During her career working as a magazine editor, CEO Susannah Jaffer found herself struck by a hard truth: the rate at which we create and consume clothing has a massive impact on the planet. Something had to be done to transform our relationship with fashion. At the same time, she was discovering an array of under-the-radar brands creating unique designs in a more eco and socially responsible way. However, any existing platforms showcasing sustainable products lacked good curation, community and content.
A solution? Creating a modern lifestyle brand that made it simple to find better alternatives to fast fashion: a well-curated, community-centric marketplace that showed style and sustainability can go hand in hand.
From test-launching the platform at her kitchen table, to hosting experiential pop up experiences, to a permanent physical store in Singapore, Susannah took an idea and made it a movement. ZERRIN is now the largest discovery platform for sustainable brands in South-East Asia, helping hundreds of people make more conscious wardrobe choices.
The conscious consumption revolution
Our vision? To make shopping small, independent and sustainable the default. We take the ‘sus’ out of sustainability, demystifying conscious consumption so you can make it your own. We help you find joy in dressing consciously — whether that looks like supporting choosing secondhand or supporting a sustainable brand. True to our name, which means ‘golden’, we always strive to spotlight emerging talent and voices driving positive change. Join our community — all are welcome.
How do you curate brands?
We take pride in ensuring great design and sustainability truly go hand in hand. To do so, we created the Better Brand Framework, an internal system we use to vet a brands approach to 5 important P’s: People, Planet, Product, Packaging and Principles. This framework also benchmarks efforts against existing international certifications and accreditations. Working with small brands, however, we acknowledge that sustainability is a journey and all are at different stages depending on their resources and connections. As an ecosystem enabler, we do what we can to help our partners on their journey so they can become better.
What other ways does ZERRIN practice sustainability?
We take pride in being a business that does things differently. Beyond only working with brands paving the way for a better future, we also:
We power our website on renewable energy sources.
We have a ‘no plastic’ policy when it comes to our e-commerce package, and opt for recycled, recyclable or reusable options.
Due to its environmental impact, we choose not to carry any virgin synthetic fabric on our marketplace, something we only ever curated minimally and phased out in 2021. The only synthetics you’ll find are recycled options from product categories where it’s still needed for function, like activewear or swimwear.
Believing in the power of regeneration, we contribute to reforestation efforts in Indonesia through our impact partner Handprint. To date, we’ve planted over 1000 mangrove trees in Indonesia alongside local social enterprise Yagasu.
While we’re proud of the efforts we’ve made so far, there’s more to do. We’re always on the look out for other meaningful causes we can support and ways to better measure our impact. In 2022, we’ve started our B-Corp certification to hold ourselves even more accountable to our commitment to put both people and planet first.
Do you have a physical store where I can try on styles?
At the moment, no we don’t. In 2018 to 2019, we ran pop up stores around Singapore. In 2021 (post pandemic!) we opened a permanent store, Zerrin Lounge, which ran for two years until 18 December 2022 at Marina One. Never fear! You can still shop online with us via our marketplace. We ship worldwide, and our reviews speak for themselves.
In 2023, we’ll be launching new pop up’s and events around Singapore. Remember to follow us on our social media for the latest updates!