I was recently invited to review a great online stop that completely supports environmental and social responsibility in fashion called Modavanti. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because I carried that beautiful GUNAS purse pictured above in my most recent outfit post (here and pictured below). Up close, I would never have believed the Sweetheart purse was anything but leather. But as the description states, it’s completely vegan, and 100% cruelty-free and sweat-shop free. Like all of the items on Modavanti, everything is beautifully made, stylish and sustainable. Other than all of the fashionably fabulous items, two things stand out for me: the sustainability badges (“how and why the item they are buying is eco-friendly and ethically sourced”) and the causes they support. Modavanti donates 2% of their revenue to charity, which is quite a substantial contribution. The donation from my purchase went to Charity:Water, an organization that brings safe drinking water to developing countries (Depeche Mode are proud supporters of this charity as well).
Adam Clancy, the Director of Operations at Modavanti, took some time out to answer some questions about their site, sustainability and social responsibility, and how they are able to do what they do with style.
I am impressed with an entire online retail site who completely supports the idea of sustainable fashion. What was the inspiration behind Modavanti.com’s concept?
Modavanti: The idea for Modavanti.com was born out of our desire to make a social impact through business. The fashion industry in particular has been slow to change the way it operates. To give you one example, it takes 400 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce just one cotton t-shirt! We believe that by promoting designers who are producing clothes in a more socially conscious manner we can bring about real change within the fashion industry.
What is Modavanti.com’s biggest challenge being be a company who sources sustainability?
Modavanti: Our biggest challenge is also our biggest opportunity – and that is convincing consumers that they can be stylish and sustainable at the same time. There is a perception surrounding sustainable fashion that the clothes are not trendy, that they crunchy and granola. This perception is far removed from reality, and we’re convinced that once you look at the clothing and accessories available on Modavanti.com you will think about sustainable fashion in a whole new light.
You have a fantastic curated collection of clothing and accessories. How do you find designers and brands to work with? Do you seek out new designers or do you find that they come to you?
Modavanti: It’s a combination of the two. One of the hard things in finding designers is that many sustainable designers don’t like to advertise the fact they are producing sustainably because they believe it will diminish their appeal in the eyes of the customer. We believe the opposite, so it often involves a lot of legwork in tracking down designers who meet both our aesthetic and our sustainability threshold. But we’ve also had a number of designers who have sought us out since we’ve launched because they see that we have a wonderful platform which we can showcase their products.
How did you chose the charities that you donate to, and are you looking to partner with other charities?
Modavanti: Our charities were chosen because we believe they address some of the problems we’ve identified with the fashion industry. It was also very important that the causes we partner with had strong feedback loops and used the money in the field rather than to pay their employees. We picked Charity:Water because the fashion industry wastes a tremendous amount of water every year. Not only that, but apparel factories pollute many of our rivers and streams, particularly in developing countries, and Charity Water helps alleviate those problems. We support Nest because they promote fair labor rights and the ancient traditions of artisans in countries such as India. We partnered with 19th Amendment because their mission is to keep the next generation of fashion designers producing sustainably right here in America — a goal that aligns very much with our ethos.
We don’t currently have plans to expand our charities but as we grow further it is certainly something we will consider.
Thank you so much Adam for taking the time out to answer my questions! Check out Modavanti.com for more information, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.