Modavanti: Online Retailer for Sustainable Fashion

FashionTrends to Try

Modavanti: Online Retailer for Sustainable Fashion

When you first reach the homepage of Modavanti, you may think you are visiting just another site boasting fun dresses and chic shades. However, as you explore the site, you will quickly learn that Modavanti stands apart from its online shopping counterparts– It is dedicated to sustainable fashion. With words popping off the page like, “The Future of Fashion is Sustainability” and “Shop Fairly Traded,” Modavanti will have you scrolling and shopping to learn what it’s all about.

Launched just a few months ago in January 2013, Modavanti seamlessly blends two worlds– high fashion and sustainability– to create the ultimate shopping experience. With Modavanti, you no longer have to choose between style and your values. As they explain in their mission statement, now “you can look good, feel good and do good.”

Modavanti’s unique features also create a broader, more interesting social shopping experience. Their site allows you to search for products according to the company’s “eight-badge sustainability criteria: made in USA, organic, vegan, recycled/re-purposed, energy efficient, handmade, fair trade and eco-conscious.” The site also contains a “My Closet” feature, in which you can create your own collections and browse other users’ closets. Finally, and most admirably, Modavanti donates 2% of every sale to one of their three charitable partners.

With twenty-five designers to choose from and scores of stylish pieces, we selected our top picks from this leader of fabulous, sustainable fashion. Check out what we’re lusting over (but seriously, these items are being put into out shopping carts as we speak…).

1. Yellow Peplum Skirt by AFIA

afia peplum skirt

Ethically made in Ghana, this skirt is the perfect piece to make a breezy transition into Spring. Also available in black, navy and turquoise, this flirty piece can easily fit anyone’s style.

About the designer: The founder of the brand, Meghan Sebold, was inspired to create AFIA, a “social business built on transparency, mutual respect, and collaboration,” while studying in Ghana. She saw how she could blend the African culture she was being exposed to with the fashion industry to create a unique brand. The textiles for the line come from Ghana, and the designs are sewn by women in a Ghanian cooperative that pays three time the usual wage. Rock on, Meghan.


2. Sammi Feather Dress by Allison Parris New York


Made in fair labor factories in NYC’s garment district from 100% raw, organic silk, this fun feather dress is perfect for that special night out. You will be sure to stand out in this white number at your next formal!

About the designer: Specializing in eco-friendly party dresses, designer Allison Parris truly embodies sustainable elegance. She describes her line as being about “‘retaining moral values whilst making beautiful well-made clothing.” Allison’s pieces, all made in the US, are truly special– a worthy investment that will have you feeling good well past your purchase.

3. Tan Duke Tote by Jesslyn Blake


This uber-chic tote is made from re-purposed leather by Jesslyn Blake. A perfect staple to any woman’s wardrobe, this color-blocked tote will have everyone asking, “Where did you get that?!”

About the designer: Born in Indonesia, Jesslyn Blake founder Nila Prawidjaja believes in creating items that are “gentle to our natural resources.” Her quality handbags are always up-to-date with trends, as entrepreneurial Nila is dedicated to keeping up with the fashion cycle. Her variety of leather and canvas bags come in numerous shapes and sizes, giving everyone the chance to find a style they love.


4. Plunging Neckline Dress by Modahnik


With its fiery orange tones, tribal print and daring structure, this number will not go unnoticed. Made in Kenya using fair trade practices, the dress takes a chick with sick confidence to rock this look (Yes, we mean you). This gorgeous statement look would make you stand out at any social function!

About the designer: Inspired by the vibrant colors, prints and culture of the Congolese population, Modahnik is a melting pot of styles. Creative Director Kahindo Mateene blends African textiles with sophisticated and modern patterns to create “wearable pieces of art that accentuate a woman’s body.” Every piece is intended to express creativity and individuality and be worn fearlessly.


5. Shoes by TEN & Co.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 8.17.19 PM These adorable oxfords look just like the of-the-moment styles we see in every store window this season– only… you can feel good about purchasing this fabulous pair! Available in multiple colors and patterns, these stylish shoes are “handmade in small batches by a cobbler in Marrakech, Morocco.” We don’t think it gets cuter than that.

About the designer: From what started as a simple visit to a tiny shoe shop in Marrakech by designer Tory Noll to have shoes made with scraps of rug, TEN & Co. has become a flourishing footwear brand with a unique edge. Every style of shoe is made from one rug or woven blanket, making each pair truly special. Tory has made several trips back to Morocco, constantly searching for special rugs that breathe life into these cool shoes.

This is just the beginning for our new favorite online shopping destination. Modavanti has big plans for the future– more designers, including Edun, started by Bono’s wife, and 100% NY by Daniel Silverstein of NBC’s new show Fashion Star, and maybe even the possibility of an NYC storefront. For now, though, this fledgling initiative’s main goal is to make a difference, believing that “profit and progress should go hand-in-hand.” We think these sustainable style savants are well on their way to change the fashion world, one gorgeous piece at a time.

-Laura Petro

Images courtesy of Modavanti.

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