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Designer Profile: Marci Zaroff, Eco Fashion Pioneer

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Canopy

There are so many products on the market where it can be difficult to know what are the best resources to give our children. With climate change and questions abound regarding the future of resources, today’s Mom wants to be the best Mom possible. This includes buying better products and doing the right thing to protect the planet for our children and their children. Marci Zaroff, founder of “Under the Canopy” & “FASE” (Fashion-Art-Soul-Earth), is leading the eco movement that started when she coined the term and pioneered the market for ECOfashion® (fusion of style and sustainability).

Under_Canopy

Now, she wants to share with America what being a responsible mom and steward of the planet entails. With the goal of serving as a source of inspiration, Zaroff is unveiling new and exciting eco products such as bedding, towels, blankets and more that will soon launch in Bed Bath & Beyond and Neiman Marcus. Marci is also pulling the curtain back on the fashion and textile industry as executive producer of the documentary, Thread, which is expected to hit theaters this fall and counts model Amber Valletta as a chief advisor.

Momtrends recently had the chance to chat with Marci, and check out what she has to stay about the eco movement, design, and her latest collection: Under the Canopy.

Marci

Momtrends: How did you get involved in the eco movement?

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Marci: With a childhood calligraphy business, and an inherent love for sunshine and fashion, I was always creative, connected to the outdoors and entrepreneurial. As a teenager, a close friend gave me the book "Living in the Light" and AVEDA's first product, gifts that inspired me deeply. I knew in my heart that my career calling was to be built on the 5 P's: people, planet, profit, passion & purpose. So when I graduated UC Berkeley's Haas Business School (naturally, I was drawn to college in CA), I was determined to educate, excite & empower consumers about health and the environment through the creation of conscious business. After nearly a decade working with organic & natural food & beauty products, I translated my experience into an even more powerful vehicle for transformation and world change: "ECOfashion", a term I coined & trademarked in 1996 to fuse the worlds of ecology & fashion, pioneering a movement of style & sustainability.

Momtrends: What was the inspiration for the Under the Canopy collection?

Marci: I founded Under the Canopy as a fashion & home lifestyle brand that would use only organic and/or sustainable fibers, manufacturing processes and dyes. I was inspired by the canopy of the Rainforest (over 50% of the life on Earth lives in the world’s rainforests) and the fact that we all live “under the canopy” of the planet’s ecosystem together. In Native philosophy, the canopy is the ozone layer which protects life, and the logo is a reflection that represents the interconnection of man and nature. From farm to finished fashion, Under the Canopy's mantra is "style with consciousness, glamour with a future." With a commitment to "no compromise", we give consumers a way to buy what they love and seek - modern style, color, quality and value - while making a difference to human health, the environment, farmer & worker welfare and future generations.

Momtrends: Can you tell us about the film, Thread?

Marci: We are making a film about the devastating impact the textile industry has on the environment and on many of the people who work in the fashion industry. We realize that the story of toxic textiles is the tip of the iceberg, and that there can be no real understanding without discussing the fashion industry and how it works - how it uses beauty to manufacture desire and hit quarterly profits - and deeper still, how, in the act of buying and wearing clothes, we define ourselves in a culture that now sees product cycles change every two weeks. The reason we are making this film is to inspire positive change and a rethink about why we wear what we wear and how designers and manufacturers make what they make. I am producing THREAD in partnership with "The 11th Hour" Director Leila Conners and supermodel Amber Valletta, plus Amy Johnson and Michelle Vey.

Momtrends: How can families be more eco conscious at home?

Marci: There are so many ways to make cleaner, greener choices. For easy starters, turn off your lights and minimize water use as much as possible, use efficient Energy-star appliances and print only on recycled paper. When buying home and school supplies, check out all the amazing green options at Home Depot and Office Depot. By early May, all of Under the Canopy's fabulous ECOfashion bed & bath collections will be available on www.bedbathandbeyond.com, and for now, stylish organic cotton towels by Portico are already sold at BBB. Shop online to minimize your carbon footprint! Save gas, time & money on sites such as www.VINE.com, offering tons of incredible & affordable organic & eco-friendly food, home goods & apparel, baby/kid/pet items, personal care/beauty products and cleaning supplies.

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