Sourcing more rapidly, sourcing more on target – online procurement platforms make it possible.
On digital-sourcing platforms, with a few clicks, designers and purchasers come together with producers, suppliers and agents from all over the world. “We are the Parship of the textile industry”, says Jonas Wand from the new Berlin procurement tool Foursource, succinctly describing the model. And, in actual fact, match-making is not that much different: users set up a profile, and off the search goes for the right partner. With the aid of search and matching algorithms, Foursource links businesses with world-wide producers. Filter options make it possible, in accordance with specific product categories, to select procurement countries, delivery times, order quantities, materials, processes – and, in future, certificates too. And brands and suppliers can “follow” each other, as on Facebook or Twitter, and thus find topics relevant to them. Using these and further functions, since going live last April Foursource has succeeded in gaining major brands such as S. Oliver, the German purchasing association Katag, Schöffel, Ahlers, Escada and Adler Fashion Markets as members. The rapid growth of this new technology company speaks for itself, as does the professionalism and expertise of the 21-member team, with industrial and e-commerce experience from companies such as Falke, Bogner, Westwing, Rocket Internet and Amazon.
To bring world-wide sourcing to a new level – it is with this aim that Common Objective has been launched. The background is very different, though, for behind this sourcing platform, still under construction, stands nothing less than the Ethical Fashion Forum in London. Its aim is to expand its existing networks of players from the fashion industry in over 140 countries and to raise its influence and reach significantly world-wide. Major names such as Roland Mouret and Vivienne Westwood, plus pioneers such as Komodo, Thought and Mantis World and certificators such as Fairtrade und GOTS, are some of its supporters. Common Objective is beginning with six segments, clothing, textiles, ingredients, shoes, accessories and jewellery, but intends to expand also into other areas. Always with the aim of scaling sustainability via digital sourcing to a global benchmark.
Sourcebook has established itself with a clear focus on small and medium-sized players in the European textile industry. Its spotlight is on local supply chains and reshoring in the textile industry. Most of its member businesses, currently numbering over 2,000, are engaged in social entrepreneurship, circular, sharing or green economy. Sourcebook is a spin-off of the EU sponsored project Nemona Placement and has been developed as a commission by the consultancy company Inpolis.