Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - January/February 2023

AT THE SOURCE Source Home & Gift, taking place from 5th – 8th February at NEC Birmingham, has 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. Here, Source Home & Gift Director of Sourcing Suzanne Ellingham tells us more… “Coming out of the pandemic, life has changed within retail for retailers and wholesalers. Research by the economist in November 2021 shows that 93% of companies involved in retailer were actively looking to transform their country sourcing strategy and that 92% were transforming their supplier relationships. Reading between the lines, companies were burnt with supply chain disruption and increasing costs, and where they can they are simply de-risking their supply chain by diversifying their county spread, which makes complete sense. However, if you layer over this that buyers simply don’t want to spend as much time on a plane, and also a desire for better, more sustainably made goods, we can see an opportunity to build a show that can really deliver. “There is a huge gap in the market for a true responsible sourcing show for home and giftware in the UK, even Europe. Source Home & Gift reflects a new vision for sustainable, ethical and inspirational product sourcing and will unite accredited and audited manufacturers from key sourcing regions around the world with high-profile retailers, brands, and designers who are looking to responsibly and sustainably source new products. “Source Home & Gift will bring over 200 audited, quality manufacturers from around the world, to the NEC to help buyers source fantastic products from great manufacturers with great processes. We have manufacturers from China, India, Egypt, Peru and even the US. It’s important to me that our show is international and has a fantastic mix of large-scale manufacturing capabilities as well as beautiful handicrafts from around the world. What is even more important is that this show is a trusted platform, every manufacturer, or maker, that exhibits at the show is able to work in the UK and supply to Europe comfortably. We are bringing the best responsible manufacturers to the show and working with governments around the world to find the best exporters with good working practices. “We will be welcoming producers and manufacturers from over 20 countries, amongst these are four dedicated country pavilions including China (showcasing 70 quality manufacturers in total), two Indian Pavilions (organised by EPCH (handicrafts association) and HEPC (handloom producers association), and an Egyptian Pavilion. “We are creating a trusted platform where buyers, sourcing and procurement professionals can have confidence that if they find someone they want to work with, then that exhibitor will not fail in their internal audits. The accreditation process of sourcing new suppliers is time consuming and often fraught with issues. By ensuring all our exhibitors have already achieved the necessary accreditations and audits, we can make the sourcing process more efficient. “We are working with governments and agencies from across the world, to bring best in class manufacturers and artisan producers to the UK to share their capabilities with the UK market. Balancing scale and quality across key buying categories, with a range of minimum order values and range of finishes, the new show puts the entire supply chain at the fingertips of buyers for homewares, gifts, furniture, textiles, toys, stationery, and let’s not forget packaging. We are taking the pain out of global sourcing, saving buyers flights around the world by bringing manufacturers right to them. The proposition of a trade show of fully audited manufacturers that at least have a Sedex audit has proven exceptionally popular with all major retailers and wholesalers. It makes Source Home and Gift a must attend event for every buyer or procurement head we speak too. “Sourcing sustainable materials and products is not as easy as it sounds. It’s always challenging because good products and sustainability is more than just what a product is made of. It’s about the carbon footprint, it’s about the labour processes, it’s about the supply chain of getting that product from a to b, and many many other considerations. Even the word sustainable means a million different things to different people. There is nothing stopping anyone from sourcing sustainably, but the reality is that finding manufacturers that not only have great products, but consider their carbon footprint, and their working policies, and still can deliver a well-made product at a good price point, on time, is the holy grail. For us it is about championing responsible manufacturing with people who are doing things in the right way. They may not be 100% there, but no one is, it’s about working with global manufacturers who are fundamentally doing the right things in the right way and are on that improvement journey alongside their own customers. “It’s important to us that we build a show full of manufacturers and makers that become trusted partners for their customers. We want to challenge buyers to source better and show them some of the best manufacturers in the world, who can take their ideas and ranging requirements and turn that into fantastic products that will sell in their store or showroom. We want to help everyone find a better manufacturer to work with, so that ‘not knowing who to work with’ is no longer a viable reason to not have better products.” 20