For any of you that missed it, we held our first global sourcing marketplace last week at the Chelsea College of Art and Design.

The event was the first of its kind and brought together over thirty ethical/eco suppliers from all over the world. Including ethical garment and textile manufacturers, suppliers of organic and fair-trade cotton, representatives of cooperatives and community groups, eco-colour dye and printing specialists, suppliers to leading retailers, designers and pioneering brands.
(See the exhibitor directory)

The event was open to designers, retailers and students, to make it easier for them to use ethical materials and production in their next collections.

Traditionally it has been difficult for designers and fashion brands to ensure they have an ethical supply chain, as it has been difficult to find reliable information. This event, following on from the Spotlight on Sourcing Seminars, has the power of change to future of fashion production.

Over 200 people attended the event. As well as young designers and established ethical brands such as “Frank & Faith”, “Ascension” and “Luflux”, the high street was present. There were representatives from a range of big retailers including representatives from Marks & Spencer, Topshop, and Ted Baker.

The Global Sourcing Marketplace was run in partnership with some of the most established global networks of suppliers and experts in the ethical, eco and fair-trade fashion fields, including the Fairtrade Foundation, the World Fair Trade Organisation, Made By and the Textiles Environment Design project at Chelsea College.

As part of the event, we showcased how sustainable fabrics can become high fashion with an exclusive view of the iconic pieces designed for the RE:Fashion Awards 2008.

The designers including Vivienne Westwood and Zandra Rhodes worked with fabrics and components sourced from African manufactures and community groups. Alongside this designers worked with recycled and reclaimed materials to create the exclusive designs which were shown on the catwalk.

The pieces were shown exclusively for the first time since they were modelled by Daisy Lowe, Pixie Geldof, Leah Wood and Leah Weller on the night.

"The Global Sourcing Marketplace brought together an impressive combination of sustainable enterprises working along the design supply chain. The marketplace provided many insights, tools and leads to move our business forward. That, combined with the inspirational stories of everyone in attendance, made it a really wonderful and fruitful two days." Benita Singh, S4Style, Visitor.

“We are from India where sustainable textiles are very very very niche. It was amazing to see the lively community of designers, brands and researchers in London, and it made us feel we are part of a large family. Thanks EFF.” Gijs Spoor, Zameen, Exhibitor

“It’s really inspiring to see so many ethical suppliers with such a variety of products. I’ve made contact with some really interesting companies and am excited about the prospect of developing new designs with them.” Julia Smith, Designer, Visitor

Visit out website for more information

The Global Sourcing Marketplace has been featured in the press including::
Green My Style
Eco-Chic" target="_blank">Amelia's Magazine

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Comment by on November 24, 2009 at 19:15
Would Ethical Fashion Forum ever lend its name to an event that included, say, Damart as an ethical T-shirt supplier? It manufactures in a democratic welfare state with environmental laws, it pays taxes in the same country where Ethical Fashion Forum is based, and it sustains a fragile manufacturing tradition in a country where this is discouraged by manipulated exchange rates and government neglect.

I'm not trying to get a job at Damart - just picking it as an example of something that's never been on Ethical Fashion Forum's lists of suppliers before.

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