop, into not just a tool but a community. The platform is backed by some of the industry’s leading voices, from the British Fashion Council to Vivienne Westwood. Since announcing the recent finalisation of their funding round, it’s full steam ahead to watch the platform be put into action. I look forward to hearing more about the features and capabilities, and hopefully getting to test them out.
The evening left me reflecting on the role I want to play in the ethical fashion community, and how important it is to me to foster a community around me of likeminded individuals. As I consider my role as Founder & CEO of Knowlabel, and also the voice I’m grateful to have recognised through my blog, I realise the importance of disconnecting from an online world and facilitating real-life conversations with an active community.
To some extent, the heart of ethical fashion lies in re-instating communities, from those who make our clothes right up to communities of brands & entrepreneurs working towards big societal change.
I’ve taken a little break from blogging, which was unintentional since most of my time has been focused on growing Knowlabel. I’m so grateful to have grown a community of ethically and sustainably minded people around me during my journey discovering more about the ins and outs of making sustainable fashion a reality. For example, during the event I met the Founder of Style and Trashion, who has grown an amazing community around his blog showcasing sustainable fashion. This reminded me of the importance of the community I’ve been able to connect with through my blog, who I owe an apology for my recent lack of blogging, but also a thank you for continuing to encourage me. Let’s hope more meeting points for the ethical fashion community continue to be fostered, and I look forward to continuing to connect with this community online and offline!
To find out more about the Ethical Fashion Forum’s Sustainable Fashion Drinks, click here.