Brand Collaboration | Business & Policy | EVENT UPDATE

SOURCE HOME & GIFT PUTS THE SPOTLIGHT ON PORCELAIN & BRAND BUILDING THE PROPER WAY

Published: September 11, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

Day two of responsible sourcing show, Source Home & Gift taking place at NEC Birmingham until this Wednesday, welcomed visitors from Disney, Morrisons, M&S, Next, Costcutter, AIS, Alzheimers Society, Amazon, B&Q, Card Factory, Ridleys Games, and many more, keen to discover the best responsible manufacturers from key sourcing regions around the world.

Talking about his experience at the show, Mike Dickens, Senior Program Manager, Amazon said, “Source Home & Gift is a great chance to meet lots of potential domestic and international suppliers in one place. Early face-to-face interactions with suppliers give you a good opportunity to build trust and rapport before getting into business together.”

Claire Bagnall-Hunt, Senior Commercial Trading Executive, Alzheimers Society added, ‘’We’re looking for ethical and responsible suppliers that are based in the UK, particularly those with on-trend products, and so we were very interested in attending Source Home & Gift. We’ll definitely be coming again for February’s edition to find even more UK based suppliers.’’

The show opened with a celebration of porcelain from the Fujain region of China and the rich heritage of the Dehua ceramic industry – the birthplace of Chinese ceramic culture – and put the spotlight on 15 ceramic exhibitors from the region displaying more than 2,000 pieces of Dehua ceramics.

Hosting an opening ceremony, the show welcomed Huang Wenjie, Senior Consultant, Dehua County People’s Government, Chen Guojin, Consultant, the People’s Government of Longxun Town, Dehua County, Xu Yongsheng , Consultant, the People’s Government of Xunzhong Town, Dehua County, Yan Ruchun, Consultant, Dehua County People’s Government, Huang Penghui, Director, Dehua County Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau, and Zeng Huawei, Deputy Director, Dehua County Merchants Service Center.

Nicola Meadows, Divisional Managing Director for Retail, Manufacturing and Engineering at Hyve Group said, “This signals the start of a renewed relationship with our Chinese partners, in particular Dehua County in the Fujain Province. China has always been a significant trading partner to the UK.  In the last year we have imported over £38billion worth of goods from China, making it one of our largest, and most important trading partners.

“The last few years has seen significant disruption to our global supply chains, and retail, as well as manufacturing, is in a transformation process. This is not just a transformation of supply chains but also reflects how retail and manufacturers are reacting to consumer changes, and our need to provide them with products that are on trend but made in a better way. Source Home & Gift, and indeed all Hyve retail events, create an important platform that facilitates trade in order to fuel UK retail. We see this as the beginning of our journey as we help connect UK buyers and sourcing professionals with products made responsibly from around the world.”

Mr Huang Wenjie, Senior Consultant, Dehua County People’s Government added, “Located in Fujian Province on the southeast coast of China, Dehua is a beautiful city founded over 1,000 years ago. More than 3,700 years ago, the ancestors of Dehua began to make ceramics, which became an important birthplace of Chinese ceramic culture.

“During the Song and Yuan dynasties in China, Dehua ceramics were continuously sold to Europe and other places through maritime trade. The Italian traveller Marco Polo praised Dehua porcelain as “both plentiful and beautiful” in his travelogues, and the Dehua porcelain he brought back with him when he returned to China was treasured in St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, becoming the first recorded piece of Chinese porcelain to reach Europe. Since then, Dehua porcelain has become the object of pursuit by European aristocrats because of its unique characteristics, opening the history of imitation of Dehua white porcelain in Europe. The relationship between Britain and Dehua white porcelain is very far-reaching, in 1685 the British merchant ship “Chinese Merchant” began a large-scale transportation of Dehua porcelain back to Europe, and the British Museum has been collecting Dehua white porcelain since its establishment in 1753, and the collection has reached more than 2,000 pieces.

“Today’s Dehua, ceramic output value of 50.2 billion yuan, is the leading industry in the county, with more than 4,000 ceramic enterprises, more than 100,000 employees, one in three permanent residents are engaged in ceramics-related occupations, more than 60% of the county’s ceramic products are exported. Duhua exports to more than 190 countries and regions, in 2015 the United Nations World Handicraft Council awarded Dehua the world’s only “world ceramic capital”, in 2021 Dehua kiln site was included in the “World Heritage List”. It is one of the first world cultural heritage sites of ceramic kilns.

“Standing at a new starting point, we are implementing the five-year action plan geared around building a high-quality development of the “China White Dehua Porcelain” industry, striving to build a 100 billion ceramic industrial cluster by 2027 and accelerating the construction of a happy and liveable world porcelain capital.”

This afternoon, the Responsible Sourcing Stage hosted ‘Business Talks: Building a household brand the right way’ session, with Cassandra Stavrou MBE, founder of PROPER Snacks and pioneer of the healthy snacking boom. Cassandra took the audience on her entrepreneurial journey whilst revealing her “rules for business”, tangible insights on marketing, sustainability, leadership and more, which have propelled her company to over £100m in sales.

“About 12 years ago, I spotted a gap in the market for healthier snacks. Our first customer was Google HQ and we went on to become the world’s first b-Corp snack company, and PROPER are now the fastest growing snack company in Europe” she said. “Retrospectively, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is; ‘how does it make you feel?’ It’s the question I always come back to. What doesn’t move you, won’t move anyone else. We’re emotional creatures, we put feeling before truth, we put beauty before logic. The difference between emotion and reason, is reason leads to conclusions and emotions lead to actions. In 2011 we launched our first packaging, and after about 9 months I decided I wanted to change it, and a year later I changed it again. Almost every year for the last 12 years we’ve changed our packaging.

“Second on this list is, ‘What do you do?’ in our case, we sell snacks. You either create something the world wants, or you spend all your time convincing the world they want it. The thing I’ve learned time and time again is don’t lose focus on what you’re selling; quality beats any business plan. Without the best products, everything has less meaning.”

Discussing the core of PROPER’s success, Cassandra expanded, “I have zero tolerance in our business for those who don’t stand for our values. I’m looking for people to join our team and become builders not tenants; those who put on their metaphorical hard hat and problem solve. It boils down to three things; Creative Entrepreneurialism, Embracing Ambiguity – embrace contradiction, and creatively problem solve, and thirdly, Acting. Nothing is more energising in a business than taking action, an impatient business is a progressive business and restlessness drives risk taking that keeps you relevant.

“There is no such thing as a failed entrepreneur or innovator. You took the risk of making something for the world, it takes risk, sacrifice, guts. In recessionary times we need innovators, particularly in the face of climate change. If you do feel self-doubt, remember you’re doing something exceptional and that should continue to drive you forward.”

Taking place across four days at the NEC Birmingham and running parallel to Autumn Fair, Source Home & Gift offers a diverse showcase of homewares, furniture, gifts, toys, textiles, packaging, and stationery and greetings producers and manufacturers from over 350 exhibitors from over 15 countries including Bangladesh, China, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Uganda, UK, Uzbekistan, and Egypt.

Source Home & Gift is co-located with Autumn Fair, bringing the entire retail supply chain under one roof and creating the “must-attend” event for the UK buying community. The show is open until Wednesday. Visit www.source-homeandgift.com for more information.

For further press information please contact Philippa Suitters at Good Results.

Email philippas@goodresults.co.uk

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