Zazi vintage connects communities through cloth, a beautiful caring case of empathy.
There are many things to like about Zazi Vintage. I personally love their Indian artisanal designs, but what I like most about this brand is the forthrightness with which they admit that it is difficult to be sustainable in fashion, as the very system in which they operate is unsustainable by definition.
What else makes them stand out from the fashion crowd? They have built a brand around women’s artisanal communities worldwide. They partner with small women’s enterprises in rural areas in India and Afghanistan. They also collaborate with different NGOs, artisanal groups and the UN Ethical Fashion Initiative all around the world.
They work closely with all partners to guarantee decent and fair working conditions, living wages and full transparency to raise living standards in their communities over the long term. In this way, the artisans can gain empowerment, lifting themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty and creating new opportunities.
Working in this local and limited edition way comes at a high cost. A cost that Zazi Vintage explains in a very transparent breakdown posted on their website for each garment: the amount that goes into labour, materials, transport, tax, etc.
The brand is vintage because they try to reduce their environmental impact by using already existing fabrics and organic materials. However, they realize that, because they work with artisans from marginalized communities in challenging and remote locations, this change is a journey. They work on raising awareness of the importance of environmental protection while promoting responsible actions such as switching to green energy, water treatment and waste reduction.
Change takes time, hence their motto: ‘We empower the consumer and the producer one garment at the time’. Zazi is not just another eco-fashion brand. Founder Jeanne De Kroon understood that while taking care of the local Asian communities, she also needed to build her own community. She does that by sharing stories from women around the world. Stories about craftsmanship, travels, impact and their community. So when you buy a piece of Zazi Vintage, you actually buy a story!