Seen at Expo East: 50 Years of Clean
Earth Friendly Products will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, and CEO and President Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks couldn’t be prouder. From humble beginnings in her immigrant father’s garage – a saga recounted in the 2012 film “A Green Story,” with Shannon Elizabeth playing Vlahakis-Hanks – the plant-based cleaning product company has attained water-neutral, carbon-neutral and Zero Waste Platinum status at all four of its manufacturing facilities, a feat the chief executive described as “the trifecta” of green production.
To celebrate its half-century in business, Cypress, Calif.-based Earth Friendly will hold events at its facilities ahead of Earth Day this coming April, and will receive congressional recognition for its achievements. So Vlahakis-Hanks’ pride is entirely justified – it’s been a long and fruitful trip from the garage.
One way that Earth Friendly is marking this milestone is through the rebranding of its entire product line as Ecos, Greek for “home,” along with eye-catching new packaging such as its prismatic, tiltable and colorful 12.5-ounce Hypoallergenic Hand Soap dispensers on display at the company’s booth, #4416, at Expo East, held Sept. 22-24 in Baltimore. The Ecos brand isn’t new, but it wasn’t featured on such products as Earth Friendly’s popular Dishmate dishwashing liquid, Vlahakis-Hanks explained. Now, the Ecos name will be boldly emblazoned across all of the company’s offerings, with the packaging rollout on track to be complete by the end of 2016.
As to what else is new, Vlahakis-Hanks steered Progressive Grocer to Ecos Laundry Detergent with a “beautiful, on-trend” Honeydew scent, which she explained is a companion to the line’s well-loved Geranium variety; Ecos Dishmate Dish Liquid’s latest scent, Bamboo Lemon; the Ginger Plus variety of the Ecos All Purpose Cleaner line; and the Bamboo Lemon Glass & Surface Cleaner SKU. Additionally, Earth Friendly’s paper products have all gone treeless: Its paper towels and bathroom tissue are now made from renewable bamboo and sugarcane.
Brand-new for Expo East was a display of Ecos for Pets! items with updated formulas and scents. In September, Earth Friendly became the first company to receive the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice certification for pet care products, for its Hypoallergenic Conditioning Shampoos in Peppermint and Free & Clear varieties. Those certifications joined the 62 other Safer Choice-certified products made by Earth Friendly, which boasts more Safer Choice-certified products than any other manufacturer. Further, in 2015, the company was EPA’s Safer Choice Partner of the Year.
Among Earth Friendly's other products is the Disney Baby Ecos line featuring "Winne the Pooh" characters on the packaging. Carried at such retailers as Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby and Rite Aid, the line's items include a detergent, a fruit and veggie wash, and a toy and table cleaner.
Whether consumers know the primary manufacturer, Earth Friendly, or the brand, Ecos – and Vlahakis-Hanks wants them to know both – no serious green shopper should be able to ignore the unwavering commitment to a cleaner environment that gave rise to this meticulously formulated and presented collection of products.