Whole Foods Looks For Organic Growth with Clothes

Nov 02, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Whole Foods Markets will begin selling a line of organic fiber clothing and home bedding products in a new store in Austin, Tex. beginning in February. The marketer of the line is hoping the chain will roll it out nationwide shortly after that, reports the CNN/Money Web site.

The product line, according to the report, is made from natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, linen, wool, bamboo and soy.

Marci Zaroff, founder and CEO of Under the Canopy, the line to be sold in the Austin store, said, “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.”

Although the products carry an organic tag, Ms. Zaroff said, “We think our products are competitively priced with the conventional products out there based on factors like uniqueness, quality, style and design.”

Moderator’s Comment: Do you expect organic clothing and other soft goods to begin to find more mainstream acceptance
similar to that in food and beverages? What do you see as the biggest consumer challenges facing retailers selling organic clothing lines?

Ronnie Cummins, national director of the consumer advocate group Organic Consumers Association (OCA), believes Whole Foods decision to sell the line may
help organic clothing find a wider audience.

“Organic clothing today is a very small niche,” he said. “The exposure that a big chain like Whole Foods brings will certainly help.”
George Anderson – Moderator

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