The Sourcing Team, a WEConnect International certified women-owned business and leading specialists in ethical, sustainable and compliant global sourcing and procurement, are celebrating a momentous milestone – 20 years of designing, creating and producing amazing campaigns, and forging long-lasting relationships with clients, suppliers and partners in the UK and across the global supply chain.
From those early days when CEO and founder Gill Thorpe set up The Sourcing Team in 1996 and then throughout the ensuing years, the company has built a solid vision, and maintained that clarity of direction to become a leading name in the supply and procurement industry. The Sourcing Team was founded on a belief in “doing the right thing”. Over the years, the company has played a leading role in raising the bar in sustainability, ethicability and transparency within the supply chain, while working with their global suppliers and partners to uphold ethical business practices and ensure fully compliant merchandise. This has since resulted in strong ethical relationships and global collaboration and today, it is deeply rooted in values which are upheld by each and every member of the team.
To help them celebrate their achievements over the past 20 years, The Sourcing Team, led by founder and CEO Gill Thorpe and directors Becky Fleury and Sharon Childs, hosted an open afternoon at their offices in Wallington for their customers, suppliers, partners and individuals. Many of the guests present have contributed to the success that The Sourcing Team is today. Addressing her guests, Gill recognised the assistance and strong, valuable relationships she had throughout the years, including the loyalty and support of her fellow directors Becky and Sharon, her husband Laurence Thorpe, long-standing team members Debbie Millis, Client Service Manager and Grant Geary, Senior Account Manager as well as more recent additions to the team, Sadie Fuller, Nushin Nahidpour, Abigail Blake and Harvey Warwick.
As Gill remarked in her speech,
“What a journey! If I turn back the clock and reflect on where we have come from, I can only describe it as a series of defining moments that have shaped that journey. There were incredible people who were with me as I focused my goals, helping to open doors and bring clarity to my thinking; there was travel to amazing parts of the world to meet with new suppliers; there are the strong relationships and connections with clients, suppliers, partners and talented individuals whose skills and personalities are now woven in our DNA; there is the strong commitment to our values which meant ethical business processes and a passion for doing the right thing at all times.
The journey has been incredible. From wholly embracing our values, to becoming leaders in the industry and driving initiatives on sustainability, ethicability and transparency throughout the supply chain: taking over as chair and president of our industry trade association during the recession, becoming a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) and a Lifetime Fellow of the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA). We care about our environment and have worked hard within the wider community, supporting local initiatives such as the Sutton Business Initiative (SBI) as well as local and national charities.
We are strong advocates for collaboration and throughout these past 20 years, we have been working diligently with suppliers, partners and customers to create strong links and to provide a global offering with local expertise and relationships. We are certified women owned business (WBEs) member of WEConnect International, and have set up a platform of collaborative (women-owned) partners in Canada, the UK and internationally to ensure sourcing and fulfilment worldwide. This is in addition to our constant improvement in our processes through our work and memberships in international initiatives such as EcoVadis, Sedex AB and the UN Global Compact.”
Becky Fleury, Client Services Director, continued,
“This strong heritage adds value in all that we do. Our passion for being ethical, sustainable and compliant are a critical part of our culture, and resonate with our clients. We work strongly in the not-for-profit sector and our clients, corporates, businesses and charities, appreciate our transparency and commitment to ethical practices which reflect their own brands and values.”
Sharon Childs, Financial Director and Head of Sustainability, echoed the words of her fellow directors,
“We think our team is exceptional. As a company, we develop sustainability as a talent and have embedded it in all our policies, compliance requirements and supply chain management. It is a fundamental way of our working practices and we use it as a platform for our relationships with partners and suppliers, and a key driver for the selection of the comprehensive range of our products and services.”
The afternoon included a delicious BBQ and the sharing of impressive 20th Anniversary cupcakes. Afterwards, The Sourcing Team presented many of their guests with awards of recognition (link is external), given in appreciation of their contribution towards their success.
The Sourcing Team is located in Wallington, and provides a portfolio of services that include merchandise planning (including corporate, private, public sector, not-for-profit, campaign or fundraising); fully bespoke offering, from product design to packaging solutions; tailored turnkey solutions sourced globally; strategic planning for local and global needs; digital/e-stores for internal, cross market or popup markets – both business to business and business to consumer; on and offline design and artwork; global logistics, stock and distribution management and packaging and fulfilment. Their clients include corporates, businesses and charities across industries worldwide.