In Focus: SOURCING at MAGIC February 2022

PIONEERS OF SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainability was a major focus at this season's SOURCING at MAGIC event in Las Vegas. Here we highlight expert insights as well as sustainable exhibitors from the February edition. And stayed tuned for more post-event editorial from SOURCING at MAGIC coming soon. 

Pictured left, Andreu David, Vice President SOURCING at MAGIC; Pictured right, Dr. Cindy Lin, Founder Hey Social Good

  

SOURCING at MAGIC is busting their corozo buttons with pride at hosting some of the industry’s sustainability pioneers at this season’s event. We’ve been pleased to welcome brands that focus on everything from using renewable materials, to incorporating social good into their Human Resources practices, to running more efficient factories and facilities.  

“As the leading event for sourcing professionals, we recognized that we not only needed to be sure that exhibitors that embraced sustainability were prominently featured,” says Andreu David, Vice President of SOURCING at MAGIC, “but that we would also provide guidance to our guests who are still trying to determine exactly what sustainability means to them. We are very pleased to continue our partnership with Hey Social Good, to help further guide and shape that dialogue.”  

The path to sustainability is long, with unexpected twists and turns. Although there are many companies and agencies that offer guidance and validation, few can offer a comprehensive look at the range of practices available. To that end, SOURCING has partnered with the team at Hey Social Good to provide both validation and education.  

“One of the easiest places to address the problem of sustainability is in the supply chain,” says Dr. Cindy Lin, CEO and Co-founder of Hey Social Good. “But we need to educate manufacturers about what’s important. How do we assess, verify, and guide businesses on their sustainability and social good practices? We are a social impact data analytics company, using data capture to create a framework around the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We provide a ranking, recognizing that sustainability is a journey of many, many years.” 

 

 We caught up with just a few of these companies who are making a real difference for the future of our planet.

DIRECT TO SOURCE

Direct To Source, with U.S. offices in Colorado, and a factory in Guatemala, is a custom apparel manufacturing company. As business partner Holli Gibson puts it, “I’ve been in this business for 33 years, and have manufactured all over the world. I became interested in sustainability about 15 years ago and decided that I wanted to spend the rest of my career being part of the solution, not part of the problem. My partner and I take a holistic approach: It’s not just about what the fabric is made from or if the dye water is being recycled properly, it’s about the people who actually make the clothing. What happens to them when they go home at night? We decided to build a place where we could be good stewards of the planet and honor the people who sit down and make our clothing every day.”   


CINCOR MARROQUINERA

Cincor Marroquinera produces small leather goods, using vegetable tannins — safer for the environment as well as the workers who handle them — and uses environmentally friendly glues, recycled polyester materials for linings, and recycled leather whenever possible, even recycling leather scraps for smaller accessories. “Sustainability is not just about the raw materials,” says the Commercial Manager Alejandra López, “but also what goes on in the inside of the company:” The brand makes a point of hiring women who are the main means of support for their families. 


VASI GROUP COMPANIES

Vasi Group Companies exports and makes socks in Turkey. Beyond using sustainable materials where possible, the company is focused on using electricity from solar and wind energy sources. According to CEO Mediha Hamitoglu, “Our new factory in Esenyurt has solar panels on the roof to produce our own electricity. We also have water tanks which we are using for the facility’s toilets and to water the gardens which surround the facility.” Vasi also focuses on using biodegradable fibers, including cutting edge materials made from fish scales, a byproduct of the fishing industry, and another made from coffee grounds. 


EVERYWHERE APPAREL 

Everywhere Apparel produces T-shirt and sweatshirt blanks that other companies adorn with their own graphics and messaging, and is the first 100% recycled, closed loop maker in the category. According to Matt Boelk, VP of Partnerships, the brand is using 100% recycled cotton (notoriously difficult to work with), which already makes it “the most sustainable blank in the industry, saving 1,200 gallons of water to produce the material. Beyond that, each T-shirt includes a tag with a QR code that the consumer can scan. We then provide a self-addressed stamped envelope large enough for six T-shirts that the consumer can return for recycling.” 


AZTEX TRADING 

Aztex Trading, based in Mexico, maintains a supply of denim or twill jeans and jackets for its clients. Brands purchase untreated pieces, which can then be washed or otherwise embellished just days before shipping, allowing for rapid response to trend, and little opportunity for waste. Best of all the company uses sustainable textiles, chemicals, and dyes in its processes whenever possible. 


  

There's still time to check out these exhibitors and many more at SOURCING at MAGIC Online now through April 1, 2022.

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