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New sourcing database promotes sustainable firms

The Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF) is launching an online sourcing database that ranks firms with  strong sustainability credentials higher in its search results.

Common Objective replaces EFF’s existing B2B database, Source. The new platform uses an algorithm to pair fashion buyers with sustainable resources suited to their needs.

It was created in partnership with groups such as the Fairtrade Foundation, Global Organic Textile Standard, World Fair Trade Organization and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion.

“We wanted to create a platform that solves problems for everyone, whether they care about sustainability or not,” explained Tamsin Lejeune, chief executive and founder of the EFF.

“The goal is to create a more level playing field. There is no criteria to join and set up a profile but, through peer review and ranking, we empower people to make more sustainable choices.”

Common Objective was unveiled at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit on 11 May and is now open for pre-registrations. The full site will be launched later in the year.

It has been funded through seed investment from businesses and individuals including Roland Mouret and EFF chairman Harold Tillman. EFF did not disclose the amount raised.

Last month, Common Objective was selected for the Fashion for Good accelerator programme, a joint venture between Kering, C&A Foundation, and start-up accelerator Plug & Play. The programme runs until July at the Fashion for Good headquarters in Amsterdam.

Lejeune said the fashion industry is at a “tipping point”: “Sustainability has become a licence to operate. Large businesses have realised that not having a CSR [corporate social responsibility] department is a real risk. There’s a business case associated with sustainability.”

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