Last month, the Ethical Fashion Forum held their ‘Excellence in Ethical Fashion’ training days, supporting fashion businesses in combining both ethical and commercial goals. In 2009, the EFF trained over 1000 fashion professionals through their Spotlight on Sourcing programme and following December 2010’s one day Excellence event, EFF have had to expand their new Excellence training event threefold.
Located in the hub of the creative arts scene, London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre hosted an audience of over 100 delegates in a three day period. The intensive Excellence programme puts a focus on fashion and sustainability in three key areas: Sourcing, Marketing and Sales and Business. Each day lasted 8 hours, filled with comprehensive seminars from sustainability experts.
Every session proved interesting, thought provoking and will no doubt prove invaluable as my business develops”
The audience ranged from founders of small start-ups who were looking to get their best practice business off the ground, to household names seeking a deeper understanding of the ethical fashion sector. EFF received feedback from many of the businesses present explaining that they are now looking to put their new found knowledge into practice. Ali Gane, who represented an emerging online multi-brand ethical boutique, attended all three days and found that “every session proved interesting, thought provoking and will no doubt prove invaluable as my business develops.” The insightful nature of each session meant that the audience felt readily confident to inject sustainability into their business plan, a confidence further developed alongside their like-minded peers who were already offering their support to one another and exchanging business cards at the end of each day.
Packed with painstakingly researched and enlightening information, the day was enriched by advice from guest speakers and leaders in the field, including designer Ada Zanditon (former INNOVATION winner), social business expert Simon Evill of ClearlySo, buying professional Alex Smith and sales guru Jules Hau, who represents clients such as Monkee Genes, Komodo and Pachacuti. As well as presenting, guest speakers hosted the daily ‘Meet the Experts’ lunchtime sessions which gave the delegates the opportunity to chat one on one with the key experts. As one attendee put it, “the experts were open and nurturing”, with another adding that they gave detailed attention and advice.
With the event doubling as a space for delegates to connect with one another, EFF found their Network presence to be a major asset, as the key platform for attendees to keep in contact with one another following the event – much like a ‘facebook’ for the ethical fashion community. As Yuka Okada, a delegate who is interested in setting up a Japanese ethical brand, said afterwards, “It was an incredible event to meet such inspiring people who share the same ideas.”
Thought provoking questions directed to the experts were continuously flowing throughout the day, giving EFF an idea of the potential that the sustainability sector could have on the fashion industry on an international scale. In the last six months this event has tripled in size with EFF looking to host another ethical fashion training programme in the near future.
Check out our Events page for more information on upcoming training opportunities.