About the Ethical Fashion Forum
The Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF) was set up in 2006 to develop a collaborative movement which would transform social and environmental standards in the fashion industry.
The mission of the Ethical Fashion Forum is to support and promote sustainable practices; facilitate collaboration; raise awareness; and provide the tools and resources needed to reduce poverty, reduce environmental damage and raise standards in the fashion industry.
OUR CURRENT REMIT
During the launch and growth phase of the Common Objective (CO) platform, the main remit of the Ethical Fashion Forum and our board is to support the development of the new site. Although a separate company, CO was developed out of the work of the Ethical Fashion Forum. The EFF board is acting in an advisory capacity to help CO to further best practice across the fashion industry. See below for more detail on the transition between EFF and CO.
EFF to CO: Building a Better Fashion Industry
Since 2006, the Ethical Fashion Forum has worked with fashion businesses, professionals and entrepreneurs to help them to integrate sustainable and ethical practices. Our online platform, SOURCE, was created to further this goal in 2012, and grew to over 11,000 members in 141 countries, reaching a network of over 100,000. (Read more about SOURCE under EFF Projects.)
Whilst we were having an impact through the SOURCE platform, we recognised that we were only working with a small part of the fashion industry as a whole. In order to increase our reach and transform standards across the entire industry, we needed to create a platform that would be relevant to all professionals and businesses - not just those already interested in sustainability.
That’s why in 2016, we raised investment to develop a new platform - www.commonobjective.co, that would allow us to take the work of the Ethical Fashion Forum to scale. We wanted to give users a tailored experience – so that the right connections and information would be matched to them, rather than them needing to search for it. And we wanted to create a level playing field – in which sustainability becomes an opportunity, rather than a cost.
The Common Objective brand goes back to the roots of the Ethical Fashion Forum - a global network of people with a Common Objective – to build successful businesses with a positive impact for people and the environment.
COMMON OBJECTIVE - HOW IT WORKS
Our mission with the new CO platform has not changed. We aim to make it easier for fashion businesses everywhere to succeed in 3 dimensions (social, environmental, commercial).
But our methods have. We’ve built on our 11 years of work through EFF to design the Common Objective platform with 3 core areas of functionality:
1. A fundamental tool for fashion
CO aims to make it easier for all fashion professionals and businesses to do business better – to find the right suppliers, grow their sales base, and get their products right. Whether or not they're interested in sustainability, CO helps them find what they need to achieve their goals, quicker and easier, than anywhere else.
The CO site functions like a match.com for the fashion industry. Users specify their needs by creating a profile and get matched – with suppliers, buyers, experts and resources, so that they can achieve their goals. Saving them time and money, and helping them to get where they need to go, faster.
3. Rewarding Sustainability
Several elements of CO business profiles carry a weighting, that impacts search ranking on the site. Thus, businesses that can demonstrate robust ethical and sustainability credentials benefit from increased visibility on the site, and more connections with potential customers. We’re creating a level playing field, in which sustainability becomes an opportunity, rather than a cost.
What CO means for current EFF/SOURCE members
With the full launch of CO in May 2018, relevant content and data on the SOURCE platform has been transferred to the new site. All paying SOURCE members have been automatically transferred to equivalent premium packages on the new site.
What HAPPENS TO Ethical Fashion Forum?
The Ethical Fashion Forum objects are to reduce poverty, further education, and safeguard the environment. The organisation will continue to pursue these objects and to be governed by an independent board. This board has decided that it can best achieve its objects for the next 2 years by acting in an advisory capacity to CO to support the success and launch of the platform.
Ethical Fashion Group Ltd – The New Entity
The Ethical Fashion Forum was set originally up as a not for profit Company Ltd by Guarantee. In order to raise equity investment to take our work to scale in 2016, we needed to set up a company limited by shares. We and our shareholders wanted this company to embody our origins and build on the legacy of the Ethical Fashion Forum. We therefore named this company the Ethical Fashion Group (EFG). The Ethical Fashion Group owns and operates the new platform, with Common Objective functioning as a trading name for EFG.