The "Eve" top by artisan Ivano Tella.

Waste not, want not. That’s the philosophy of Vida, a women’s wear e-commerce brand that blends on-demand manufacturing and mass customization to reduce waste and shift consumer ideology away from a quantity over quality lifestyle. Instead of instilling a desire within shoppers to perpetually indulge in the “buy-make-throw” model, the brand seeks to “redefine growth” and sets its focus on creating positive impact for artisans and communities.

“Gone are the days when a selected few could act as gatekeepers and decide what our wardrobes and homes would look like. Today’s consumers want experiences over objects, originality over mass production, sustainability over waste and the opportunity to co-create and be a part of the process. The fashion industry can use a pivot from exclusive and mass to inclusive and original,” Umaimah Mendhro, founder and chief executive officer at Vida, told WWD. “The fashion industry has increasingly become synonymous with cheap, disposable clothing, inhumane factory conditions and global environmental waste. This has created a critical change in the collective consciousness of today’s generation of shoppers who are increasingly demanding unique, personalized experiences, quality over quantity and net-positive social impact.”

Vida addresses the issue of consumption, an uncommon topic of discussion in the fashion industry.  Thomas Iannaccone/WWD

Vida’s primary differentiator is its original pieces created by artisans located all over the world who contribute their own designs via its online platform. And while that convenience is certainly a factor, Vida says that the heart of its artisan community lies in its sustainability and altruistic spirit. “Almost all of our artists choose to work with us because of our zero waste initiative and makers empowerment program. For every product made, Vida offers literacy programs in our factories across the globe to help our makers build a better future for themselves and generations to come.”

Mendhro continued, “We are at an inflection point wherein fashion brands willing to make rapid advancements in technology, mass customization and supply chain systems will lead the future of the industry. Today, mass customization production techniques can reduce lead time from design to delivery to close to a week, making the need for inventory completely unnecessary and wasteful. We are also at a stage where consumers no longer want to be left out of the creation process and want to know how their clothes impact the environment and the people who make them.”

And the brand uniquely contributes toward a circular economy, Mendhro noted, “looking beyond the current buy-make-throw model, while redefining growth and focusing on positive impact across communities. Vida takes what’s best of fast fashion — small batch manufacturing, short lead times, adaptability to market trends — to evolve the fashion industry and build what today’s shoppers are increasingly demanding in a sustainable way.”

For more Business news from WWD, see:

PrimaLoft Rolls Out First Fully Recycled Bio Performance Fabric

Fashion Industry’s ‘War for Talent,’ Demand for Vocational Skills

Field Notes: Fashion’s Making Waves

Fashion Brand Nicholas K Cites ‘Longevity’ as Key to Sustainability

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