To celebrate Earth Day this year, Earth Friendly Products held the grand opening of the brand-new, flagship sustainable manufacturing facility in Cypress, California.
If you’re looking for a healthy dose of motivation, all you need to do is spend a few minutes with CEO, Kelly Vlahakis Hanks. Kelly, whose father founded Earth Friendly Products, beams with energy and passion for her company’s products and mission. Not only does she run Earth Friendly Products, but she is also a mom, sits on numerous boards, and is working towards her MBA at Chapman University (where she’ll receive highest honors this year).
She shared that ECOS, the name of their plant-based cleaning products, means “home” in Greece, and that the new 125,000 sq. ft. facility in Cypress embodies the pillars on which the company was built nearly 50 years ago. Kelly is keeping her father’s mission of “saving the world one bottle at a time” alive and moving forward.
If you’re interested in learning more about the ECOS story, there is a great film out about Kelly’ father, Van Vlahakis, that shows his resilience and grit in making ECOS what it is today. You can view the trailer for "A Green Story" below and the full movie is available through Amazon Prime.
The company operates like a family who takes exceptional care of their people, the planet, and the next generation. Kelly believes in supporting a living wage (they operate on a $17/hr minimum wage), employing female leaders, and providing transparency and education for their customers.
The attendee and speaker list was jam-packed with inspiring leaders, influencers, and environmental change-makers. The event’s MC was Ron Beres from Ron and Lisa - the Healthy Home Dream Team. Their mission is to help families get the toxic materials out of their homes, and they work closely with Earth Friendly Products to provide healthy alternatives to cleaning supplies.
The Mayor of Cypress - Mariellen Yarc - was also in attendance and expressed her excitement by saying, “Isn’t Cypress lucky to have a business like Earth Friendly Products in our city?”
Other speakers, like Mike Fuhr from Discovery Cube, talked about how leaders like Kelly inspire children and adults alike to live greener lives. Earth Friendly Products partners with Discovery Cube to bring science-based programs and exhibits to classrooms and communities. They even hosted a make-your-own-detergent exhibit at the grand opening event.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, we toured the new zero-waste facility, which is chemical-free and sources ingredients locally. The facility is one of the five facilities by ECOS to receive a platinum certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZBC). Stephen Groner, a director at USZBC and attendee at the grand opening, called ECOS a “model business” that truly believes in making the planet and their community a better place to live.
Earth Friendly Products is on the cutting edge of green cleaning and taking care of the earth. It was amazing to be able to walk through such a beautiful facility!
After the tour, attendees and employees enjoyed a zero-waste, locally-sourced lunch (where even the menus could be planted!) and more speakers. During lunch, Earth Friendly Products presented a check for $10,000 to the Wyland Foundation to support their annual National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, which challenges cities to become more water-conscious. The foundation partners with Earth Friendly Products to provide ECOS products to the most water-wise cities.
Earth Friendly Products also hosted a marketplace full of local and sustainable vendors, from organizations like Grades of Green to organic olive oil and succulent plant companies.
Attendees were given upcycled t-shirt bags made by Relan to carry home their findings from the marketplace, and 300 attendees went home with another eco-friendly swag bag of full size ECOS laundry detergent and other ECOS products.
I was so grateful to be able to attend the grand-opening event, tour the facility, and spend time with others who care about the future of our planet as much as Relan does. Thank you, Earth Friendly Products, for hosting such a great event and congratulations on your beautiful facility!