Episode 42: Why location is so important when you are considering where to source from
Sustainable sourcing, Ethical sourcing, global supply chains, fabrics, materials, carbon footprint, manufacturing, supply chain risk.
Welcome to the Fashion Unearthed podcast. If you need help navigating the fashion industry sustainably, you have come to the right place. I'm your host Belinda Humphrey and my hope is to simplify the fashion industry so that businesses can make the best decisions for people, planet and product.
Hello, and welcome to episode 42 of the Fashion Unearthed podcast. In today's episode, I wanted to talk about why location is so important when you are setting up your sourcing strategy and when you're deciding where to get your fabrics from, or where to manufacture your products. And if you're interested in going into ethical and sustainable sourcing in more detail, there is a guide that I have on my website for a very accessible price, where I walk you through what ethical and sustainable sourcing looks like and it's really just about how to find the partners that share your values so you can create your dream product. And the information in that guide is exactly how I would approach sourcing and how I have done in my previous roles, and also with my own business. So it's industry proven, it's exactly how I would have done it and like I said, it's on the website, belindahumphrey.com in the shop.
So today I just wanted to talk about why location is so important when you're considering where you're going to source your fabrics from, or your garments. And also why it can be one of the reasons that you're let down when you're trying to find something. It all comes back to countries having particular strengths and weaknesses. To use a food analogy, when you go to Italy, you order pasta, or you order pizza, because that's what they're good at. And similarly with sourcing product or materials, you want to be sourcing the strengths of that country. For example, if you're looking for silk, you will be looking for that in China or India because that's where they have the generational knowledge of growing the Silkworms and being able to process that fibre and weave the material. By really thinking about who the experts are for that particular material or fibre, you'll avoid wasting time and feeling like you're banging your head against the wall trying to get a particular material or fabric out of an area.
Now the other part to this conversation around location is that ideally, you want your manufacturing as close as possible to where your material is coming from. Shipping fabric halfway across the world to another manufacturing location adds to your carbon footprint as well as introduces a lot of risk into your supply chain. Sometimes you can't avoid it. For example, if you want to use a particular fabric that Australia doesn't make, but you want to manufacture in Australia, you have to import that fabric. But generally best practice is to try and get everything as close as possible together. Not only like I said for carbon footprint but also for risk.
Hopefully that's given you something to think about the next time you're sourcing fabrics or factories and if you're interested in learning more about sourcing there is that ethical and sustainable sourcing guide on my website, belindahumphrey.com in the shop section. That's it for today's episode, you'll find the show notes and any links in the podcast section on the website. Thanks for listening, see you next time.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort is made to ensure that information is accurate at the time of recording, much like the fashion industry itself, this information may change.