As most e‑commerce managers with a passing acquaintance with the clothing industry will know, retailers specializing in low-cost clothing were shaken recently by tragic events in Bangladesh, the source of many such items. More than 1,200 people lost their lives in factory accidents there. For those who want to buy clothing knowing that it has no unethical or dubious origins, a new e‑commerce and retail startup called “Zady” could be just the ticket.
Co-founded by Saraya Darabi, the talent behind the highly successful Foodspotting mobile app that now boasts more than three million downloads, Zady is rumored to be set for launch in August. E‑commerce managers curious to know a little more of what’s so different about another clothing vendor might be pleasantly surprised to find that it caters for the conscientious consumer. E‑shoppers who want detailed information about where the garment was made, who designed it, where the raw materials came from and so on will find it all on every item for sale on Zady.
Every designer on the site is obliged to be fully aware of how and where his or her creations are manufactured – and to make doubly sure, Darabi and her Zady co-founder Maxine Bédat will personally vet every item. Their criteria focus on the product’s sustainability credentials, including whether it’s been made from high-quality materials, whether it’s locally sourced, made in the USA, whether it’s environmentally conscious and whether it’s handmade.
A rising star?
Darabi is reported to have raised $1.35 million for her new shopping platform, chiefly from NEA and other angels. Brands and designers already signing Zady contracts (which identify the city the brand is headquartered in, where its products are manufactured and where their raw materials come from) include pea coat manufacturer Gerald & Stewart, Madrid’s recycling brand Ecoalf, U.S. handbag designers Karmo and Clare Vivier and denim designers Imogene + Willie.
The more skeptical e‑commerce manager may think Zady sounds a lot like Etsy, the startup which sells products crafted by artisans. But the emphasis on the conscientious consumer is a unique and interesting angle, and Zady is confident that it can ignite a movement driven by shoppers who want to know where their garments have come from.
If that’s true, Zady is going to be the must-go destination for the ethical shopper.