Under the Canopy: Organix Style with Soul
Such variables have convinced Zaroff that her business plan is a timely one. “With all of the recent corporate scandals and the turmoil in the world, there’s a rising consumer consciousness to support companies that can demonstrate value and integrity in their product offerings,” says Zaroff. “Our concept of offering organic fashions is unique and timely. We merge art, style and nature in a way that’s sophisticated, soulful and chic.”
Others agree about the timeliness of Zaroff’s idea. George Ittner, a catalog consultant recently named to UTC’s board of directors, says the catalog’s positioning and approach are strong. “The concept of selling organic apparel addresses people’s mentality right now: to be environmentally aware, but also fashion forward. Plus, the styling of UTC’s products is top-notch,” he says. “The organic component adds an appealing dimension to the buy.”
About 80 percent of UTC’s 250 to 275 offerings are exclusive. Sourcing is about evenly split between domestic and overseas suppliers.
Exclusive products are designed in-house. Zaroff relays to her designers product ideas, and team members take care of the technical specifications for product development. Occasionally, Zaroff and her team even design the fabric, for instance, specifying an organic cotton blended with angora. The UTC team then has the material made and shipped to a separate production facility that cuts and sews the actual garments.
A small sampling of UTC’s women’s apparel offerings include:
- organic linen skirts and jackets;
- organic cotton embroidered jeans, rib-knit tank tops, capri pants and jackets;
- yoga wear in French terry organic cotton and cotton/Lycra; and
- shoes and bags made of woven hemp grown without chemicals or pesticides.
There’s even men’s and children’s wear made of various organic fibers, as well as sheets, blankets and robes fashioned out of organic cotton. The common denominator among UTC’s organic selections is indeed the high style. The cut, design and colors strike just the right chord among today’s fashion-oriented consumers.