Paul van Zyl - Social Justice, Maiyet & The Conduit

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Paul van Zyl is a human rights lawyer and ethical fashion entrepreneur, who 2009 he founded Maiyet, a luxury fashion brand with a social impact purpose.

The idea was to “incorporate ancient traditions in non-traditional ways by partnering with artisans in developing economies and by sourcing material in ethical ways.” It’s about creating opportunity, local entrepreneurship, prosperity, and dignity in, as Paul puts it, the places that need it most.

Maiyet partnered with Artisans in Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, South Sudan. They showed on the Paris fashion week schedule and they really helped shift the conversation about ethical fashion in the luxury space.

But Paul is not your obvious fashion man. His grew up in South Africa during the apartheid era, and served as the Executive Secretary of South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission from 1995 to 1998.

In this interview we talk about what that was like and how it shaped him. We discuss the opportinities provided by the fashion industry to make positive social change, look at the rise and rise of business with purpose. Why are customers demanding more from brands? How are community values shaping fashion;'s future? And why is The Conduit the hottest private members club in London?

Our shownotes are packed with links and extra information.

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