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Introducing Zady — the ecommerce startup for the ethically-minded clothing consumer

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.

Eth­i­cal shop­ping 

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.

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