There’s been some buzz around Foodspotting co-founder Soraya Darabi’s next project. Today, we have more details on what Darabi has been working on. Along with founder Maxine Bédat, Darabi is debuting a new retail startup called Zady, which plans to launch to the public in late August.
Zady is a shopping platform for consumers who care about the origins of the items they purchase. It wants to be the go-destination for shoppers who want detailed information about where the product came from, who the designer/maker is, where raw materials are sourced, the ingredients that went into the product and more.
According to the startup, every item sold on Zady is from a designer who is conscious of where and how their products are made. Each product is personally vetted by Zady’s founders, using criteria for sustainability, including whether the product is locally sourced, handmade, uses high-quality raw materials, is environmentally conscious, or made in the U.S. The brands are required to sign a contract verifying the location of the company, the manufacturing city and the source of the raw materials.
Some of Zady’s brand partners include: Nashville-based denim designers Imogene + Willie; Los Angeles-based handbag designer Clare Vivier; Madrid’s innovative recycled material-friendly Ecoalf; Massachusetts-based pea coat manufacturer Gerald & Stewart; and Detroit-based leather handbag designer Karmo. Five percent of the proceeds from every sale will benefit the company’s nonprofit partner, The Bootstrap Project, which works to promote and retain centuries-old crafts and customs from around the world.
Darabi had reportedly raised $1.35 million in funding for Zady from NEA and other angels.
Zady sounds similar in some ways to Etsy when it comes to selling from artistans. But focusing on the “conscious consumer movement” is an interesting opportunity for fashion, especially at a time when fashion retailers are under more scrutiny around how their clothes are made and the conditions of the manufacturers who make the garments. The startup believes that just as Whole Foods sparked a movement based on the belief that we should question where our food comes from, Zady could be the destination that consumers flock to see where and how their clothing is made.
Stay tuned for more.