Coming to America
A 15-year brand of green products created by New Zealand’s Malcolm Rands is taking on the U.S. market.
By Christine Esposito
Malcolm Rands knows a thing or two about sustainable living.
A long time organic garner and environmental pioneer who lived in an eco village in New Zealand, Mr. Rands began a small mail order business promoting eco-friendly products to a small group of dedicated greenies and organic gardeners back in 1993. Today, he runs his diesel van on used vegetable oil, having built that mail order business into ecostore, a brand of green household and personal care products, at the same time founding the Fairground Foundation, a not-for-profit organization developed to create a healthier, more sustainable world.
Now Ecoman—as he his called in New Zealand—is taking on the U.S. market, offering American consumers the opportunity to buy products online at www.ecostoreusa.com.
Like his New Zealand based operation, which has long touted the mantra “No Nasty Chemicals,” Ecostore USA’s roster includes powder and liquid laundry soap, all-purpose cleaner, bar soap, shampoo and baby products that are natural, plant-based and eco-friendly. They do not contain toxic petrochemicals, phosphates, nitrates, chlorine, ammonia, enzymes, synthetic perfumes, coloring or dyes, optical whiteners/brighteners or chemical preservatives. In addition, ecostore uses recyclable plastic packaging and ensures at least 50% post consumer recycled content in all cardboard packaging.
|U.S. consumers can choose from a wide range of household cleaning products from Ecostore.|
Fittingly, Mr. Rands described ecostore’s the entry into the U.S. market as “very organic.”
“Because of the quality of our products, we were approached and encouraged to offer them in the U.S.,” he told HAPPI. “We are excited to offer American consumers a unique plant-based alternative when selecting home cleaning and personal care products which pay particular care to the health issues of the end users.”
So far, ecostore’s laundry liquid, oxygen whitener and citrus spray and soap have been top performers in the U.S.
“Based on the feedback we’ve received, the individuals felt they were just as effective, it not more effective than the products that use harmful chemicals,” Mr. Rands said.
The company is actively seeking a U.S. based manufacturers, and in the interim, products are being shipping product from New Zealand, according to Mr. Rands, who noted that the company is taking steps to minimize its impact. “Because New Zealand has the highest renewable energy in the word and the products are shipped by sea, the carbon footprint of the products is as low as if manufactured locally.”
In addition, Mr. Rands said he has received “terrific response” from several national and regional retailers that tried the products. “We are currently in discussion with a number of retailers to identify the best partner.”
Yet while interest in green is on the rise in the U.S., ecostore is entering the market when economic conditions aren’t too rosy. In fact, many are watching to see if eco-friendly product sales will slow as more Americans, especially those whose green behaviors are not deeply rooted, tighten their belts.
Still, Mr. Rands believes that the sustainable lifestyle is here to stay.
“Living a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle will continue to be important to U.S. consumers. In fact, there is a growing segment of individuals who engage in ‘Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability’,” he said. “LOHAS are interested in purchasing goods and services focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living. Based on recent research by lohas.com, one in four adult Americans is part of this group—nearly 41 million people. The difference these products can make to the health and well being of a family means this brand is still growing in all the markets around the world where it is found.”