‘Online directories are frequently glorified Yellow Pages where suppliers pay to be listed,’ Summer explains. ‘Source4Style showcases the fabrics with high-resolution photos that you can zoom in on to examine the weave, and suppliers can show their first batch for free.’ Designers can also check a range of details that suppliers must provide to ensure they meet the specifications of the site, which is content-rich and stylish, banishing passé notions of ecological design. Welcome to the edgy side of sustainable sourcing.
Source4Style is a community too, all-important for providing feedback on artisanal businesses around the globe. Plans are also in the pipeline to invite leading industry figures to curate the site, focusing on new products and trends through design labs. An upcoming Premium membership will offer extra services, such as first choice on new materials and access to sustainability tests and data mining. Revenue streams currently come from swatch sales and advertising, notably on the in-house video-mag, Cutting Edge, hosted by Summer.