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EFF SOURCE Fashion business success without compromise

2 April 2015

Mysource.io - Do Fashion Better

Contributor Tamsin Lejeune


For almost 10 years now, the Ethical Fashion Forum has been working with fashion businesses, professionals and entrepreneurs to help them to integrate sustainable and ethical practices. The SOURCE platform was created to further this goal in 2012, and now reaches a global network of over 200,000.

Visit the Mysource website for more detailed information about the new platform.

It’s been quite a journey. Our network includes thousands of (inspirational) entrepreneurs and businesses in 141 countries, and is growing fast. This movement is gaining momentum, and we are at a point where we are ready to take our work to scale and increase our impact for our network members and for the industry as a whole.

We are now closing our investment campaign to develop the next phase of SOURCE. We will be re-branding as Mysource. Mysource will do all the things that our members have told us they need most, and we believe that it has the potential to transform the way fashion business is done, driving forward best practice across the industry.

Please see an introduction to the new site, including a 3 minute video, here

Why are we re-branding and launching Mysource?

Since we launched SOURCE in 2011-12, we’ve learnt a lot about how it is used and what our members and users need most. Every time we’ve held an event, we have collected feedback. We regularly speak to our members on their challenges and what works best for them, and we’ve put together an industry advisory panel to help us to have as much impact as possible through our work.

We’ve also noticed something interesting happening. A lot of the enquiries and site visitors that we get are coming to SOURCE not because they specifically want to work in a sustainable way, but because we have become the best way for them to find answers to core business problems and make the connections they need. Everything from understanding sourcing options to getting their products right and growing their sales base.

For the last two years all our team has had their heads down, processing all this feedback, and developing our proposals for the next phase of SOURCE, in collaboration with industry advisors and partners.

There were three big things that stood out in relation to all the feedback and work we have been doing:

1) Our members get the best experience when we match them directly with what they need. For example, when they call us or email us (we get lots of those!) and we connect them with people, or resources and training on SOURCE Intelligence, directly aligned with their needs. This has saved some of our members hundreds of hours, avoided mistakes, and taken their work forward. But this personal approach is expensive and time-consuming. We need to find a way to offer this service to all of our members, at a price they can afford.

2) We’ve had real impact when we have engaged and worked with individuals and businesses that are not already operating in a sustainable way. If we really want to make a difference to the way fashion business is done, and address industry challenges, we need to create a platform that is relevant to everyone, and engages the whole industry – not just those who already have an interest in sustainability.

3) Why should sustainability be a penalty? Businesses pay extra for ethical, organic, and fairtrade certifications. Yet this investment does not always pay off in the market. Evidence proves that most consumers are still unwilling to pay extra for sustainable fashion product, at point of sale. If we are really going to drive forward sustainability in the fashion industry as a whole, we need to make it a commercial opportunity for fashion businesses. We need to create a more level playing field, in which social and environmental impacts are valued alongside commercial profit.

These three findings form the basis of our work with Mysource. The Mysource solution has been created to respond to these challenges. If (when!) we get this right- we believe that our impact will be huge.

Mysource – A fundamental tool for the fashion industry

Our goal is that Mysource will become a fundamental tool for all fashion professionals, whether or not they have any interest in sustainability – helping them to build more efficient supply chains, create market-targeted products and services, and grow their sales base. Once on the platform, users gain commercial advantages through more sustainable practices – including more profile and higher search rankings on the site.

Building on the current SOURCE platform model, Mysource will continue to provide online intelligence, training, networking events, and connections for members. However, there are two big things that we will be doing differently:

1) CLEVER MATCHING – Mysource will use an advanced matching algorithm that means users are connected to the people and resources best suited to their needs. So that fabric, supplier, market report, or business connection you were looking for will pop straight up on your dashboard, based on your profile, and the things you have said you are looking for.

2) BENCHMARKING – Mysource will rank users according to an integrated benchmarking system including social, environmental and commercial criteria. We’re working with partner organisations to make this as robust as it can be. The higher users are ranked, the more profile they get on the site. So that small, Ethiopian shoe brand with a great product that is changing lives, could stand out to buyers and get extensive profile on the site.

Why www.mysource.io?

As a fundamental resource for the fashion industry, we need a url that is relevant to everybody – and we will therefore be moving from www.ethicalfashionforum.com to www.mysource.io.

We’ve branded as Mysource rather than SOURCE to ensure higher search rankings and to represent the goals of the site – tailored to each individual user.

Be a part of it

3 big reasons to back Mysource:

1) Over 370 million professionals work in fashion and related industries*, and could benefit from using Mysource. Mysource has the potential to grow very large, very quickly.

2) Be a part of a groundbreaking initiative, in an exciting sector. We bring together sector leaders and pioneers, with major, high profile names.

3) Help us change the world. Mysource will transform the way fashion business is done, creating a community that drives forward best practices from one end of the supply chain to the other.

We especially value our members and network as investors and partners in Mysource – you know what you need – and we would like to work with you to build it.

Email us at [email protected] for more information.

What this means for current SOURCE members

Our goal is to go live with the new Mysource platform in early 2017.

In the meantime, the current SOURCE platform will continue to operate as per usual. We’ll continue to:

  • Publish regular Intelligence articles – providing useful business information, market reports, new innovations, and resources to help our members succeed in running their sustainable businesses.
  • Run our online events, SOURCE Expo and SOURCE Brand Preview – connecting sustainable fashion professionals globally.
  • Promote our members through the online database and printed directories – widely distributed at leading fashion events.

Mysource has been developed and borne out of the feedback received by SOURCE members, who will be the first to hear about the platform’s progress. In addition, we’ll be offering members the first opportunity to use the platform before it is launched to the general public.

SOURCE, and Mysource, simply would not exist without the work and input of our members and wider network.

We highly value your support and feedback as we continue to develop our product and services to best suit your needs and enable you to build successful, sustainable fashion businesses.

If you would like to send us your thoughts or questions, please do email them through to [email protected].

What happens to the Ethical Fashion Forum and SOURCE?

The Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF) will be registered as a charity and operate as the charitable arm of Mysource. The role of the Ethical Fashion Forum will be to continue the work it was doing before the SOURCE platform was launched, including building collaboration towards better standards in the fashion industry, working to build capacity and reduce poverty through fashion on the ground, and raising consumer awareness. The EFF will be governed by a board of trustees, completely independent to Mysource.

All assets from the current SOURCE platform, including data and network, have been transferred to Mysource, which is a limited company, governed by an executive board. See the Mysource management team here.

When Mysource launches, the content and data on the SOURCE site will be transferred to the new site. SOURCE members will be invited to transfer over to Mysource where they’ll be the first to receive the benefits that this new platform will offer. Our members make our work possible – and we want to roll out the red carpet for you!

As mentioned above, SOURCE will continue to operate as per usual for its members up until this time.

We are looking forward to working with you during this exciting phase of the Mysource journey!

We will continue to send updates about the development of Mysource through our weekly SOURCE bulletins, but you can also head over to the Mysource website to regularly check our blog and follow our progress. You can also sign up there for Mysource specific news.

*Based on number of relevant professionals currently using LinkedIn, and LinkedIn’s estimated total market.

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