The only international sourcing platform of its kind in the UK, Source Home & Gift taking place from 5th – 8th February at NEC Birmingham, has announced its seminar programme of informative talks taking place on its new Responsible Retail Stage across all four days of the inaugural show including a keynote with founder of JoJo Maman Bébé, Laura Tenison MBE on building an ethical business
Designed to spark the imagination and inform the mind, the programme has internationally renowned professionals and experts from across the industry attending to share knowledge and advice for the coming season on topics from the latest retail trends to B Corps movement and sustainable packaging development.
Suzanne Ellingham, Director of Sourcing, Source Home & Gift says, “Whenever we talk about sustainable and responsible sourcing, the biggest thing that comes out of those conversations is everyone wants to know what ‘good’ really looks like, and how they can achieve it. At a time when sustainability can mean almost anything, and there are no measurements, no definitions, no common language, many businesses are simply doing their best, but there is a community that wants to learn from each other. The Responsible Retail Stage is packed full of innovators and business leaders who are on that journey and willing to not just share their successes, but also share where things didn’t quite go to plan and use that insight to move their own journey forward faster. If we can give people even one great idea or actionable point to take back to their business, then we will all be delighted.”
Kicking off the four-day seminar schedule on Sunday at 10.30am, Terrie Isaac and Gwyneth Holland of trend forecasting fashion retail specialists, BDA London will be looking at ‘The evolution of trends’ across consumer behaviour. Ever-changing speeds of production and consumption demand a more considered approach to trends, meaning consumers are looking for brands to balance newness with longevity, making sustainability a more important part of the value equation.
The talk explores how shifting consumer behaviours and market conditions mean trend forecasting must become more agile, that the consumer has never been more influential in shaping the decisions brands and retailers make, and how a new approach to core and seasonal collections can help brands to be both sustainable and inspiring.
Next up, Jack Stratten, Head of Trends at Insider Trends presents ‘Ethical interiors start with responsible sourcing’ looking at the competitive advantage, customer loyalty, and improved brand reputation, gained from responsible sourcing.
Packaging solutions business Wrapology and jewellery brand Enibas take to the stage to discuss ‘Shop in a box: Use less packaging, make more impact’, at 1.30pm, discussing their 10-month journey redesigning 12 pieces of packaging.
The conversation on packaging continues with a session on ‘Climate crisis action: Meeting sustainable packaging standards’ with WRAP, who is committed to a circular economy for plastics beyond 2025, both in the UK and globally. While the UK is making some progress in tackling key environmental issues, a lot more collaboration and action is needed from businesses to achieve the level of change required, and to keep climate goals within reach, through the UK Plastics Pact targets, extended producer responsibility (EPR), and targets one to four.
Monday opens with BDA London’s second trend presentation ‘Protopia: Key home directions for SS24’. Protopia, a realist’s idea of progression, is central to strategic and creative thinking for Spring/Summer 2024 and BDA London’s Trendhub research reveals how this hopeful but realistic view filters through to home and interiors, identifying the key commercial messages across colour, materials, and form.
For an inspiring session on manufacturing and eco design, join Josh Valman, Chief Executive Officer of RPD International for ‘ULTIMATE efficiency: Manufacturing design and purchasing practices’ as he uncovers the most effective ways manufacturers can reduce resource use and waste production.
The Responsible Sourcing Stage then welcomes Laura Tenison MBE, Founder of JoJo Maman Bébé for her Keynote presentation at 1.30pm on ‘ReCommerce Revolution: The second-hand industry comes of age’ during which she will discuss the rise of thrifting, the second-hand market, reverse commerce, and how to build an ethical business.
For a deep dive into ‘Going for green: A sustainable – and profitable – retail supply chain’ don’t miss Tom Barton, Co-Founder and Director of Food, Quality and Sustainability at Honest Burgers as he presents the first steps to developing a more sustainable strategy, including introducing ethical sourcing practices, reusing waste or by-products, and redesigning your processes and optimising transport.
On Tuesday morning, James George, Strategic Adviser at Pyrexa Global will be joined by Helena Stopher from Products of Change to ask, ‘Circular Economy: What is it and why should you care?’, unravelling facts about using the right materials and the policies surrounding them as well as how to ‘green’ your business. Overseas sourcing tips will be on offer from the experts at Retail 100 as they present Country intelligence: A beginners guide to sourcing overseas with practical advice and guidance.
‘The B Corp Movement: Toast Ale’s eco journey’ will be under the spotlight, with co-founder Rob Wilson explaining more about their B Corp journey and first steps to B Corp without simply succumbing to the ‘greenwashing’ trend.
Packaging will be another focus with Kate Usher from TrendBible looking at the key pillars of responsible packaging sourcing and more with her seminar ‘Back to the drawing board: Sustainable product development’. She will explore what sustainability’s impact is on new product development, who’s at the cutting edge of making real change, and whether consumers will change their behaviour and buy more ‘cheap’ and less sustainable products again.
On Wednesday, Lewis Blitz, Co-Founder of Skinnydip London delves into the wasteful business of eCommerce returns as well as his journey creating one of the UK’s most well-loved accessory brands. Free returns are a massive selling point for online retailers to entice potential customers, making purchases seamless. But eCommerce returns are a messy, wasteful process. Not only do retailers lose hundreds of billions in revenue each year, there is also the environmental impact to consider. Retailers are starting to examine the sustainability of their returns and Blitz will explore ways to minimise them without sabotaging sales.
With a growing list of exhibitors and attendees, Source Home & Gift promises to be one not to miss. Already pre-registered to attend are leading retailers and brands including Dunelm, Pandora, Avon, Dobbies, Wilko, Oxfam, RSPCA, Liverpool FC, and many more.
Join Source Home & Gift from 5-8 February at NEC Birmingham and visit Seminars 2023 – Source Home & Gift 2023 (source-homeandgift.com) for the full schedule.
Launched to unite the best manufacturers from key sourcing regions around the world with key retailers, brands, contractors, and interior designers who are looking to find new suppliers or explore private label opportunities, Source Home & Gift reflects a new vision for sustainable, ethical and inspirational product sourcing.