Marci Zaroff has a tendency to see things before other people, and with the planet in a very tenuous state right now, her vision is needed more than ever.
This September on the home shopping channel QVC, Marci Zaroff, who is widely regarded as the country’s leading figure when it comes to organic clothing and textiles, will be debuting her Farm to Home organic cotton collection.
While QVC has sold organic towels before, the shopping channel has never dedicated an entire hour to an organic lifestyle brand. Not only will this be tremendous exposure for Farm to Home, but the entire organic industry will benefit as well when Marci is able to articulate why organic should be the only choice.
During her 60-minute launch show, Marci will be showcasing 400-thread-count sheets, reversible “comfy-lets” (thicker than a coverlet but thinner than a comforter), pillows, towels, bath sheets, hooded terry robes, and throw blankets. Everything will be Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified, ethically-made, and free of chlorine bleach or heavy metals. All packaging is eco-friendly and made with post-recycled paper.
In terms of pricing, throw blankets will sell for $45, a 6-pack of towels for $38, sheet sets for $68 and robes for $40.**
“Farm To Home allows the QVC customer the opportunity to afford a premium and luxury organic lifestyle; no longer is there a need to choose between clean living and affordability. Additionally, the customer will hear all about the brand from the industry’s pioneering authority in organic and sustainable textiles. It’s the best of both worlds,” said Sage Ladnier, President of Ladnier Group Brand Management Agency, the firm that is managing Farm to Home’s partnership with QVC.
Even though organic textiles are not new and a handful of direct-to-consumer organic bedding brands have had real success, the industry is still at a very nascent stage.
And if anyone should know this, it is Marci Zaroff, who has been in the sector for the past 25 years.
She first entered the organic clothing business in the 1990s when she founded the organic and sustainable lifestyle brand Under the Canopy. During that time, she coined and trademarked the term ECOfashion®, went on to spearhead the launch of the first-ever organic apparel and home boutique at Whole Foods, played a key role in developing the GOTS standards, and eventually founded MetaWear, the first “sustainable style” GOTS and Cradle to Cradle Certified cut and sew manufacturer in the world for turnkey, full-package organic/eco-friendly apparel.
While selling on QVC will unquestionably improve affordability and accessibility for organic textiles, it is what she is orchestrating behind the scenes in India that will have the biggest impact.
Indian farmers have been committing suicide at an alarming rate because they cannot escape from the debt incurred when they are lured into buying GMO seeds, which fail to deliver the promised yields and end up pushing them into an inescapable financial hole.
Also, despite the fact that there is GOTS certification, which is supposed to ensure organic integrity, there is not clear transparency in the cotton supply chain, particularly from India.
“Most people don’t understand the supply chain. An organic garment can change hands seven to ten times, all using middlemen and brokers. How do you know if the cotton is truly organic?”
With a need for clear transparency in the supply chain and a regenerative organic solution that can protect the health of farmers and provide them a better income, Marci Zaroff created a project called RESET (Regenerate the Environment, Society and Economy through Textiles).
RESET is introducing zero-budget natural farming by providing organic seeds to farmers and teaching them how to develop their own inputs. With regenerative organic farming methods being implemented from Day 1, RESET is also measuring carbon levels from the outset to scientifically prove that this method of growing crops is improving soil health and helping to mitigate climate change by capturing carbon from the environment. Furthermore, there is a tremendous emphasis on female empowerment and community development in RESET.
Even though the program is still young and has just completed its first year of the organic certification process, the initial pilot has already resulted in a 25% increase in yield, which resulted in additional income for the farmers. All of this chemical-free, non-GMO cotton was sold to Europe, and the 2019 GOTS transitional organic harvest is being sold to major brands around the world via the help of RESET.
At the end of three years, the RESET farms will not only be GOTS certified organic but will have Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) as well. At that time, all of Farm to Home’s products will then be made with certified organic cotton that is GOTS certified and ROC certified, which will be fully traceable to a specific RESET farm. Until that time, Farm to Home will be using GOTS certified organic cotton but not from RESET.
What this will ultimately mean is that Farm to Home will have a vertically integrated organic cotton supply chain with unprecedented transparency — from “farm to home.” Consumers will not only know exactly where their cotton was produced but that it was made by farmers who are earning premium prices and are cultivating the land using regenerative practices.
RESET is in talks with many brands around the world who want to tap into this regenerative organic cotton supply chain because of its transparency, a yearning to support regenerative agriculture, and a desire to have their products attached to this important story.
As such, this RESET supply chain will be much, much more than simply supporting the needs of Farm to Home products. It could very well become the most important, most desired and most impactful organic cotton supply chain in the world.
“Marci is truly a pioneer and an eco-superhero of the textile industry. She has led a movement of awareness by helping the American consumer understand that what you wear is just as important as what you eat,” said Jeremiah C. McElwee, SVP of Merchandising and Product Development at Thrive Market.
In addition to advisory board members Rodale Institute, Regeneration International and the Organic Cotton Accelerator, RESET’s most critical partner is the state government of Andhra Pradesh in India, with which it has a formal Memorandum of Understanding. The state government is also providing certification, data collection and training support for RESET farmers.
When you see Marci Zaroff on QVC this September, the products that she will be selling embody everything that organic is meant to represent.
As she wrote in her book ECOrenaissance, “My vision is to break the stigma that you always have to give up something. It’s all about ‘Yes and…’ — giving people what they love and seek without compromise, making a difference, and striving for human and environment wellness for future generations.”
With Farm to Home and RESET, this vitally important vision is coming to life.
** Prices subject to change at the discretion of QVC.
What gives me the most joy and satisfaction in covering this industry is meeting so many inspirational people, such as Marci Zaroff, and shedding light on important stories that need to be told.
Wanting to take this work to another level, I am thrilled to announce that I have launched The Living Maxwell Podcast, where I will be having conversations with people inside and outside of the organic food world.
My first guest is Liana Werner-Gray, who moved to the U.S. from Australia with $200 in her pocket and became a 3x best-selling author with Hay House.
While many of you may see Liana all over social media sharing her enthusiasm and nutritional tips, what you don’t know is the tragedy that she was forced to deal with at age 17 – something she has never talked about before and something that would make most of us crumble.
Instead, this event helped define her and made her who she is today.
I know that you will be very inspired by her story, just as I was.
Max Goldberg, Founder
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* Amy’s Kitchen is planning to open an organic restaurant in Walnut Creek, CA.
* Rodale Institute is tackling hunger with a new mobile farmers market.
* West Oakland now has its first full-service grocery store in 40 years.
* Greenpeace USA has just come out with an environmental scorecard for all 19 of the Democrats who have qualified for the first two primary debates.
* Boulder County has extended the deadline to eliminate GMOs from open space agriculture.
* People magazine interviewed Keely Brosnan about her important documentary Poisoning Paradise, a film about the pesticide industry wreaking havoc in Hawaii.
* Organic Food Iberia, Spain’s highly anticipated new international trade show for organic food and drink, starts its two-day event tomorrow in Madrid.
* In the next few weeks, we will be making some changes to the New Organic Products section of the newsletter. I have run it by a few people, and the feedback has been positive. Stay tuned!