A More-Responsible Network Forms Through Sourcing at MAGIC Online
During its second run, Informa Markets Fashion’s Sourcing at MAGIC Online event producers sought to build on a solid foundation for its March 1–May 1 show, focused on bringing together global supply-chain experts and resources to meet the needs of apparel professionals at every level of the industry. Andreu David, event director for Sourcing at MAGIC Online, brought together the brand’s partners and members of its network to build on what they had learned from last year’s production, which ran Sept. 15–Nov. 1.
“There were a lot of sessions that we did during the last event that we needed to focus and refine. That is what we did this time,” David said. “We tapped into our partnerships in our core network.”
These partners came together to form a roster of panels that include input from industry experts from the supply chain to oversight agencies and trade groups, including Fashion for Profit’s Frances Harder, a longtime Sourcing at MAGIC speaker; Rick Helfenbein, former American Apparel & Footwear Association president and chief executive officer; Stephen Lamar, the current AAFA president; Julie Hughes, president of the U.S. Fashion Industry Association; Karla Magruder of Accelerating Circularity; Cheryl Zukowski of Unifi/Repreve; Marta Miller of Lefty Productions; and Patricia Medina and Graham Anderton of Aztex Trading. For this edition of Sourcing at MAGIC, the brand is introducing a new initiative through a partnership with Hey Social Good founder Dr. Cindy Lin, who formerly worked for the Enviornmental Protection Agency and met David through his position at the Otis College of Art and Design, where he teaches fashion.
“What they do is they verify brands and retailers for sustainable practices, ethical works and giving back,” David explained. “She partnered with us, and we created [benchmarks] where we would verify suppliers and manufacturers. That is what we’ve done for this show and have gone through the first-step verification process and now are going through the second round.”
For the show, Lin verifies exhibitors against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals in addition to other databases and through conducting interviews with the companies. The final product is a ranking on a spectrum of sustainability that showcases the meaningful practices of exhibitors.
There is no doubt for David that the future of trade shows includes a strong virtual component, which, in itself, is a greener event option. Working with Informa, David is committed to providing solutions to serve the needs of the event’s customers. Those demands strongly require sustainability.
“It is an initiative that I am personally passionate about, but also, as Informa Markets Fashion, part of our initiative as a corporate company is implementing sustainable practices and sustainable innovations within,” David explained. “These conversations need to continue.”