Sustainable label Zavi hopes to challenge fast fashion

By Our Reporter
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Launched online at the end of 2019, entirely sustainable international label ZAVI is rivalling Australia’s fast fashion scene. Founded by designer Vibhuti Vazirani, the brand offers men and women timeless and affordable pieces created wholly from quality natural fibres.

Conscious consumerism is on the rise, with Australians increasingly gravitating towards vegan and vegetarian diets, environmental sustainability, and rising demand to know about the practices behind clothing production.

“Australia is a highly conscious society in terms of environment, health and sustainability,” says Vazirani. “The biggest challenge in the industry is converting awareness about sustainable fashion to action. ZAVI is my personal mission to fight fast fashion and change buyer patterns, one design at a time.”

ZAVI uses only natural fibres: 100% hemp, 100% organic cotton and bamboo blend, 100% organic cotton, 100% vegan silk, 100% pro-viscose (a lyocell and viscose blend created from recycled wood cellulose), and recycled polyester only for the purpose of waterproofing outerwear.

All fabrics are coloured using non-toxic dye, and meet Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS). Even trims—buttons, zippers, and eyelets—are carefully tested in compliance with Oeko-Tex to minimise metals and chemicals that are harmful to the planet, sealife, and the human body. All packaging is made from recycled materials, with a strict avoidance of PVC.

“There are a number of brands in Australia that claim to be eco-friendly, however only a handful are actually 100% sustainable, with the rest using poly and synthetic blends. For the select few that are sustainable, the price tag often dissuades buyers from shopping responsibly. Choosing the inexpensive option may save money in the short-term, but can ultimately affect your life’s quality, and length,” says Vazirani.

ZAVI designs are clean, elegant and enduring; made to be worn time and time again. The brand offers ranges for casual dressing, activewear and business attire for both the sexes, with fresh lines dropping every 3-4 weeks.

Block colours are the mainstay, with a muted tonal palette of nudes, pastels, charcoals, blacks and whites. Accents of colour are given with shades of cerise pink, emerald green, olive green and lemon yellow, and occasional metallic trims. The adaptable palette makes the collection perfect for transeasonal dressing and easy to incorporate into existing wardrobes.

Statement peace silk shirts and cocktail dresses come in an array of colourways for women, while tailored hemp shirts and organic knit shorts are a staple in the men’s collection.

Women’s sizing ranges from XS-XL, and spans S-XL for men, with woven bottoms in 32-44.

Prices range between $80-$300.

Vazirani plans to launch The Basics Store by ZAVI in mid-2020. With all pieces available for under $100, this affordable, yet sustainable diffusion line is set to be a strong and desirable alternative to polyester based fast fashion brands.

Vazirani’s eclectic education history is a testament to her business, scientific and creative mind, and includes stints studying architecture (Parsons Design School, New York), business & economics (University of Exeter, England), and bio-chemistry (University of Massachusetts, Boston).

As Vazirani made her foray into fashion, she was naturally drawn to the story behind the fabrics and their environmental impact. Quickly learning of the disastrous repercussions many chemicals, dyes and materials have on the world and its sea life, she made an oath to remain pro-environment. “Rigorous product testing ensures ZAVI makes educated choices for the consumer, and the world,” says Vazirani.

Business, fashion, and social impact run in the family. Vazirani’s sister runs an e-commerce start-up in Mumbai, called Taglr; while her brother runs the London division of the family diagnostic company Erba Mannheim. Parents, Suresh and Mala, are the founders and directors of the Erba Mannheim Group. Vazirani’s father is the president of Initiatives of Change—a global organisation dedicated to effecting social change, beginning with personal change.

Based in Mumbai, Vazirani works with one other designer and a small production team to bring her ideas to fruition. ZAVI launches this month at www.shop-zavi.com.

 

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