10-12 February 2019
Olympia London

April Newsletter

Editor's note:

Nelly Gergi Pure London editorGood news! It’s officially spring.

Planning for the SS19 show is in full swing and we aim to bring you a complete festival of fashion this July. As always, we’ll have an amazing line-up of speakers, but we also have - very - exciting things happening (having to bite my tongue to not spill it all!).

This month has been busy, we’ve been at conferences and listened to experts talk about what the future beholds, and spoiler alert! We’re getting techier and artificially smarter. The consumers have and will continue to have more control over what they want the fashion industry to look like and transparency is key.

Keeping a big focus on ethical fashion, our new sector Pure Conscious will bring even more attention to what happens to be the biggest trend of 2018 – sustainability. Pure Origin keeps evolving to continue being the number one destination for sourcing and manufacturing and we have fantastic new brands exhibiting at the show. It’s safe to say that Pure London SS19 will be a show you really don’t want to miss.

Enjoy the read,
Nelly Gergi

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Get ready for SS19

As it’s officially spring and less than four months to go (15 weeks to be precise) until our July show, it’s safe to say we’re busy planning for Pure London SS19. We’ve got a brand-new sector – Pure Conscious, which focuses on ethical and sustainable brands and it means we proudly continue to move towards a conscious direction in fashion. 

Pure Origin continues to evolve and we’re making sure we continue to bring you the best manufacturing and fabric sourcing show in the UK, and Pure London has got new and exciting brands showcasing this summer alongside an insightful seminar programme with a fantastic line-up of very interesting speakers.

On the business-side of things - it comes as no surprise that the consumer continues to be in control, giving brands and retailers no choice but to be transparent and it’s been an inevitable topic across all conferences and events we’ve attended this year. Technology is leading the way and making it easier to trace and keep track on complete processes, both through social media and carefully developed digital systems. 

Whether it’s through organisations such as Sedex, ASBCI, Ethical Fashion Forum or our new exhibitors, Pure London is confident in bringing you the best show to date. Amazing things are happening that we cannot wait to share with you. So, if you needed another reason to be excited for summer, you just got one.

 

Brexit - the issues and solutions

Whether it’s Christmas 2020 or Easter 2021, Brexit is eventually going to happen. And in terms of fashion, buyers have had to rethink their whole strategy and designers have had to re-evaluate their manufacturing process.

Tamara Cincik, founder and CEO of Fashion Roundtable, a not-for-profit organisation that specialises in integrating the concerns of the fashion industry into UK and EU politics, explains that the fashion industry contributed almost £30 billion to the UK economy in 2016 and the uncertainty of Brexit is already causing worry.
 
It seems like it all comes down to pricing. Buyers and boutique owners from Scarecrow Boutique, Susana and Adriana explain that Brexit has affected which brands they’re able to work with as it all depends on pricing. And whilst certain brands have completely disappeared from the radar, Susana says, “we want value for the customer but certain brands we won’t be able to do anymore because it’s too expensive”. Womenswear buyer from McElhinneys, Leona Fallen says, “I think that in a way people are being a bit more cautious with their budgets and stuff, I think because of Brexit people are so uncertain”. Vanessa Murray from A Hume Country Clothing says, “there has been price increases, some of them justified, others not so much. But it does mean that the margins are being shrunk and the prices are going up and the consumer doesn’t necessarily understand this”.

The fact that consumers aren’t spending in the same way as they used to might not come as a surprise, and they might not necessarily be able to blame Brexit for it, but one thing we do know is that retailers and buyers have become smarter in their buying process and the buyers do have a few tricks up their sleeves. 

Leona’s way of staying relevant during the Brexit uncertainty is to always answer to what the client wants, but to be smart about it, saying, “you still need to have that little bit of space and budget to play around. If someone comes in and asks for a grey top and we have no grey tops – the first thing you do is go get a grey top”. In this way, you stay up-to-date without sitting on stock that won’t sell. 

Susana reveals that they’re taking a completely different approach to what they’re used to, “We have to compete with disposable fashion, you can’t compete with that and we’re not going to. So we’re going to find something different. We’re doing more accessories now.” 

Whether it is by buying into safe fashion and continuity pieces such as classic tailoring and timeless knitwear, or doing something completely different, the strategy that the Pure London buyers have taken seem to be to buy into compelling things that will stay relevant beyond Brexit.

 

Consumer Pressure - What we learnt from the Sedex Conference

On March the 13th the Pure Origin team attended the annual Sedex conference in London. Sedex are a global non-profit organisation that aim to make it easier for companies to do business that is fair for the entire supply chain. They focus on labour rights, health & safety, environmental issues and overall business ethics.

With a full schedule of stimulating content sessions, the CEO of Sedex, Jonathan Ivelaw-Chapman started off by sharing information on how companies are progressing in ways to become as transparent as possible for the consumer, and how technology plays a big role. One example of this was that you are now able to scan an item and know it’s exact journey from the fibre to how it ended up on a hanger in your hand.

Following this, it came as no surprise that a there was a big focus on consumer pressure and as a  result of technology, the consumer is now able to expose brands and reach the mass within minutes, via social media. Brands and high-street retailers no longer have the option to ignore an issue, whether it’s copying designs or questionable labour rights. During a discussion at the conference, Professor Steve Evans from the University of Cambridge said encouraging, “we should take to social media to expose non-compliance”.

Transparency being key, there no longer is a reason for brands not to action and try to be the as compliant and ethical as they possibly can. Jill Tucker from the C&A Foundation, a corporate foundation aiming to transform the fashion industry, said, “We need to spend 80% of the time solving the problem and 20% of the time identifying the problem”. Being an ongoing issue, the fact that we are dealing with a lot of the same issues in 2018 as we did in 1998 is a warning sign. 

But clearly, consumers aren’t being quiet anymore and the fact that it is 2018 and technology being at its peak, only works in their favour. The consumer pressure has probably always been there, but it’s only become louder and better with the platforms they’re given. 

 

Conscious about fashion

Introducing Pure Conscious was an obvious choice for Pure London to stay current and continue being relevant. Having a sector wholeheartedly dedicated to ethical and conscious fashion where we can proudly scream about ethical and sustainable brands already exhibiting, but also create a platform for new and emerging ethical designers was a no-brainer.

At our AW18/19 show during the panel discussion Sustainability: 2018’s biggest trend, Diana Verde Nieto, CEO of Positive Luxury, said, “Sustainable fashion and normal fashion shouldn’t be different”, meaning the option to be or not to be sustainable should no longer be an option.

Whilst we can all agree that sustainable fashion should be a given in 2018, being able to educate and create awareness is a fantastic start and Pure London is excited to be a platform for it. We met up with Ethical Fashion Forum, a not for profit network who’s focus is social and environmental sustainability in the fashion industry. Together with EFF, Pure London aims to be a leading voice for a change in the fashion industry.

Being a network of contacts and brands, EFF launched Common Objective only a few weeks ago. CEO Tamsin Lejeune explained it to be a LinkedIn for ethical and sustainable fashion. The goal is to have experts in the field educate and lead the way. Anyone can join – as long as you are or aiming to be a more sustainable and ethical brand (which we all are, right?).

Together with Ethical Fashion Forum, Pure Conscious will aim to connect brands with experts and retailers, so that we can – collectively – strive to make everyone conscious about fashion.

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