By  on April 10, 2007

LONDON — Adili, a U.K. e-commerce site launched last year as a source for stylish, ethical fashion brands, is tapping into consumers' appetite for apparel with a conscience. The Web site, adili.com, has captured a diverse demographic and now plans to launch its own clothing label for fall 2008.

The company initially will target the line to department stores and boutiques in the U.K., with a view to launching internationally. The collection will be developed with Sim Scavazza, formerly brand director of Miss Selfridge, owned by Arcadia, who was appointed a non-executive director at Adili earlier this month.

Adam Smith, chief executive officer and one of the founders of Adili, said ethical fashion is growing fast.

"People are starting to think more deeply," said Smith. "Some consumers may look at a T-shirt for 2 pounds, [$3.90 at current exchange], and say, ‘Great, I'll have 106,' whereas others say, 'Who's paid the price in the supply chain to make that so cheaply?'"

Smith, whose background is in e-commerce, said he was surprised by the recent surge in public interest in ethical and organic fashion, after retailers such as Marks & Spencer and Topshop launched small organic clothing lines.

"There was…a lag between [ethical] food taking off and fashion," said Smith. "We [now] have a couple of years' window of opportunity to build our brand, when customer awareness is strong, but the prevalence [of ethical clothing] on the high street is not."

Prices for the 43 brands on the Web site, which include women's, men's and children's wear, beauty products and gifts, start at approximately $6 at current exchange for an organic cotton face cloth, and run to about $306 for a silk wrap top from Eternal Creation.

"We want to be as accessible as possible, but there is a degree of price premium for fair trade and organic products," said Smith, who added the site's main customers were young professionals based in cities, and those in their mid-30s to early 50s.

While Smith declined to disclose sales figures for the company, he said it was on track to break even by 2009."We want to take more direct action related to the garment industry, such as consultancy or providing materials," said Smith. "[We] passionately believe in what we're doing."

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