We are often asked about the potential customers for Mysource - who are they, how do we already engage with them, and how will they use the platform?
While we could show you all the impressive numbers and growth statistics to back this up - our network reach of over 220,000 in 141 countries, the thousands of site visitors we get each week using our resources, or the 1,800 people who registered for our most recent online event - a better way to explain this could be a simple story about one person and one business.
This week, we spoke to Sarah Fenn - a fashion professional who has engaged with us several times before - as a student, an employee of a large brand, and now a business owner. She is representative of thousands of fashion professionals who will benefit from using a tool like Mysource.
When did you first come across the current SOURCE platform?
I first heard about the Ethical Fashion Forum in 2010 and then SOURCE in 2011 when it was launched, through my University at the time, Nottingham Trent.
I used the current platform throughout the last 2 years of my degree (BA Hons Fashion Design) to inform my work and to make sure I always had an eye on the development of ethical fashion.
I think our course really made us aware that sustaining the industry though growing ethical practices was a must. Since graduating I have read many articles on SOURCE to aid me as I worked in a large fashion brand and now in the process of starting my own business.
What are you up to now?
I currently run my own business making bespoke garments, sampling for other designers and alterations, privately, and in conjunction with a few local high street stores. Within the next 3 years I am aiming to have launched my own line of clothing, for men and women, with a strong ethical focus - I don't want to giveaway my USP just yet!
What are your thoughts on the new platform, Mysource?
I think Mysource is an amazing idea. It can feel very daunting starting out on your own, with it being notoriously 'hard and expensive' to start out in the fashion industry, and impossible to know the ethical standards of other companies.
I think a lot of talented designers have probably gone to waste due to this reputation of the industry. However Mysource really opens it up and gives graduates and other creatives a chance to make the right connections and find the right information that would be so stressful and time consuming to have to find on your own.
And it's not just helping people and businesses make any connections - but connections that make the industry a better place. Finding the people who truly want to work ethically on your own is next to impossible but Mysource's benchmarking system is the perfect way to find the right people who can help you in a positive way.
How could Mysource help you?
I will use Mysource to help connect me to specific people that offer what I need and who run their business with appropriate practices that fit in with the ethics I will keep within my own business. Using all the other tools it offers, such as helping me to understand my market and lookbook development, it will help me develop in to a viable company that will be a part of the future of the fashion industry.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be involved in something as pivotal to the fashion industry as Mysource, and I hope I can be involved indefinitely.
Sarah Fenn offers bespoke pieces and tailoring for menswear and womenswear.