Maxine Bédat

Founder & Director, New Standard Institute
United States
Listed Since
Maxine Bédat stands as a trailblazer in the fashion industry, leveraging her expertise in law and her passion for sustainability to revolutionize the way we think about clothing production and consumption. As the founder and director of New Standard Institute (NSI), a forward-thinking organization dedicated to promoting accountability and sustainability in fashion, Bédat has dedicated herself to driving positive change in an industry ripe for transformation.

Bédat's journey towards sustainable fashion began over a decade ago. In 2013, she co-founded Zady, an ethical e-commerce platform aimed at offering responsibly sourced products. However, Bédat soon realized that the lack of transparency within the industry posed a significant barrier to achieving sustainability goals. Determined to address this issue, Zady embarked on a mission to develop its own fully traceable supply chain, setting a precedent for transparency in fashion.

Recognizing the broader need for industry-wide reform, Bédat shifted her focus from retail to advocacy. In 2019, she established the New Standard Institute, a non-profit think tank committed to utilizing data to promote transparency and accountability in fashion. Through NSI, Bédat has championed initiatives such as the Fashion Act, a groundbreaking legislative proposal aimed at compelling companies to disclose environmental impact and prioritize sustainability.

Bédat's influence extends beyond the realm of policy and academia. As the author of "UNRAVELED: The Life and Death of a Garment," she offers readers a profound exploration of the complex dynamics underlying global supply chains. Her work has earned widespread acclaim, with "UNRAVELED" being longlisted for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year.

Bédat's impact is further underscored by her recognition as one of Oprah's Super Soul 100 leaders and her inclusion in Fast Company's lists of "Most Innovative Companies" and "The Most Creative People in Business." Her insights into leadership, sustainability, and ESG have made her a sought-after speaker and a respected voice in media outlets ranging from Bloomberg to Vogue.

Prior to her pioneering work in sustainable fashion, Bédat forged a career in international law, working at esteemed institutions such as the Rwandan Criminal Tribunal and Allen & Overy. She holds a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School, grounding her advocacy efforts in a deep understanding of legal frameworks and human rights.

Maxine Bédat's tireless dedication to reshaping the fashion industry serves as a beacon of hope for a more sustainable and equitable future. Through her innovative thinking, unwavering commitment, and visionary leadership, she continues to inspire meaningful change on a global scale.

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