Ethical Audit: Zady Sets A New Fashion Standard

zady the new standard

Can one brand upend what we’ve come to expect from our favorite fashion stores – cheap thrills to satisfy our desire for options?  Zady think so. The brand is set out with with a simple, compelling mission – To make clothes what they should be: Clothes that fit. Clothes that feel great. Pieces that inspire.

Better yet, Zady just launched a groundbreaking initiative to transform fashion through radical transparency. The brand’s approach is all-encompassing, from material primers to investigative articles to supply chain graphics, Zady sets a new standard for researched storytelling in fashion.

Take their word for it:

At Zady we’re working to demonstrate the future corporation. We’re embedding transparency into everything we do. We work to develop quality products, products that aren’t just marketed to get the consumer to buy them, but products that are created with the user in mind. We are not externalizing corporate responsibility into a separate department, the responsibility we have as a corporation of the future is to build a sustainable means of dressing the global population. And to explore more about defining sustainability click here.

I’ve been itching to cover Zady for some time and happened upon a feature by ethical writer Leah Wise. She tells Zady’s story best. This post originally appeared on her blog, StyleWise

ZADY’s Essentials Collection provides total supply chain transparency


zady essentials collection information

ZADY makes and sells cool ethical clothing, but they’re so much more than that. They offer accessible, exhaustive resources on supply chain transparency through their The New Standard initiative, because they believe that the key to change is education. They believe that consumers are smart enough to want real, comprehensive answers from companies about where their clothes come from, from farm to closet. Knowing a little bit about one part of the supply chain isn’t enough. The great thing is that, even if you’re not likely to do research before making a purchase, ZADY makes learning about the people, animals, and resources behind the products you buy easy – they’ll even send email updates each week if you subscribe.

With this in mind, ZADY started their own collection of timeless basics called The Essentials Collection. From the press release: “The designs for the products featured in The Essentials Collection are centered on these principles: design for longevity; utilize the highest quality fibers that also have a low footprint; work directly, as partners, with the supply chain to ensure a low impact from farm to final factory; and support American factories and excellence in production with domestic cut and sew.”

zady essentials collection sweater

Read the product description for any item in the collection and you’ll learn everything you could possibly want to know about materials and textiles sourcing, worker welfare, and environmental impact. An example from the .06 Lightweight Alpaca Sweater listing:

The .06 is made from the wool of Alpacas raised in their natural habitat in the Andes mountains of Peru, where they can roam, hop, and grow their silky fleece in beautiful natural colors, like this heather grey. Soft as cashmere without pilling, as warm as sheep’s wool without the bulk, hypo-allergenic, and one of the strongest fibers, Alpaca is an ideal ingredient for the sweater that will endure in your closet and become a favorite piece. This super fiber is then sorted, washed, combed and spun in nearby Arequipa, Peru, where 80% of the facilities energy needs is provided by solar panels. We receive the best fibers, called baby alpaca (though its not from baby alpaca), which are then sent to New York, where the slightly relaxed fit and menswear inspired chest pocket are crafted, converging timeless style with the ancient wool.

Considering how much research and work has been put into each piece, The Essentials Collection is reasonably priced, with items ranging from $36.00 to $185.00. This stuff is built to last, so the cost per wear is sure to be a good value. I’ve been eyeing their best selling .02 tee for months and they recently restocked it!

Though there are many companies committed to transparency, ZADY is the leader in examining what “transparent” means from every angle. If more companies functioned in this way, we’d be well on our way to an ethical, sustainable marketplace.

Shop ZADY’s Essentials Collection.

Read about the manufacturing industry on The New Standard

Leah Wise is a fellow member of the Ethical Writers Coalition. She writes about ethical issues in the clothing industry. She hopes to create a space that fosters conversation and encourages you to wear fair with pride and creativity. Read more about her here.


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