Interview with Julie Driscoll

Julie Driscoll
Julie Driscoll
Managing Director
Pure Origin
Pure Origin

Consumers have become ever more vocal about concerns
Pure London, the UK's leading fashion trade event, has announced the launch of a new sourcing event, Pure Origin. Aimed at uniting global suppliers, buyers and brands in London's busiest fashion trade hub, Pure Origin will bring together all aspects of fashion sourcing and manufacturing under one roof. Julie Driscoll, managing director, Pure Origin, talks about Brexit, consumer trends and the launch of Pure Origin at Pure London.

How have trade events evolved in the last couple of years and still stay relevant in times of B2B trade platforms like Alibaba? What has been the growth story at Pure Origin in the last four years?

Just as we've seen happen in the consumer retail space, both online and offline will co-exist in the trade environment. Pure Origin launches in February (11-13) and will make Pure London the only UK fashion and sourcing trade show linking manufacturers, fabric suppliers, designers, logistics, brands and retailers. It will offer a curated selection of the world's best manufacturers and fabric suppliers offering a face to face environment for business. It is essential when sourcing suppliers and manufacturers to meet the people involved, develop a relationship, see the products, look at the finishing and the stitching, and understand the production processes and company ethos. With the increase in private label collections, impact of Brexit, the growth in sustainability and innovative materials and practices, and following a huge amount of market research we realised that we needed to offer a platform for the entire supply chain, from fabric to the finished brand.

With omni-channel, phygital ruling the business of fashion, what is a trade event like yours doing to keep abreast of the changes?

Pure London is part of the Ascential Group offering access to sister brands including WGSN, One Click Retail and Retail Week who are leaders in the digital space. Through this invaluable network and continual liaison with our own customer base we can identify the future landscape and leverage our current value proposition to appropriately serve and meet our customers' needs. As a team, we are all travelling the world to discover new brands, partnerships and opportunities to share with our global audience.

What impact will Brexit have on the fashion industry? Has it changed sourcing practices so far?

What we're hearing from many brands, and retailers with own label collections, is that they are all considering their supply chain due to exchange rates and the impact on their cost base. Sourcing costs are predicted to increase by up to 10 per cent, and also, the huge differential in costs and competitive advantage between manufacturing in the Far East and closer to shore has reduced. So, we're seeing a trend towards on or near-shoring. Brexit has thrown up many challenges; however, it has also uncovered many opportunities. Part of the role of the education programme of seminars and talks at Pure London and Pure Origin is to look at all of these changes and challenges, create a platform to discuss them, provide insight from experts, and guide brands and retailers to negotiate positively through these uncertain but exciting times.

What is the size of the fashion industry in the UK? How is apparel manufacturing there evolving?

Clothing and footwear sales in the UK in 2017 were worth £55.6 billion. That figure is predicted to increase by over 11 per cent by 2022 to £62.2 billion (Planet Retail/RNG). The UK has an optimistic and bright future for fashion, and Pure Origin will reflect its local and global outlook.

How different will Pure Origin be from Pure London? What will be unique to Pure Origin?

Pure London showcases the AW18/19 collections from fashion brands selling the finished garment. Pure Origin looks farther forward, is about sourcing and the supply chain from the very beginning with manufacturers, fabric suppliers and designers, new technology businesses, and logistics.

Does Pure Origin have a section for smart clothing? What can be expected from the upcoming fair?

Yes, we expect to showcase some of the leading technologies from both our exhibitors and from the future trends provided exclusively in collaboration with global trend forecasters WGSN.
Published on: 12/01/2018

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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