SIS Retail Academy to connect fashion retailers with social enterprises

today Mar 14, 2019
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Fashion retailers looking to improve their sustainability credentials and expand their range of ethical products are being invited to support this year’s SIS Retail Academy.

Developed by Social Investment Scotland (SIS) in partnership with Asda and supported by the Scottish Government, the academy supports a select group of social enterprises and helps them get their products stocked in retail stores.

Social Investment Scotland is on the hunt for fashion retail businesses to come on-board for the two-day event taking place on 29 to 31 May, presenting it as an opportunity for retailers to connect with social enterprises and meet the growing demand for ethical products.

Following a selection process conducted by SIS, the social enterprises will pitch their products to participating retailers on 31 May. Retailers will be encouraged to provide their expert feedback and help those organisations refine their pitches for future opportunities. Additionally, retailers will have the opportunity to offer a product listing in their stores, if desired.

“Ethical products with a social purpose are in much greater demand among consumers across the country. Our SIS Retail Academy offers retailers an invaluable opportunity to connect with social enterprises, share their expertise and meet that demand. For our social enterprises, it is a unique opportunity to learn from a group of retailers with considerable experience of what it takes, as a supplier, to succeed in such a highly competitive industry,” commented Alastair Davis, CEO, Social Investment Scotland.

“We’ve seen the benefits of this Academy first hand, not just through the social enterprises who secured listings with Asda, but also through other attendees who have used the experience to significantly refine, develop and build their businesses. I would urge any interested retailers to get in touch for further information on how they can get involved.”

Polly Jones, corporate affairs manager at Asda said: “The SIS Retail Academy has a been a great way for Asda to throw our weight behind the growing social enterprise movement, while discovering new products which we’ve been able to introduce to our stores across the UK.”

Brewgooder, a craft beer brand that donates 100% of its profits to clean water projects, and Heroes Drinks, a vodka label which pledges a minimum of 20% of its profits to Forces and Veterans charities, are some of the Retail Academy’s success stories. They have both launched on Asda and increased the size and scale of their operations significantly since taking part in the programme.

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