Our colourful world of Zazi started in 2016 when our Founder Jeanne de Kroon and Madhu Vaishnav of the Saheli women met and wove a story of the vision they had for fashion. Madhu had just started her women’s social enterprise in a small rural village and had gathered the women together in the old home of her mother-in-law. She knew from the start that something special happens when women come together to create and wanted their voices to be heard internationally.
Jeanne, who was travelling in India at the time, fell in love with Madhu, her strength, and her story. Together with Madhu and the stories that made her fall back in love with fashion, she started a small platform focused on female co-creation from her small student bedroom with 7 ikat dresses.
Inspired by the Silk Road and her love for textiles and artisanal craft, Jeanne continued her journey of beautiful co-creations with female-led enterprises. Shortly after the start of Zazi, she met our Afghan family with whom they co-created our iconic Zazi Coat using the beautiful suzani’s they had collected locally in their family’s hometown.
The inherent circularity and connectedness to nature, community, and culture discovered in these first collaborations would inspire a growing vision to platform and celebrate artisanal craft, nature, and weaving women's narratives through cloth.
Little did we know that our community of storytelling women would keep growing 6 years later.
A GLOBAL FAMILY OF STORYTELLERS
From press publications with Vogue, Elle and L’Officiel to international stores showcasing our coats and dresses, our Zazi pieces were making their way to all corners of the world.
Growing with passion and intentionality, we met Simone Cipriani, founder of the UN Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI). EFI is an organisation that creates and strengthens social enterprises in emerging economies by connecting them globally. This new partnership enabled us to officially set ourselves up in Afghanistan and brought us deeper into the magic of Central Asia, where we connected to multiple female-led collectives from Ozara in Tajikistan to IkatUz in Uzbekistan. Meanwhile our Indian team expanded further, connecting with Akane Studio and Kullvi Whimms.
Today in 2022, we are excited for the many co-creations and projects to come and can reflect on an exciting past year, where more partners joined our expanding team of 9 different artisanal communities, consisting of over 700 artisans around the world. From co-creating all over Central Asia to Northern Ghana and the Amazons of Brazil, our community has truly grown into a global sisterhood.
By enabling a space to truly listen and share our stories and the stories of artisans, farmers, natural dyers, and weavers, we as a community can truly celebrate and honour each other and begin to understand what is needed for true ‘sustainability.’