Green Depot offers eco-solutions for the home
Sarah Beatty pours liquid soap from the tap, an environmentally friendly
way to stock up on supplies, at her Green Depot store. (Kristy May)
By Lana Bortolot
Special to amNewYork
All it took was one toxic scare and Sarah Beatty decided it was time to spread the gospel of green.
She even built a temple. The Green Depot, the brands flagship store, opened at 222 Bowery last month. The 3,500-square-foot store sells materials for the home that are deemed safe and environmentally friendly, from toxin-free paints and cleaning supplies to organic baby furniture.
Beatty, 43, a former media executive, turned to green entrepreneurship after her own home renovation revealed a mold contamination. She was on the verge of giving birth and was newly awakened to the relationship between health and the environment. She also saw the opportunity to get into the green construction business.I thought there was a transition coming, a market for it, yet few supplies and no reliable access point for getting products, she said.
In 2005, she founded Green Depot to supply construction companies with eco-friendly building materials. She expanded into retail to serve the do-it-yourself, home-improvement types who also want to keep it green.
It was an imperative to create a place for people to enter the door, understand a definition of green, and let us help drive the conversation forward, Beatty said.
Customers can shop according to their concerns, from chemical sensitivities to fair-trade practices.
We offer options that are good, better and best, not only in price point but in product attributes, said store manager Bryan Tereza.
Beatty said her company is experiencing more than 200 percent growth a year. The construction business is ailing in the recession, but there has been an emphasis on using green materials to retrofit old buildings. In fact, thats what Beatty did at her Bowery store, which was landmarked but updated using her green products.
The new store is an experiment in how deeply consumers embrace the recycle-reuse-reduce philosophy.
I think its really to show people green is about more than mud huts and Birkenstocks, Beatty said. We want to show people you can do it from the ground up.