10 Things You Didn’t Know About Maxine Bédat

Maxine Bédat is a renowned environmentalist, entrepreneur, and lawyer who has dedicated her career to promoting sustainable fashion and ethical consumerism. Through her work, Maxine aims to create a more sustainable future for the fashion industry by addressing the social and environmental impacts of fast fashion. While you may be familiar with her advocacy work and her role as the co-founder of Zady, an ethical fashion brand, there are several intriguing things about Maxine Bédat that you may not know. Let’s explore ten lesser-known facts about this remarkable individual.

1. Early Life and Education

Maxine Bédat was born and raised in Minnesota, United States. Growing up, she was deeply passionate about environmental issues, which led her to pursue an education in environmental science. However, during her studies, Maxine realized that policy and legal frameworks would play a crucial role in effecting real change. This realization prompted her to shift gears and pursue a law degree. She graduated from Yale Law School and later became a fashion lawyer, enabling her to combine her passion for sustainability and the law.

With her solid educational background and expertise in environmental law, Maxine was equipped to tackle the environmental and social challenges plaguing the fashion industry.

2. Co-Founder of Zady

In 2012, Maxine Bédat, alongside her colleague Soraya Darabi, co-founded Zady, an e-commerce platform committed to providing consumers with sustainable and ethically made fashion choices. Zady aimed to counteract the fast fashion trend by promoting slow fashion, which focuses on quality, durability, and sustainability. The brand prioritized transparency, showcasing the stories behind the products they sold and the impact they had on the environment and workers.

Through Zady, Maxine Bédat aimed to revolutionize the fashion industry by encouraging consumers to understand the true cost of their clothing and make more conscious purchasing decisions. The brand aimed to break the cycle of buying cheap, disposable garments that ultimately contributed to environmental degradation and worker exploitation.

3. Advocating for Sustainable Fashion

As an advocate for a more sustainable fashion industry, Maxine Bédat has been instrumental in raising awareness about the damaging effects of fast fashion. She has been invited to speak at various prestigious events, including the United Nations, demonstrating her commitment to influencing global change. Maxine has successfully used her platform to shed light on the intersection of sustainability, fashion, and consumerism.

In addition to her speaking engagements, Bédat has written extensively on sustainable fashion and ethical consumerism, emphasizing the importance of making conscious choices to protect both people and the planet. Her commitment to sustainable fashion has been recognized and celebrated within the industry, with Maxine receiving accolades such as being named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business.

4. The True Cost Documentary

One of Maxine Bédat’s notable contributions to the sustainable fashion movement came in the form of the documentary film, “The True Cost.” Released in 2015, the film explores the environmental and social impacts of the fast fashion industry. Bédat served as the executive producer of the documentary, which aimed to educate viewers about the hidden costs behind low-cost, fast fashion garments.

“The True Cost” received critical acclaim for its eye-opening portrayal of the devastating consequences of the fashion industry’s unsustainable practices. The film sparked global conversations and prompted many consumers to rethink their purchasing habits, demanding more transparency and sustainability from fashion brands.

5. Collaborations with Sustainable Fashion Brands

Maxine Bédat has been a driving force behind collaborations between sustainable fashion brands and mainstream retailers. She believes that such partnerships are essential in order to bring about systemic change within the fashion industry. By working together, sustainable brands can benefit from the broader reach and resources of mainstream retailers, while these retailers gain access to more ethical and sustainable product offerings.

Bédat’s dedication to uniting sustainable fashion brands and mainstream retailers has been instrumental in expanding the availability and accessibility of sustainable fashion choices. Through these collaborations, a wider audience is exposed to the importance of conscious consumerism and the positive impact it can have on both people and the planet.

6. TED Talk on Ethical Fashion

As a thought leader in sustainable fashion, Maxine Bédat has delivered a TED Talk on the subject. Her talk, titled “The High Cost of our Cheap Fashion,” delves into the story behind the clothes we wear and the hidden impact of the fashion industry. Bédat highlights the need for consumers to understand the true cost of their clothing, urging them to ask critical questions about the ethics and sustainability of their fashion choices.

Her TED Talk serves as a powerful call to action, encouraging individuals to become more aware of the consequences of fast fashion and inspiring them to make more conscious decisions when it comes to their wardrobe.

7. Empowering Change through Education

Recognizing that education is one of the most effective ways to drive change, Maxine Bédat has been actively involved in educating both consumers and industry professionals about the importance of sustainable fashion. She has lectured at prominent universities, sharing her expertise and insights with the next generation of fashion leaders.

By educating individuals about the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry, Bédat aims to inspire them to become agents of change within their own spheres of influence. Through educational initiatives, Maxine encourages consumers to adopt more sustainable habits and professionals to incorporate ethical practices into their businesses.

8. Founder of New Standard Institute

In her pursuit of advancing sustainable fashion, Maxine Bédat founded the New Standard Institute. This think-tank focuses on addressing the social and environmental challenges of the fashion industry through research, education, and public engagement. The institute works towards developing industry standards that prioritize sustainability, ethics, and worker well-being.

Through the New Standard Institute, Bédat actively collaborates with industry stakeholders, policymakers, and academia to drive meaningful change. By providing research-backed insights, the institute aims to reshape the fashion industry and make it truly sustainable.

9. The Power of Collaboration

Maxine Bédat firmly believes in the power of collaboration to create systemic change within the fashion industry. She has cultivated relationships with various stakeholders, from government agencies to sustainable fashion pioneers. Through these collaborations, Bédat aims to create a unified front that will hold brands accountable for their environmental and social practices.

By working together, Bédat and her collaborators hope to enact industry-wide change, transforming the fashion landscape into one that values sustainability, ethics, and worker empowerment.

10. Recognized for her Contributions

Maxine Bédat’s profound impact on the fashion industry has earned her recognition and accolades. Apart from being named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, she has also been included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list of social entrepreneurs. Her unwavering dedication to sustainable fashion has propelled her into the forefront of the movement, and her continued efforts continue to inspire others to follow suit.

Maxine Bédat is a shining example of how passion, conviction, and collaboration can drive significant change in an industry. Through her work, she has proven that sustainability and fashion can go hand in hand, encouraging us all to take a closer look at our clothing choices and consider the impact they have on the world.

Useful links:

The True Cost Documentary
Maxine Bédat’s TED Talk
New Standard Institute