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For Her Next Act, Soraya Darabi Wants to Fight Fast Fashion

Her newest project is a site to buy "high-quality, stylish, and timeless goods you can feel good about."
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Back in February, we reported that former Foodspotter and onetime New York Times wunderkind Soraya Darabi had returned to the cofounder game with $1.35 million in funding for something called Zady.

Now she and her cofounder Maxine Kaye have revealed what they’ve been working on all this time: an ecommerce site focused on “conscious consumerism,” due to launch in late August.

The idea is to keep everything totally transparent, so anyone who wants to sell on the site has to provide details about where their products were made and where their source materials came from. An announcement also promises that “every product is personally vetted by Zady’s founders” to determine whether its meets their sustainability standards, which sounds like one hell of a scaling headache.

Brands featured will include jeansmakers Imogene + Willie and handbag designer Clare Vivier. The cofounders swear the products will be “priced competitively,” running a gamut “from $14 for two Shinola journals to $600 for a coat by Gloverall.”

Ms. Darabi said in a statement:

“We are excited to announce the launch of Zady as a platform for consumers to purchase high-quality, stylish, and timeless goods you can feel good about, knowing they were created in responsible environments, and are giving back to the community.” 

After the horrific factory collapse in Bangladesh, it’s pretty hard to argue with alternatives to fast fashion. But as a business, this won’t necessarily be a cakewalk. There’s all the usual challenges of ecommerce, plus ask Jack Dorsey about all the places you can already find high-quality, handmade, not-exactly-dirt-cheap duds. And as a cultural challenge, it’s probably going to take more than a website selling $225 jeans to fight the sheer mass-market might of Forever 21.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com