1.618 NEWS | Interview with the founders of Zady

1.618 Paris counts itself as a part of an international network of entrepreneurs, brands, industry professionals, academics, NGOs and creatives that are driven by sustainability. This active and widespread community has made tremendous strides in bringing sustainable development to the forefront of the corporate and global agenda, driven by consumer demand and the interest in creating a better world.

One of the latest newcomers to this community is Zady, a destination of beautifully curated products including womenswear, menswear and a collection of items for the home, where every single piece has both a traceable origin and a rich story. We had the chance to catch up with the Founders, Soraya and Maxine, and invite you to discover their vision of conscious consumerism, experience and their surprising customer demographics in this latest interview.

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What was the tipping point which led to the creation of Zady?

o We began Zady many months before the horrific building collapse at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. The vast human injustices that took place close to a year ago have been a true wake-up call to the world. Beyond unsafe and illegal working conditions, fast-fashion production cycles cause excess pollution, taint our water with harmful dyes – and what for? It’s all in the name of poor-quality products, made overseas, intentionally designed to be thrown away after a handful of washes. After all, that’s how these brands get us to buy more. With fast-fashion products, we are unable to build a lasting wardrobe or home collection over time, as our grandparents once did.

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What is Zady? What does the name mean? Who is your target audience?

o \ zay-dee\

  • A Yiddish nickname for a beloved grandparent; caretaker [Heritage]
  • From the Middle Eastern meaning of prosperous [Prosperity]
  • Zady is a destination for consumers to purchase high-quality, luxuriously made goods that are timeless in style, from designers and brands that offer complete manufacturing transparency. Just as Whole Foods sparked a movement based on the belief that we should question where our food comes from, Zady is at the forefront of a movement, known as conscious consumerism, which demands transparency for sourced products. The Zady founders personally vet each product and every brand must sign a contract verifying the location of the company, the manufacturing city and the source of the raw materials.

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    What is your vision of sustainable fashion?

    o Sustainable is a difficult word to define, because it embodies so much. At Zady we describe the quality of product by designating original badges.

  • Locally Sourced
  • Handmade
  • High Quality Raw Materials
  • Environmentally Conscious
  • Made in the USA
  • The Bootstrap Project (for the products made by artisans that are part of Zady’s non-profit partner)
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    What do you hope to achieve through Zady?

    o We hope to become the Whole Foods of Fashion, a brand synonymous with high-quality products and a deep commitment to supply chain transparency.

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    Since the launch, what have you learned about your consumers/clients/brands (demographics, interests/needs)? Has this enforced your vision and passion for a sustainable future?

    o We thought going into Zady our customers would be, by and large, hipster – or early adopters, at the edge of a new movement. Since launch, and especially since our pop-up shop at LGA airport, we’ve been pleasantly surprised to learn our customers are 18-70 (though our sweet spot is 20-40 year olds), geographically dispersed across America.

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    Why is an organization like 1.618 Paris important?

    o Your support of responsible companies that make ethical and ecological choices is inspiring. You understand the aesthetics and innovations that go into making brands that stand out amongst the fray. We appreciate that you celebrate the companies who are working to challenge the norm.

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    How is Zady connecting with their customers? In terms of engagement what programs do you have in place?

    o Social Media, Two way brand, participatory commerce

     Example of asking our customers what they’d like on Zady, sourcing the right product and then soliciting a positive response on social media. You asked, we listened…

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    How do you source your brands?

    o We source our brands through traditional methods like attending trade shows, but have also seen an overwhelming response from our community who submit products for our consideration.

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