Ellie Fox

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Who would you say is the ‘biggest legend’ in popular culture right now?

Someone I admire is Ellen MacArthur. From sailing she witnessed first-hand the damage and pollution to the planet, particularly around plastic and other waste being dumbed in the sea. As a result, she created the Ellen MacArthur Foundation dedicated to creating a “circular economy” where there is no waste and resources are reused. I admire how she’s seen a problem and is so driven and motivated to resolve it!

What would you like your personal legacy to be? What have you achieved that’s unique or how have fulfilled your passion?

My ambition is to drive and deliver exciting and commercial product to the market. Staying true to my own ethical and sustainable beliefs. I work with a lot of inspirational individuals, and I hope one day to also be someone that inspires. Landing this job in Fashion Buying is my biggest achievement and I'll always be grateful for this amazing opportunity!

Is there a legend in your field who you would like to emulate? Or surpass? Or maybe you’re just determined to be totally original?

There are a lot of amazingly talented people within Menswear, and I’d love to take elements of all their skills and approach to try and become the best Buyer I can be.

What does ‘innovation’ mean to you? Why is it important and where would you most like to see it applied?

Innovation to me means creativity and an open mind towards product/processes to create something new and exciting. It’s so important to M&S to encourage innovation to stay relevant and market leaders- who are doing things first and not just following someone else’s lead.

What do you think the M&S of the future looks like? And how do you feel empowered to shape it?

M&S has begun a complete turnaround in approach within Clothing & Home to challenge people’s preconceptions of our casual clothing range and return to its former reputation as market leaders across all product areas. My opinion and input feels valued, and I feel trusted to help drive big changes within menswear. Even in the 2 years I’ve been working here I can see the huge changes and progress we’ve made, and I’m excited for a future working at M&S.

How do you think tech, digital and data will help shape the future of M&S?

Honestly, I think M&S was slow to acknowledge the importance of tech, digital and data but now it’s a huge focus and everyday decisions we now make are driven by the wealth of data we have access to. From First Insight to our own Customer Insight team, as well as SEO data to ensure we’re making the right decisions for our customer.

How do you view the way M&S does business? Is there anything you appreciate about its ethics, stance on sustainability or role in society?

There are very few large retailers who genuinely make ethical and sustainable decisions for the right reasons, and this was a huge factor in my choice to work and to continue to work for M&S. For a very long time M&S has led the way in sustainable innovations and making positive steps towards becoming a greener business. I do think M&S should do more to display to our customers those extra steps we’re taking to look after our planet and recognise the importance of ethical and fair business with the support of our sourcing offices all over the world.