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EcoFashionista Extraordinaire

Marci Zaroff Zealously Propels Environmentally Responsible Fiber, Food And Beauty To En Vogue Popularity, Directly From Newtown

Article by Julie Brown Patton

Photography by Courtesy of ECOfashion Corp

Originally published in Newtown City Lifestyle

ECOspecies. ECOsurvival. ECOchange. ECOlives. ECOlogy for Earth's future. 

ECOlifestyle pioneer Marci Zaroff is transforming the world one cotton boll at a time, and she hopes more people will join her in driving positive steps to bolster future sustainability. In fact, she coined the term “ECOfashion" in 1995, and is an internationally recognized expert, educator, innovator, author and self-professed serial ecopreneur.

This Newtown resident says social and environmental accountability is in everyone's DNA. "Our ecosystem is affected every day by the choices we make. We can drink, eat and wear the change we wish to see," she proclaims. 

Marci's desire to "start a philosophical movement" was sparked when she was 16 years old, she says, after reading the book, Living In The Light, whose author, personal growth pioneer Shakti Gawain, stated she wrote it to be a clear, practical guide for developing one's intuition. "The book centered on the fact the world is about more than what we see. I embraced that concept, and followed a more conscious lifestyle afterward. Then, when I completed a business degree, I pursued ideas that would make positive differences for the planet," she recalls.

True to her mission in her own life, Marci has devoted her career to launching companies that support noble, global causes. In 1990, Marci co-founded a health and environmental educational center with an organic café, AVEDA concept salon and national magazine. Now known as The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she says it has graduates in 175 countries with approximately 150,000 certified health coaches around the world.

Currently, she's the founder and CEO of ECOfashion Corp. Under her "Greenhouse of Brands" initiative falls several product verticals: 

  • MetaWear, a business-to-business private label line with sustainable, turnkey manufacturing platform that involves tribal cotton growers in India, as well as traceable, regenerative farming practices.
  • Farm to Home, certified organic bath and bedding collections sold through QVC and to the hospitality industry.
  • Seed to Style, the first certified, size-inclusive sustainable apparel line sold exclusively through QVC.
  • Yes And, a co-creation platform offering contemporary, fair trade apparel available on Shopify for conscious, fashion-forward consumers -- which soon will add new sustainable lifestyle categories, such as lingerie.

In 1996, she also founded Under The Canopy, a pioneering lifestyle brand with inspirational collections of contemporary home fashion, spa/hotel textiles, amenities and loungewear. She sold the company in 2009, and again in 2018 after rejoining in 2013. She says her goal is to always combine modern style with substance while leveraging the power of fashion. "Through the lens of design, we can change the world. We're democratizing sustainable fashion, by making it very accessible and affordable," she says. "I believe 1+1 = 11. We're stronger together than apart."

From her Newtown residence, Marci often can be found Skyping nationwide live on QVC, Zoom conferencing into podcasts or hosting branded photo shoots.

Additionally, Marci co-founded Good Catch Foods, which she says creates plant-based, chef-mastered delicacies with rich flavors and flaky textures of seafood — from fish-free tuna and burgers to crab-free cakes — all made with nutritious, sustainable ingredients. She adds that the mission is to preserve the ocean’s natural resources while introducing delicious 'seafood' choices.

Along with her husband and longtime Newtown resident, Eric Schnell, in 2016 she co-founded BeyondBrands, a conscious-driven marketing firm that supports and promotes natural foods, beverages and supplements. 

Marci also published a book in 2018, titled ECOrenaissance:  A Lifestyle Guide for Cocreating a Stylish, Sexy, and Sustainable World, to define the rebirth of humanity and the movement for positive change. She says she believes the world's inhabitants are entering a consciousness revolution where creativity, collaboration, community and connection are transforming popular culture. "The next generation of consumers are seeking transparency and accountability," she adds. 

She says her first business mentor and founder of Aveda, Horst Rechelbacher, reminded her she could do well by doing good in the world, and that's why she focuses on empowering others to be able to make holistically wise choices in life.