Zady takes a long-term approach to clothing. The online boutique is stocked with "slow fashion" items, which emphasize ethical manufacturing, local production, high-quality materials and timeless styles.
Just like slow food, slow fashion is starting to get the attention of many consumers around the world; it serves as an antidote to poor quality and polluting fashion items. Fast fashion is not only a problem because it pushes consumers to purchase items that will look silly in a few seasons, but also because there's little emphasis on the durability of garments.
The founders of Zady, Soraya Darabi and Maxine Bédat, begin by asking where garments are made. Most of the time, the answer they get back from brands is "we have no idea." Once they've found the brands that have confidence in their supply chain, then Darabi and Bédat dig into the details, looking for ecologically sustainable materials, handmade processes, and durable materials. "We detail all of those criteria out on our site, so that every product has a badge of at least one," said Bédat.
"Our hope is that people begin to think about quality over quantity," said Darabi. As with many sustainable fashion manufacturers, the cost is higher than you'll find at retailers like H&M or Forever 21. Zady's founders encourage shoppers to think about the cost per wear. The cost per wear of an $50 shirt is lower than the cost per wear of a $15 dollar shirt if the latter falls apart after 12 uses and three washes, and the former can be worn over a hundred times.
"It's simply about thinking carefully about the longevity of the items that you purchase," said Darabi. She suggests asking yourself a few questions before making a purchase, including: How many times will I need to wash this? How long will it last? Is this a dry-clean purchase? Is this something I think will stay in style for the next 10 years?
Surprisingly, finding well-made items that fit Zady's quality requirement and also have classic style wasn't a big challenge. "As we discovered those brands that really cared about how their product was being made, and who was making it, and the artistry behind it, the aesthetic really matched too," said Bédat. "Because those brands tended to focus on timelessness."
Check out the rest of this slide show to see our favorite spring-weather items that you'll want to wear for years to come. Most of the items are made in the U.S.