Published on January 29th, 2013 | by Shanley Knox1
Modavanti: Changing the World Through Sustainable Fashion
Two weeks ago, I had a delightful lunch in Brooklyn with David Dietz, the founder of the newly launched online retailer Modavanti. Italian for “fashion forward,” Modavanti is an online retailer for high-end sustainable fashion.
I asked David a few questions about the vision for his new platform, and what we can expect Modavanti to bring to high-end sustainable fashion. I’m excited to share his platform – and the vision behind it – with our audience at Feel Good Style.
FGS: What is the story behind Modavanti?
DD: We started Modavanti because we believe in the power of business, more specifically fashion, to create social change. We’re committed to social enterprise and believe passionately that profit and progress should go hand-in-hand. We believe in the power of our generation to change the world through sustainable fashion.
FGS: What is your vision?
DD: The vision behind Modavanti is promote and lead the sustainable fashion movement by building an active community around a social shopping experience that allows you to shop your favorite styles, share the newest trends with your friends and learn about the latest advances in sustainable fashion. What we wear is a defining part of who we are, what we believe and how we represent ourselves. Yet until now there has been no recognized destination for socially conscious shoppers to find stylish, sustainable fashion that fits their values without sacrificing on style.No longer do you have to choose between looking good and being environmentally and socially aware. At Modavanti our amazing brand partners ensure that you can look good, feel good and do good.
FGS: What kind of experience will buyers have on your site?
DD: The focus on the site is the fashion. We want our customers to come because they love the product on the site. But we also have the sustainability page and our closet page. The sustainability page is for customers that want to dig deeper into the issue of what sustainability means and hopefully they will find it educational. Our closet page is still under development but we will be rolling out cool social shopping features through the closet that will allow our users to curate and share their favorite looks with their friends on the site. We want the experience to be very interactive and communal but for now we hope our customers will enjoy exploring the new trends and curations on the site.
FGS: You have a fairly common model with featuring all different designers in a common space – how are you doing it differently?
DD: Our main differentiator is sustainability. We tell the story of the designer behind the label and want to be the site that you come to because you can look good, feel good and do good with what you wear. Several of our brands are sold in other large retailers but you wouldn’t know they were made in the US or made from recycled materials, which is important and frankly cool. We will be the destination for socially conscious consumers to find clothing that fits their values without sacrificing on style.
FGS: What are your qualifications for the pieces you put on the site?
DD: All of our brands must meet a minimum threshold for sustainability which you can find on our site under the mission page. The cliff notes version is that brands must you fair labor practices, produce minimum waste with no toxins in their production methods and be transparent in their sourcing. After that brands have to meet one of eight sustainability badges that we’ve developed. We want to celebrate brands efforts and recognize that to date their is no such thing as ’100%’ sustainability. That being said, the brands we are working with are taking impressive steps to be produce in a more eco-friendly or ethical way.
FGS: What does Modavanti have to offer the fashion world, both in terms of mainstream fashion and the sustainable fashion market?
DD: We have a lot of great brands and offer a mix of stylish clothing, accessories, shoes and soon-to-be bags. Currently we have 19 brand partners and over 200 products on the site!
FGS: What can we expect from Modavanti as it grows?
DD: We want to become the recognized and trusted source and destination for everything sustainable. We have lots of great features and ideas in the pipeline. Right now though, baby steps. We just launched so we need visitors to come to our site and start shopping! The more people who shop, the more brands we will be able to bring on, the more features we will be able to roll out and the more we will be able to offer!
Photo: Modavanti. Used with permission.