The fusion of practicality and style is a tricky balance: getting things to err on the right side of functional, while never sacrificing style, is anything but easy. Especially if you are also ethically minded. Which I guess you are, if you are reading this magazine.
And so is David Dietz, founder of Modavanti, the go-to online boutique for your life, consciously styled, as the stylish shop’s tagline says.
Founded in New York in 2013 with just women’s clothing, this ethical online shop has come a long way. A fledgling empire of ethical style, Modavanti now carries women’s, men’s, home, beauty and even kids. And you know Vilda readers wouldn’t be saving Modavanti’s URL to ‘favourites’ if they didn’t have a pretty great vegan selection too. Offering a flattering range of versatile and on-trend vegan-friendly looks, Modavanti is bound to become your summer shopping destination.
I recently chatted with David about their new vegan e-boutique, the status of ethical fashion and why shoppers are more interested in ethical style than ever.
Not only is David a genuinely nice person, he’s also a ethical fashionista’s personal encyclopedia. His knowledge of the complex fashion supply chain comes from genuine experience and his passion for change in the retail industry shines through.
The Seed Experience, Modavanti’s newest all-vegan boutique (brand new and continuously curated) boasts an incredible selection of cruelty-free clothing, home and beauty products in partnership with The Seed, an annual vegan festival in Manhattan.
The festival itself is a destination for curated animal-friendly goods and now thanks to Modavanti you can shop it from the comfort of your couch. This is just one example of sustainability becoming accessible to anyone with wi-fi.
When I asked David what has changed in the ethical fashion landscape since he started Modavanti two years ago, his answer was simple: “The movement is becoming cool.” The modern style, packaging and quality of product doesn’t hurt either, according to him.
An understanding of where things are made and how they’re made is the perfect entrance point for curious fashionistas.
Not surprisingly, the site’s most popular wellness labels are Vegan, Made in the USA and Organic. ‘These are the biggest buzzwords in the industry’ David says, which makes perfect sense. We can all agree it’s hip to care about the planet.
Modavanti’s vegan offerings include such indulgences as hand poured soy candles, macarons, roll-on body oils and a variety of exotic teas.
There’s no wanting for vegan clothing and accessories either- standout brands like Angela and Roi bags and Bourgeois Boheme shoes are sold next to eye-catching newcomers like Elvis and Kresse. Elvis and Kresse’s bags, wallets and belts made from recycled firehose are a way to own a piece of firefighting history. They are crafted from 30+ year old firehose based in London. Talk about unique!
Recycling is something David is very excited about. As the industry moves forward, we all will ‘find ways to close the loop, create new materials and create new things out of waste.’ Sounds like soon, you’ll find yourself checking more than just the ‘Vegan’ box on your purchases.
Are you just starting to dip your toe into the sea of sustainable fashion? David has some great advice on how to get acquainted with the industry or deepen your knowledge if you consider yourself sustainable already.
The True Cost, a documentary by Livia Firth (out May 29th) explores the broken fashion chain – how does what we wear impact the world?. David says ‘We have been trained to be consumers. Consumer is a dirty word. You’re trained to follow someone else’s belief system and aren’t understanding the ramifications of that.’
David is also aware the price point of sustainable fashion is higher than most people are used to. To that end, he appreciates that if you pay more, it has got to be special.
Modavanti’s selection is anything but ordinary – I’m confident that every Vilda reader can find an item that not only speaks to their personal style but subtly acts as statement and testimony to your beliefs. What better way to spread knowledge than through conversation pieces? I personally find the first thing I say after receiving a compliment on an eco-friendly bag/outfit is ‘Thanks! Did you know it’s vegan?’ Most are surprised and eager to learn more. Aesthetics and morals can go hand in hand, and thanks to Modavanti the discovery process is a whole lot easier.