Marci Zaroff, founder “Under the Canopy,” an online retailer of organic fiber fashion, says her company’s products will start selling at Whole Foods new megastore slated to open in February in Austin.
The collection will feature apparel for women, men, babies as well as home bedding products. After the initial regional rollout, Zaroff hopes to expand into Whole Foods stores nationwide.
According to Zaroff, all of the items are made from natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, linen, wool and even a few innovative fabrics such as bamboo and soy. “Soy is a fabric of the future. It actually has a very silky feel,” said Zaroff.
The important thing for consumers to know is that none of the fibers used in our products is sprayed with harmful pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers,” she added.
Ronnie Cummins, national director of the consumer advocate group Organic Consumers Association (OCA), said Whole Foods’ foray into natural clothing could help propel the organic concept into mainstream America.
“Organic clothing today is a very small niche,” said Cummins. “The exposure that a big chain like Whole Foods brings will certainly help.”
In fiscal 2003, Whole Foods took in total sales of $3.1 billion. The company operates 163 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
“Under the Canopy” organic clothing and footwear includes apparel (such as the green halter dress) made entirely from soy.
Zaroff said she’s interested in expanding her products to major spa chains nationwide. Major deals could also be in the works with some of the nation’s biggest department store chains such as Macy’s, Bloomingdales and upscale retailer Nordstrom.