The online retailer Zady began as a site with the goal of creating a new standard in clothing. The creators of the site, Maxine Bédat and Soraya Darabi, sought to build a shopping experience which was driven by products made with not just style and quality in mind, but environmental impact and high labor standard considerations, as well.

 

Through making sure that all of their products are locally sourced, made in the USA, made by hand, and sustainable, Bédat and Darabi have successfully created a shopping experience which shoppers can actually feel good about taking part in.

 

The creation of Zady alone can be seen as a tremendously significant step forward in the effort to establish conscious consumerism in the country. However, Bédat and Darabi have now taken their initial aims a step further, launching an initiative which demands for all clothing, not just garments which they sell on their own site, to practice supply chain transparency.

 

Soraya Darabi and Maxine Bédat created Zady with the goal of building an ethical brand that combined style and sustainability (blog.zady.com)

Soraya Darabi and Maxine Bédat created Zady with the goal of building an ethical brand that combined style and sustainability (blog.zady.com)

The “Sourced In” initiative is based on the fact that there is a long process by which each garment comes into being — a process which is far more extensive than what is reflected in simple “Made in…” clothing tabs that only disclose location information related to the final stages of production.  However, that has not stopped mandates like that of the Federal Trade Commission which requires only for garments to be labeled with a “country of origin” tag. It is a standard which eliminates far too much of the whole story behind each piece of clothing to be considered adequate and acceptable.

 

Zady’s founders along with their partners have petitioned the Obama administration in regards to their initiative with the goal of urging the U.S. government to do its part in setting new industry standards regarding transparency in the global garment supply chain.

 

Whether the “Sourced In” initiative and petition are successful in accomplishing their goal on a governmental level, there can be no doubt that these efforts serve to at least raise awareness at the level of the consumer. Such awareness can in turn give rise to a heightened desire in consumers to understand the origins of their clothing and the impact that their garments are having on a global scale.

 

This is critical, because conscious consumerism could not be fully achieved without an interest and an ability on the part of consumers to translate even the most comprehensive clothing labels into a real-world context. Thus, establishing consumer awareness about the harsh realities of many supply chains, as the founders of Zady have done by discussing such issues as water pollution from textile industries, is a key part — if not the most essential part — of making conscious, and more importantly knowledgeable, consumerism a reality.

 

To view and sign Zady’s “Sourced In” petition, visit petitions.whitehouse.gov

 

Do you make a point of knowing the full history of the clothing you purchase? Do you think clear labels and a commitment to supply chain transparency would change how you shop? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi