Zady, the ethical e-tailer on a mission to slow down the pace of fashion, has been on a roll. Besides expanding its “Essentials” collection to include a pair of button-down shirts, two sweaters, an alpaca cardigan, and a woolen overcoat, Zady has also launched “The New Standard,” an interactive roadmap that takes aim at “fast fashion” purveyors like Forever 21, H&M, and Zara. By laying bare the social and environmental issues that continue to plague the fashion industry—the chemical and water burden of cotton, say, or the problem with “shadow subcontractors” that operate without oversight—Zady says it hopes to “pull back the curtain” on a historically opaque enterprise and encourage a more sustainable industry standard for clothing production.
RAISING THE BAR
“We developed The New Standard to help us understand how we, as an industry, are going to be able to dress the global population in 2050,” says Maxine Bédat, CEO and co-founder of Zady. “While we have found ways to make cars run cleaner and more fuel-efficient, we still live in a world where 98 percent of factory workers are not receiving a living wage and where factories rely on the dirtiest energy supply—coal—to churn out fast-fashion that is worn on average only seven times before it is discarded and clogs our landfills.”
For Zady, what began as a “proof of concept” is now a full-fledged apparel collection. Using the high-quality fibers with the lowest impacts, each item is designed for longevity rather than novelty. And Zady doesn’t want you to just take its word for it, either. Each item’s homepage includes an in-depth “from farm to closet” look at how the garment was made—a masterclass of sorts for creating stylish, covetable clothing without compromise.
Zady’s message? The current system of fashion is unsustainable, but it doesn’t have to be.
“We as individuals hold immense power to persuade brands to create products that are clean, of high-quality, and ultimately better for us,” Bédat says.