- about vivienne howell
Viv’s ethical sourcing journey began when national retailer Target Australia offered Viv a new position as Team Leader of Ethical Sourcing and Vendor Development.
While monitoring the ethical performance of Target's source factories, Viv pondered how many people across the world were doing the same task as her; monitoring the same factories’ ethical performance. Looking at the big picture she also thought about the waste of valuable ethical sourcing resources, and all those hours of duplicated effort. She couldn’t help but wonder how much progress could be achieved if these hours, were re-directed to a greater value adding exercise like identifying factories further down the supply chain of each brand.
After a 34-year career within the apparel industry, providing her with many opportunities including management positions in manufacturing, wholesale and retail companies, Viv stopped to evaluate what her legacy would be. Grateful for the wealth of knowledge and experience gained during her career, she was now in a position to decide her future direction.
On reflection, Viv believed her greatest successes and feelings of achievement had come from helping others achieve their goals. She also realized giving back to community had been an important aspect to her life; receiving a Borough of Queenscliffe award for services to the community, as a young woman.
Viv realised just how important it was to her to reconnect with her core values and refocus on making a more meaningful contribution to community. Her passion for ethical sourcing had been ignited years earlier and there was no question in her mind that ethical sourcing was what she wanted to devote her future to. Her overwhelming desire to help others understand the ethical sourcing process and her ideas for resource saving, felt a logical method of providing support.
a vision for ethical sourcing
Viv, as a now passionate advocate for ethical sourcing, wants to encourage all apparel brands to take up the moral challenge and join the growing number of responsible companies and brands who have already adopted ethical sourcing practices in their businesses.
She believes in the benefits of "mutual recognition” of respected ethical sourcing codes, and her vision is to work together with well-credentialed global auditing organisations.
Increasing consumer understanding of the ethical sourcing process is also an important aspect to Viv’s vision. She wants to improve the convenience and number of opportunities for consumers to support brands that are leaders in this field.
Today Viv is the founder of Mindful Sourcing, an organisation dedicated to supporting companies/brands with the vision to source ethically.
She has an Associate Diploma of Fashion Design and Production (Gordon Institute of Technology, Geelong, Australia.) and has completed an Internal Auditing course (SIA Global) and a Social Accountability course with SGS.
She also attended the Ethical Sourcing Forum in New York in early 2015.