What was the driving force behind starting EcoRoots?
The idea for EcoRoots came to us after we noticed how many unnecessary plastic bags were piling up in our kitchen after each trip to our local grocery store.
We thought about what we could do on an individual level and then what we could do on a bigger scale. To start, we considered how we could change our daily habits to reflect our newfound plastic-free attitude. We started choosing products with no plastic packaging reducing our dependence on single-use products and sending minimal waste to landfill.
We started buying some food in bulk and really thought about what we did or didn’t need with every trip to the store. As we started reading more about the subject, we found that there were not a lot of plastic-free and low-waste options around (at that time).
We realized that people would probably be more likely to go plastic-free and reduce their waste if they had other choices. We decided to create a solution to this problem and our first product was born—the reusable produce bags set. From there, we slowly introduced products from other small businesses, artists, and our very own workshops.
EcoRoots’ first online presence was our Instagram account where we tried to spread the word about the reality of plastic usage in so many different forms and products and the impact it has on our health and environment. It’s grown a lot since then and we’re proud to say we’re part of the early group of businesses who brought these issues to social media and beyond. We founded our brand in May, 2018 and since then we grew a lot.
Why is plastic free so important to you?
If a product can be made out of different, low-waste and sustainable materials that don’t harm the planet after being used once, then why keep using plastic? We see a lot of businesses that have joined the movement and this is slowly amplifying our voices as consumers to reduce plastic use when it is not necessary.
In a perfect world, we’d be living in self-sustaining communities where we grow our food, make what we need and then repurpose any waste left over. We still might be a long way from that, but what we can do now is support businesses that are trying to make it a reality. That’s why we only offer products that we know are made with earth-friendly materials and made by people being paid fair wages. We also ship all our products with only recyclable or compostable packaging. On the other hand, we’re encouraging others to vote with their dollars in a different way. By partnering with Ocean Conservancy, we give our customers a chance to help Ocean Conservancy keep our oceans clean and healthy. The great thing about this organization is it’s such a large network of like-minded businesses who want to see other non-profit groups achieve their mission, whether it’s their focus on long-term solutions that promote a healthy ocean, abundant wildlife or thriving coastal communities. In a nutshell, voting with your dollar, to us, means choosing products from businesses that want to make a change. We’re telling wasteful big corporate companies that we do want to see sustainable products on the market, and that each purchase matters. Similarly, avoiding these plastic products are just as impactful because again, it tells corporate powers that our current way of life is unsustainable. Something has to change! It’s time to put people and planet above money.
What’s your mission as a company?
Education and providing facts and research to our audience have been part of our main mission and remains the most important parts of what we do as a brand to make the world a better place. Being able to eliminate so many plastic products from the market feels great. We think the realization that there is a market full of environmentally-friendly products and suppliers is a huge part behind EcoRoots. We want to be that gateway to a low-waste lifestyle and help guide people who might have no idea where to start.
A key point is showing people that there are so many great alternatives to the mainstream brands they’re familiar with. We want to show that with just a dollar more, you can get something that could last ten times longer than the plastic alternative. We want to show that a lot of the time, smaller businesses and artists make better, more long-lasting products and that we should support them. For example, we discovered Clarry Collection or Yay for Earth, offering natural skin care products made with clean ingredients and consciously packaging. I felt in love with their products because is so different from what you find on the mainstream market.
Plastic-packaged face care products might get overlooked when we consider the bigger picture, but it’s definitely something we should talk about. When we rethink the way we make everyday products, we eliminate so many unnecessary ingredients and packaging. The idea of quality over quantity is so important to sustainability because you want products that require fewer materials but last longer. We’re also pushing for products that can be reused over and over without breaking down after a few single-uses. A classic example is disposable paper towels versus washable dishcloths. You can use up to five sheets of paper towels for one water spill or you can use a dishcloth that will dry and will be ready to use again. It’s these simple switches and products that we want people to consider. They’re easy changes to make, but sometimes we just need a little nudge! We are human, after all.
Can you tell us about your “give back” program?
We are passionate about the outdoors and nature. We love to spend our free time hiking and camping. Our connection with nature has been the driver behind EcoRoots.
From the moment we opened our store, we wanted to give back a part of each sale to Ocean Conservancy. With every purchase we donate a part of our sales to Ocean Conservancy, to preserve and protect our blue planet. We chose this nonprofit because what happens to the ocean affects all of us. The ocean is at the center of who we are. Even if you’ve never seen the ocean, you’re touched by it every single day. It produces half the air you and I breathe every day, the food we eat and the water we drink. So, from confronting climate change and ocean acidification to having a voice in the government, we felt that this organization shared our values from the get-go. There are so many other good causes out there and we urge more businesses to donate to the ones that speaks to them.