By Michelle Talsma Everson
More than 20 years ago, green entrepreneur, educator and expert Marci Zaroff coined the term “eco-fashion” before it was the chic thing to do. According to Zaroff, the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world – an overwhelming statistic that her company MetaWear is looking to combat today and into the future.
“With a commitment to ethical production, certified organic fibers and renewable energy, MetaWear aims to be the nation’s leading sustainable fashion manufacturer and turnkey solution for stylish ‘made in the USA,’ GOTS-certified [Global Organic Textile Standard], screen-printed and dyed t-shirts and other custom goods,” cites the company’s mission statement.
Zaroff, who serves as the company’s founder and CEO, says that the company has been a work in progress for three years and began to take in its first orders in 2015.
“First of all, MetaWear is a turnkey solution for sustainable t-shirts and other cotton goods,” Zaroff explained. “Say a company wants a sustainable t-shirt made; they don’t have to go everywhere sourcing every little detail. We have it all under one roof. It’s all sustainable, made in the U.S. Second, we [MetaWear] offer contracts for private label
manufacturing for major brands and are starting up conversations with several well-known brands for other projects,” she continued.
Zaroff says that MetaWear has worked with a variety of companies and organizations, including: Nature’s Path, White Wave, New Hope, Organic Trade Association, Earthbound Farms, Macy’s, Emerson College, 2Kidz and more. The company has also worked with eco-friendly films and is now “doing initial product development for a wide array of other food, fashion, NGO and lifestyle companies.”
Zaroff and her team see MetaWear as a solution provider for some of the fashion industry’s biggest problems, including the lack of eco-friendly options for companies. “The biggest road block now is often navigating the supply chain and certifications; finding made-in-the-U.S. products with sustainable sourcing can be a challenge,” she said.
With decades in the green industry, Zaroff is dialed in to the pulse of everything eco-friendly and eco-fashion. Some of her accolades include: being a board member of the Organic Trade Association, Textile Exchange, Fashion Positive and Turning Green; and being an integral part in the development of the Global Organic Textile Standard and first Fair Trade Textile Certification.
Zaroff adds that not only does MetaWear provide eco- friendly solutions for the fashion industries and its companies, but the company also helps their clients with marketing their eco-fashion products. “We provide a marketing tool kit to our customers to add value and help give them credit for taking a step in the direction of eco-friendly products,” she explained.
While her impact is impressive, Zaroff gives credit to her team – like co-founder Curtis (Cas) Shiver – for helping MetaWear continue to grow and thrive. She sees the future of her company, and the eco-fashion movement in general, as nothing but bright.
Today’s consumers demand transparency, and organic fibers are the next frontier,” she said. “We [MetaWear] are putting our feet on the gas pedal and going. I see us doing 10 times our growth in the next five years.”
To learn more about MetaWear, visit metawearorganic.com. To find out more about Zaroff and her many ongoing endeavors, visit marcizaroff.com.
Michelle Talsma Everson is a freelance writer, editor, public relations consultant and mom based in Phoenix. With degrees in both journalism and PR from Northern Arizona University, she writes for several Valley publications. Find out more at mteverson.com.
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