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Make a healthier home with Pablo Kraus from Ecostore
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Pass it on
I'm reading
Make a healthier home with Pablo Kraus from Ecostore
Pass it on
Pass it on
I'm reading
Make a healthier home with Pablo Kraus from Ecostore
Pass it on
Pass it on
29 March 2023

Make a healthier home with Pablo Kraus from Ecostore

It’s seemingly impossible to live on this planet without consumption, but ecostore makes the choice about which personal care, baby care and home cleaning products simple. Their plant and mineral-based products come in bottles made from renewable sugar cane and manufactured in a net carbon zero certified factory. A healthy home and a better world is possible, after all.

We sat down with group CEO, Pablo Kraus, to learn more about what’s up next for the innovative, New Zealand-born company.

Behind extraordinary ideas, there are extraordinary people.

Discussed in this Story

Ecostore has been around for nearly 30 years. What were the company’s founding principles?

Pablo Kraus: ecostore was founded by Malcolm and Melanie Rands on New Zealand’s Northland coast in 1993. They were part of a group that established an eco-village in a valley surrounded by native forests and streams and wanted their home to be as clean and green as the surrounding land.

From the beginning, ecostore has been dedicated to developing highly effective products for people and their homes, while removing harmful or unnecessary chemicals. Our ethos has always been to put people’s health first and give them the choice to live clean.

Today, we continue to proudly develop, manufacture, and pack our products at our own Toitū net carbon zero certified factory in New Zealand and share them with the world.

A lot has changed – in the world and in your business – since those early days. Can you tell us a bit about how you came to be involved with Ecostore?

Pablo: I can trace my connection with ecostore back to 2003 when my family first got involved with the business. Even during my high school years, I remained closely linked to the company, eagerly participating in dinner table conversations about the company’s progress and future plans. Fast forward to about 10 years ago, I had the chance to join ecostore, bringing my creative expertise to the team.

After working with some incredible leaders for five years and getting a deep understanding of the company, the opportunity to take on the reigns as CEO presented itself. At first, I was hesitant, but after considering my experience and knowledge of the company, I felt excited and ready to take on the job.

We frequently hear that industry puts the onus of environmental responsibility on the shoulders of the consumer. How does Ecostore counter this narrative with its products?

It’s up to all of us to do our part in conserving and protecting the environment, regardless of whether we’re in industry, business, or consumers. My team and I constantly challenge ourselves to improve and find ways to do things better. Innovation in sustainability is engrained at ecostore, and we are never satisfied with the status quo.

We’re really committed to finding innovative ways to reduce plastic waste. One of our main focuses has been on reducing the use of water in formulations by creating concentrated formulas and solid product formats. We recently launched a line of concentrated cleaning refills in 50ml glass bottles, meaning customers don’t need to repurchase a 500ml plastic trigger bottle – helping us to cut down on plastic waste and lower our environmental impact during shipping. Our solid shampoo and conditioner bars are another recent launch, offering the same benefits around plastic and water reduction. It’s all part of our mission to make sustainable living accessible for everyone.

We’re placing more of an emphasis on promoting our refill initiatives. we have over 200 refill stations globally, where consumers can refill their bottles with ecostore products. Our goal is to continue rolling out more refill stations and encourage people to think about how they consume products. Changing behaviour is a challenge, but I believe that by making refilling more accessible, we can help people make more sustainable choices in their everyday lives.

As a consumer yourself, what guidelines do you personally follow around waste and sustainability?

I try to arm myself with as much information as possible so I can make the choices that benefit both me and the planet. When it comes to determining whether a brand is genuinely ethical, I look for three things: authenticity, credibility, and transparency. Understanding which companies have a clear purpose also drive my purchasing decisions. I ask the following questions when making purchasing decisions:

  • Do they disclose all their ingredients?
  • Can they back up their claims?
  • Where was their product manufactured?
  • Where and how do they source their ingredients?
  • And do they have a clear purpose as a business and a brand?
  • Do their ingredients contribute to making safer products?
  • Are they sustainable and renewable, making products safer for our environment?
  • And does the company have a transparent supply chain?

More and more we are seeing bulk grocery offerings, reusable packaging, and doorstep-delivery consumer goods in returnable, reusable packaging. What’s the role of your net carbon zero factory in creating products that tread lightly on the earth?

Our manufacturing facility in Auckland has been Toitū carbonzero certified since 2010, offsetting 769 tonnes of carbon since then. In 2020, we expanded the scope of our Toitū carbonnzero certification to all our affiliated sites across Australasia, offsetting 969 tonnes of carbon in 2019. The remaining emissions are offset with high-quality carbon credits sourced from sustainable projects in New Zealand and internationally.

The carboNZero certification involves measuring and reporting on greenhouse gas emissions, including emissions from electricity, fuel, freight, packaging, and company vehicles. We also became B Corp certified across Australasia in 2021. This means we had to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.

At ecostore, we are always striving to find new and innovative ways to reduce waste and make a positive impact on the environment. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce the launch of our highly concentrated laundry liquids. With three times the concentration of our traditional formula, we have been able to reduce the plastic and water content by 55%. This is just one example of how we are pushing the boundaries of sustainability and I can’t wait for you all to try it.

What’s your vision for the company moving into the future?

At ecostore, our vision is to be a world leader in promoting sustainability and health. Our ultimate goal is to be recognized globally as the premier brand that sets the standard for eco-friendly and safe products. Through our commitment to using only the purest, natural ingredients and cutting-edge technology, we aim to make a positive impact on both people and the planet. I think that by constantly striving towards this goal, we can create a healthier, more sustainable future for generations to come.

Make your home healthier by choosing ecostore‘s plant and mineral-based personal care, baby care and home cleaning products.

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