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The main event

On the 28th September we ran our first live event in almost two years at The Belfry Hotel & Resort, a 2 day experience that was packed full of insight and value for our audience. It really was a lovely feeling to be among so many people, ranging from current clients, suppliers and new acquaintances. Some of which we’d only met online, so the face to face element was a long time in coming! All set in a beautiful room, overlooking the 1st tees of the famous Brabazon and PGA golf courses the Belfry have at their disposal. Not a bad setting for a fantastic day ahead!

Registration was a great time to get to know as many people as we could fit in and this proceeded the start of the session where Murray staff covered many key elements of our new, industry first Research Report –  Uniform Impact on Employee Wellbeing and Productivity. In attendance was Louise Moody, Professor of Health Design and Human Factors at Coventry University, as she was instrumental in producing the data that the report used and she gave more detail into the ‘how’ of getting the Research Report formulated. We were also thrilled to have Luke Tugby, Editor at Retail Week, speak about how the findings would have a significant impact on the world of retail. His insight of that particular sector was extremely useful and the audience took away some key takeaways.

An intentional tactic when organising the event was to mix things up a little by arranging different formats of engagement. Put simply, we didn’t want our guests sat down for several hours, enduring pain via PowerPoint! So we set up an Innovation Hub in another of The Belfry’s wonderful conference rooms where our guests could sample and understand the new innovation that currently exists, for businesses to leverage, potentially enabling them to solve some of their existing sustainability challenges.

We then handed the mic to our friends from the world of sustainability, a group of experts who work for fantastic organisations really trying to make a change in the world using their intelligent solutions. They took turns to inform the audience of their activity – more about them later.

The blend of engagement approach continued as we stopped half way through these talks to conduct a break out session, inviting tables to discuss various topics, relevant to the theme of sustainability. Interesting debate was the direct result and it was fascinating to hear the views of companies from different industries!

After the sustainability specialists had finished presenting, we then opened the floor again to invite the audience to pose questions to our 5 sustainability experts. We at Murray finished the day by sharing details of our sustainability activity, which included our Carbon Neutral Shipping project and then the other networking opportunities began shortly after, with a dinner for guests staying over at the Belfry Hotel & Resort.

Speakers in action

To ensure our attendees left with an abundance of information and insight, we got some amazing guest speakers on board for the event. The speakers included:

  • PlanQ – They investigated the value behind discarded textiles and shared with everyone examples of the furniture they have created with unwanted garments. Really cool stuff!
  • Project Plan B – This covered the cycle of fully circular items. When garments reach the end of their useful lives, they are returned for processing. The process ultimately creates redesigned garments from used material. Very impressive from the team at Plan B.
  • Forestmatic – Another captivating solution as they informed us how they work with companies to offset carbon by predominantly using tree planting as their approach. Combined with some smart technology to prove validity, this truly was a great solution that was shared with us.
  • Sedex – They gave a very useful run down of how their membership organisation empower businesses to have responsible supply chains but implements responsible business practices too. They provide the online platform, tools, and insights needed to assess suppliers and manage supply chain risk.
  • Carrington Textiles – This talk looked into the importance of acting now regarding sustainable garments where lifecycle and durability is crucial. Garments need to be engineered to last and alternative materials are being considered such as hemp. It was very useful to understand what is currently being considered from a material point of view.

Listening to the speakers provided all in the room with plenty of food for thought when evaluating their businesses. That absolutely included the team at Murray team! A better understanding of issues and the possibilities to implement different sustainability solutions was a key takeaway.

Innovation hub

As the event title suggests, we had a focus on innovation alongside sustainability! In our Innovation hub room we had a total of six stands that included Carrington Textiles, PlanQ, Project Plan B, Mirrorsize, Retail Asset Solutions and Avena.

Each individual business had a stand set up, allowing them the opportunity to showcase the benefits they could bring to clients. This included tangible items for guests to touch and feel, enabling them to really understand what was on offer. This was also a brilliant opportunity for our guests to engage with each other as they walked round.

Our colleague Lily was manning the Mirrorsize stand, as due to Covid travel restrictions, the representatives from Mirrorsize were unable to attend. This particular stand was set up to provide an interactive way of gathering live clothing measurements of an individual, simply by standing 2 metres back from the phone and holding your arms out wide! It was a brilliant way to showcase the technology in a live environment, something we have struggled over the past 18 months for obvious reasons.

We also asked attendees to bring any old clothing they would like to donate for a surprise project alongside PlanQ. A big thank you for all the donations – we will select one attendee at random and offer them a chair made entirely out of the unwanted garments donated at the event. Watch this space for the announcement of the winner! We’re also delighted to say we’ll be giving a chair and coffee table (again, made entirely out of the donated clothes from the event) to our friends at Zoe’s Place, a local baby hospice charity based in Coventry. There was approximately 40kg of un-purposeful textiles donated at the event and we are extremely happy to be repurposing this waste, preventing more going to landfill.

A 2nd day of networking

To complete the mixture of engaging activities for the event, we offered guests the opportunity to join us for dinner and stay overnight at the hotel for further networking opportunity. The following day they also had the option of a visit to the spa or playing golf on the world famous Brabazon course! This allowed us the chance to engage in future conversation that we couldn’t quite squeeze in the day before! No holes in one were made but plenty of balls made the water!

Sustainability – the Murray mission

Here at Murray we’ve been spending time over the past year to focus on sustainability and the live event at the Belfry was absolutely crucial for us to not only provide insight and value to our audience but equally for ourselves. The knowledge we have gained from listening to experts from the world of sustainability will stand us in excellent stead for the future and ultimately benefit our customers… and the planet.

With regards to work we have already implemented, we’ve already touched upon our Carbon Neutral Shipping project but in summary, working with UPS, we launched this back in July, 5 months earlier than planned! We’ve also teamed up with Avena, a forward thinking recycling company, who collect our client’s waste and ultimately turn it into material that is ready to be released back into the supply chain. The end result – ZERO waste to landfill!

Further to this, we have worked with Forestmatic and were happy to announce we had planted a tree for each attendee at the event, this led to 40 new trees being planted in Uganda, offsetting 2532kg CO2e over the next 5 years.

All 40 trees are now be visible and verified on the Murray dashboard, which can be viewed by scanning the QR code shown on screen.

For more information from the event, please get in touch! We’d love to discuss how the content, including the Research Report could benefit your business.

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