Monday, 22 September 2014

Conscious Consumer // Zady

Zady is a shopping platform and lifestyle destination for consumers who care about the origins of the items they purchase. Zady was co-founded by Soraya Darabi and Maxine B├ędat with a vision to combat the fast-fashion craze. Zady provides a destination for consumers to purchase high quality goods, that are timeless in style, from brands and designers who offer complete manufacturing transparency. 

Zady have partnered up with non-profit organisation The Bootstrap Project, who's mission is to empower individuals to overcome poverty and preserve heritage craft traditions. With every purchase made on Zady, The Bootstrap Project will receive 5%, meaning an artisan launching a small business in the developing world will be provided with the funds they need to grow their business and restore their traditions. 

To make their site user-friendly, and quick to understand for shoppers on the go, they have a badge system. There are 6 badges in total and each badge helps brings transparency into how the item was made. The badges can be found under the 'Why It's Special' section under each product listing. They range from 'locally sourced', 'high quality' and 'the Bootstrap Project' to 'made by hand' and 'sustainable'. Zady is a U.S based and also has a 'made in the USA' badge.

What I love about Zady is that there's also an origins map that shows you the roots of all the products sold on the site, so you can see exactly where everything comes from. If you click on a product item on the map, it will show it's history through lines. For example, a Bimbi Painted Wood Bowl is made from sustainable mango wood from India, where the product is also made, but the company's headquarters (Nkuku) are in South Devon. Both the badges and the Origins map makes the supply chain of products more transparent and having them enables you to have more of a connection with what you are buying, you're not just simply buying a 'thing' you're learning about the 'where' and the 'why it's special'. But not only do Zady give you the 'where' and the 'why' they also give you the 'who'. Who's behind the product and the label and what's their story. What inspires them, why they do what they do, how they started out. I think it's empowering to make informed choices and feel connected to a story behind the product.
 Think of the things in your home and your closet that you just refuse to give up. Generally it’s the story about the product that makes you want to hold on to it. Just imagine how great it would feel if our closets only contained those type of products.
You can read more about why Zady was set up here and how we consumers, together, can have an impact. Their website also has some great features to read up on like modern heirlooms, learning to be more mindful with our shopping habits, opting for pieces that could last a lifetime, searching out quality and investing in key pieces. It's an interesting read, I recommend a look if you get the chance.

So this post has become rather wordy! Here's a few of my favourite clothing and accessory pieces from their site :

Row 1 (L-R) Plaid Boyfriend shirt by Cynjin, The Lucy Black Jeans by Imogene + Willie, Vintage Ringer Tee by LNA 
Row 2 (L-R) The Lucy Blue Ridge by Imogene + Willie, Salli Top by Won Hundred, The Lucy Indigo by Imogene + Willie
Row 3 (L-R) Triangle Ring by Phyllis + Rosie, Tokyo Bag by The Good Flock, Nautical Stripe Lucas Backpack by Stone + Cloth

I pretty much live in my skinny jeans and the shirt and ringer tee are perfect for layering up together through autumn. Stripes are really not something I'd typically go for but the Salli top kept drawing me back in. I'd probably pair it with some black skinnies, heeled ankle boots and a statement silver necklace, maybe throw on a leather jacket for good measure. The Tokyo bag is great for day to day use and is that versatile tan colour that will go with anything, which is a great investment piece.

Aside from womenswear and menswear, they also have a 'Gifts' and 'House & Home' section. Here you will find dog collars and leashes, stationary and candles amongst other pieces. 

There's not a massive amount of choice of products on Zady at the moment, but they did only launched in August last year so I'm sure that they are steadily growing and are continually on the hunt for more brands and designers to add to their site...which will be fantastic. There are a range of products priced under $100 (about £60 give or take) with some priced up to $475 (£290 ish), so there's nothing 'cheap' on here, but then that's the whole point. The products are made with high quality materials and skills, this is no place for fast fashion. I think Zady is great for empowering you into asking the questions of 'where' and 'who' and 'why' when it comes to the products you choose to buy.
Zady provides an alternative to today's "fast-fashion," as fad demanding consumers buy more and more instead of buying 'good.' We should not be compelled to accept throwaway goods as a way of life; we can instead take pride in the style and integrity of each and every piece we own. 
It's a wonderful feeling to know that you are buying something that's been made with such integrity, but that you're also helping to support brilliant projects like The Bootstrap Project in the process.

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