One of the highlights of the second day was a presentation by Jack Stratten from Insider Trends, who explored the transformative potential of retail transparency. Stratten highlighted the correlation between transparency and consumer trust, asserting that transparent brands inherently elevate their value in the eyes of consumers.

Stratten closed his talk by explaining that “cheap isn’t a story” and the apparel sector should not assume there is longevity in retailers such as Temu and Shein or that these value retail models are the future direction of travel.

The second day of Source Fashion also considered the possibility of bringing fashion manufacturing back into the UK, with industry experts advocating for a shift towards domestic fashion supply chains. Lauretta Roberts, editor-in-chief of The Industry Fashion, led a panel discussion featuring insights from Rosemary Moore, founder of Maxxam Textiles and Simon Platts, CEO of Recomme.

The panel touched on the added value of transparency in supply chains, noting its potential to foster positive customer engagement and product storytelling.

Platts said: “There are two major issues, overproduction and overconsumption and the UK is absolutely perfect for dealing with overproduction. You are not going to be profitable if you don’t know what you are doing, you need to know your supply chain, your supplier’s supply chain, and their supplier’s chain, especially with all the new legislation coming through.”

The event attracted a plethora of sustainability and sourcing professionals, heads of product development, buyers, merchandising directors, heads of design, and garment technologists from leading brands and retailers such as Next, Asos, M&S, Bentley, Belstaff, Saltrock, Axel Arigato, Liberty London, Moss Bros, Lipsy, Lyle & Scott, Pour Moir, QVC, Harrods, Sweaty Betty, Boohoo, John Lewis, Tu Clothing, Urban Outfitters, and Avery Dennison.

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Bianca and Natalie Farbey, from UK-based exhibitor Walter Reginald commented: “It is hugely important to have a show like Source Fashion in the UK, to us and the industry, and we look forward to seeing more UK suppliers and manufacturers joining us.”

More sessions during the day focused on innovative approaches to waste management highlighting the pressing need for sustainable practices within the fashion industry. Discussions on technologies like Fibersort by SATCoL and strategies for reintegrating materials into the supply chain underscored the industry’s collective efforts to address environmental challenges.

Charlene Hurlock, co-founder of Swoperz, a pre-loved marketplace for children, and Joe Metcalfe, founder of Thrift+, led a dialogue moderated by the director of sourcing for Source Fashion, Suzanne Ellingham, on the role of resale and rental marketplaces in promoting circular economy principles. They looked at the importance of consumer education and community engagement in driving sustainable consumption habits, emphasising the need for collaboration across the industry.

Hurlock added: “We’re creating positive habits at a young age and allowing children to take responsibility for their wardrobe. Overconsumption in kids’ fashion is alarming and we all need to take responsibility for that.”

Reflecting on the day, Ellingham said: “It’s been another fascinating, eye-opening, and inspirational day. We’ve welcomed some of the world’s most recognised brands and retailers to the show and opened up a whole new arena in responsible sourcing for them – it highlights the need for our show.

“Our content programme has also delivered solid practical solutions for businesses and brilliant insights into the future of responsible fashion production and retailing.”