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Autumn Fair has sustainability centre stage

Products Of Change presents A Day Of Purpose with trends also featured

 

Sustainability and trends are centre stage at Autumn Fair, with sustainability members’ organisation Products Of Change leading A Day Of Purpose to educate visitors as part of the ongoing Power Of One campaign.

Autumn Fair runs at Birmingham’s NEC over Sunday to Wednesday, 3-6 September, with the Tuesday coined as A Day Of Purpose when POC’s Helena Mansell-Stopher will hold two sessions on the Inspiring Retail Stage & Moda Catwalk in Hall 8 focused on sustainability.

Above & top: Helena Mansell-Stopher (left) leads on sustainability with Naomi Pollard on trends
Above & top: Helena Mansell-Stopher (left) leads on sustainability with Naomi Pollard on trends

Helena, who works closely with Max Publishing, owners of Progressive Greetings and PG Buzz, and POC aim to bring actionable change to Autumn Fair’s Power Of One campaign, educating visitors by highlighting small daily actions and opening the conversation on systemic business transformation.

Using POC’s comprehensive Pathway To Sustainability white papers launched earlier this year, visitors will be able to access bite-size sections of the papers and scan a QR code to download the full papers at the show from the Products Of Change Hub.

Launched in 2018, Power Of One is aimed at empowering retailers and consumers to take small steps to change the world, no matter how large or small. The three pledges for 2023 are reuse, repair and recycle to reduce waste; reduce reliance on single-use plastic and paper; and check on the wellbeing of team members.

Above: Power Of One helps people take small steps to change the world
Above: Power Of One helps people take small steps to change the world

As well as the sustainability sessions, visitors are also invited to attend trend workshops with leading global futures agency TrendBible, presentations offering trade show advice for new businesses, how to navigate through challenging economic times, and motivational masterclasses – all taking place on the Inspiring Retail Stage & Moda Catwalk.

On the Monday, 4 September, the spotlight will be on trends with Naomi Pollard, TrendBible’s head of publications, delivering 2024 Home & Interior Lifestyle Trends in the morning uncovering how householder behaviours and lifestyle choices are set to underpin product and design trends for the home over the next 12 months and beyond, which has been given the title Space To Heal.

In the afternoon she presents the 2024 Gifting & Celebration Trends offering visitors vital insight into the key developments impacting consumers and the opportunities for celebration. From ideas for Valentine’s Day through to Christmas, this presentation is aimed at elevating your gift and greetings ranges for seasonal retail occasions to new levels.

Above: Greetings & Stationery is at the entrance to Hall 6
Above: Greetings & Stationery is at the entrance to Hall 6

And buyers can then put these ideas into practice by checking out the 50 exhibitor-strong Greetings sector by the entrance in Hall 6 along with Beauty & Wellbeing, Everyday, and Gift, where exhibitors include Alljoy Design, Angie’s Folk Art, Brainbox Candy, By Mollie & Izzie, Cardology, Citrus Bunn, Coach House Partners, Dean Morris, Dixon Does Doodles, Earlybird Designs, Emma Ball, Emotional Rescue, Five Dollar Shake, Fox Under The Moon, Hazel Bee, Holy Mackerel, Jane Buurman Handmade, Jumble, Last Lemon, Letterbox Love, Little Giorgo’s Designs, Lola Design, Louise Tiler, Marina B, Moongazer Cards, Morrigan, Natural Partners, Nicole Elders, Paper Salad, Penguin Ink, Print Circus, Richards Designs, Susel & Co,The Art File, The Eco-Friendly Card Co, The Little Dog Laughed, The Seedcard Company, Tomcat Cards, and Twizler.

Above & top: Modern Love defines gifting and celebration trends for 2024
Above & top: Modern Love defines gifting and celebration trends for 2024

TrendBible said celebration offers the respite so desperately needed in 2024 against a backdrop of global unrest and financial crisis. An escapist desire dominates but is coupled with a search for authenticity. This drives a fresh and honest take on who we are, what we want to celebrate, and how.

“A new generation of non-conformists are deliberately ditching tradition, pushing past a decade of homogeneity to celebrate however and whatever they want,” explained Naomi. “This ignites a rebellious and unapologetically indulgent approach to celebration for 2024.

“As crisis becomes a steady state and the exhaustion of modern life takes its toll, a nihilist attitude comes to the fore. This acts as a survival technique for many individuals grappling with rising levels of compassion fatigue and feelings of apathy.”

Above: Space To Heal is a homes and interiors trend
Above: Space To Heal is a homes and interiors trend

Modern Love is the title of the pursuit of pleasure that defines this rebellious story for 2024, with celebration offering the perfect outlet to indulge in a hedonistic lifestyle without shame or inhibition. Lavish dinners and extravagant parties offer a source of indulgence and fun, with decadent décor and food.

Design is inspired by a melting pot of anti-establishment movements, embracing goth and punk aesthetics. Gothic typefaces sit alongside neo-traditional tattoo-inspired illustrations and rock hand motifs. Messaging and editorial are not for the faint of heart, with a heavy dose of dark humour and profanity. This clashes with sugary sweet and overtly feminine touches – bold red and pink stripes, and lip and heart repeat patterns.

Naomi added: “Embrace the wild, hedonistic spirit of this trend which invites customers to let go of their emotional luggage for a moment. Celebration is found in freedom from social norms, indulging without guilt and embracing the basic human coping mechanism of humour in difficult times.”

Above: Fox Under The Moon’s inspiring books and cards will feature on the GOTY stand
Above: Fox Under The Moon’s inspiring books and cards will feature on the GOTY stand

The Inspiring Retail Stage & Moda Catwalk also welcomes the return of Therese Oertenblad from Small Business Collaborative who will present a practical workshop on How To Approach Your First Trade Show, and Ami Rabheru from The Retail Business Hub will be looking into Maximising Revenue During Tough Economic Times.

The Giftware Association will be showcasing the category winners of the 2023 Gift Of The Year Awards, including the Fabulously Flat Paper Pens which won both the Cards, Wrap & Stationery section and the overall Judges’ Choice title, plus Fox Under The Moon’s inspirational picture books and cards which won the People’s Choice award through a public vote.

The full Autumn Fair presentations schedule can be found here, and to register to attend Autumn Fair, click here.

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