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Business with Purpose


Feb 9, 2022

My guests this week is Marci Zaroff, who coined and trademarked the term "ECOfashion" in 1995. She is an ECOlifestyle entrepreneur and educator who believes that millennials are driving the rapidly growing movement for sustainable and ethical fashion.

Marci has been instrumental in driving authenticity, environmental leadership and social justice worldwide for nearly three decades. With a degree from the Haas Business School at UC Berkeley, Marci co-founded a thriving health and environmental educational center in 1990 with an organic café, AVEDA concept salon, and national magazine.

Now known as The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, it is the largest professional health coach certification program in the world.

4:53 – Marci 101

  • She began a path to conscious products when it was still new.
  • When you start to understand how food is energy and how agriculture affects people and products.
  • She started thinking, “What about fashion?”

7:53 – Appealing to people aesthetically

  • First and foremost, appeal to people aesthetically. In food, it has to taste good. In beauty, it has to smell good and work. In fashion, it has to look good and be quality. 
  • Once you get that what you put in your body matters, you start to realize that oh, I have a relationship with the actual ingredients that go into me?

18:16 – Ecofashion

  • When people hear “ecofashion” they have a very specific image in their heads.
  • Marci calls it the crunchy, frumpy, boxy, beige and boring viewpoint.
  • People often ask her, “Can you smoke it after you wear it?”

27:11 – Marci’s book

34:14 – This is too expensive. This is too hard.

  • What is her response to people who say, “This is too expensive. This is too hard”? It was the same argument when organic and natural food came out. People called it “whole paycheck.” It’s a supply and demand thing, not because it’s organic.

42:26 – Prince Charles

  • She worked with Prince Charles in the early 2000s to help connect the consumer with organic agriculture. People don’t realize how passionate he is about organic agriculture.

45:43 – Get to know you

  • Her guilty pleasure? Steam, massages and chocolate
  • Favorite ethical fashion brand? Stella McCartney and many others

FEATURED QUOTES

First and foremost, appeal to people aesthetically. In food, it has to taste good. In beauty, it has to smell good and work. In fashion, it has to look good and be quality. 

Once you get that what you put in your body matters, you start to realize that oh, I have a relationship with the actual ingredients that go into me?

Don’t go home and throw everything away. It’s about slowly integrating this mindset of oh, I can be part of the solution versus part of the problem just by making different choices?

I don’t think people realize how passionate Prince Charles is about organic agriculture.

ABOUT MARCI ZAROFF:

Since coining the term “ECOfashion" in 1995, Marci Zaroff has spent several decades driving positive change through business. She has been planting seeds of consciousness globally; as a serial ecopreneur, (Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Under the Canopy, Good Catch Foods, and Beyond Brands) keynote speaker, mentor, innovator and advisor. The seeds have now taken root, with ECOfashion Corp, her GreenHouse of brands that includes YES AND–contemporary, GOTS-certified sustainable apparel; Farm to HomeGOTS-certified bed and bath available on QVC; Seed to Style—GOTS-certified, size inclusive apparel, available on QVC; and MetaWear—a B2B turnkey sustainable fashion manufacturing solution that is the engine behind all her brands. Marci’s leadership in transforming the industry from within— building innovative and transparent supply chains, spearheading sustainable fashion retail launches, and serving on an array of non-profit boards, has solidified her position as an organic authority and expert trailblazer. In fact, Marci was a key driver in defining the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) as well as the world’s first Fair Trade textile certification with Fair Trade, USA. She shares her expertise in a regular column in Women’s Wear Daily, “The Outside View.” Marci is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and is the author of “ECOrenaissance: a Lifestyle Guide for Cocreating a Stylish, Sexy & Sustainable World."

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