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Business focus

Comprehensive Solutions For Supply Chain Transformation

Lebenskleidung spinning Dr Maximilian Martin, the founder of Impact Economy and expert on sustainable apparel value chains, shares with us an overview of the recent Impact Economy symposium and discusses the practical ways that positive supply chain transformation might happen. Image: Founding partner, Lebenskleidung

Business focus

Why The Time Is Right To Go Organic

People Tree cotton farmers To launch a regular column, the Soil Association - the leading environmental certification and campaigning body in the UK - reveals 5 crucial things you need to know about going organic. Image: People Tree organic farmers

Market & sales watch

5 Tips for Turning Challenges into Opportunities

Dhana Eco Kids Fashion brand consultant and business expert Shannon Whitehead helped an early-stage fashion company to launch a range of products into a new market. Here, Shannon offers some key lessons learned about knowing your market and being adaptable. Image: SOURCE Founding Partner, Dhana Eco Kids

Events

SOURCE Summit 2014 Speakers

Baroness Lola Young Please find below an introduction the initial list of key speakers at SOURCE Summit 2014. New speakers will be added daily. This list is subject to change.

Quickfire Q&A

5 minutes with... Lizzie Woolnough from Made

Lizzie is Marketing Manager for Made, a widely stocked jewellery brand made by artisans in Kenya. Lizzie speaks with SOURCE about Made’s sustainable business success.

1) What have been the 3 most important factors in Made’s success thus far?

1. Loyalty – from suppliers, brands and customers.

2. Production – We work with the most amazing group of creative and skilled artisans. But sometimes, being based in Kenya can be hard and unpredictable. Supply chains, lack of efficient transport systems and other socio-political factors can affect not only what goes on in the workshop, but the people we employ. That’s also why the pastoral care of our artisans is so important – by treating our team members with respect, loyalty and support, we have built a team that is not only hard working and productive but creative too. It’s not just about empowering our artisans economically, but on a personal level too.

3. Product – As a sustainable fashion brand we have worked hard to create our own identity through the design of our products. We are not a brand that constantly churns out styles dictated by the latest ever-changing fashions. Instead we have worked hard to create a product that is original, distinctive, wearable and timeless

2) Made has done a number of collaborations with big name brands. What has been the biggest impact?

Designer collaborations have come to form a pivotal part of our business. One way we like to bring trends into our collection is to work with guest designers and personalities. We have been incredibly lucky to have worked with some of the fashion industry’s most exciting designers such as Pippa Small, Vicki Beamon, celebrities like Laura Bailey and Alexa Chung and big brands such as Louis Vuitton and Tommy Hilfiger.

Each one of the collaborative collections helps introduce Made to a new audience as well as helping to grow the brand financially and through positive brand association. Working with guest designers is also a big part of how our artisans grow both creatively and technically and in turn helping shape future collections of our own.

3) Why do you think huge retailers like ASOS work with Made – what makes it stand apart from all the other jewellery brands out there?

Not only is Made unique in it’s production techniques and business model, but we are also unique in our story. We pride ourselves in being 100% transparent when it comes to who, how and where our products are made. We believe this is what has helped our customers and retail partners to invest in our story.

We work closely with all our retailers and will often work alongside them to create unique collections exclusively for sale in their stores. Because we create all our products at our own workshop in Kenya, we are able to be really flexible with our design and manufacturing and retailers love that.

4) How does Made measure and put a business value to its positive environmental and social impact?

We see it as a very basic concept – Recycle what you can and you’ll save money; Invest in, respect and reward your work force and they will reward you with loyalty, productivity and creativity.

We do what we do because we are passionate about people, justice and positive change. But then so are most consumers, and we think Made has shown that, if you give people the option of an affordable, beautifully crafted product that has also been made to the benefit of many, they will invest in it.