Over 50 years ago, our founder Van Vlahakis made a commitment to create safer cleaning products that protect the health and wellbeing of both people and planet. That continues to be our mission today.
Van’s legacy continues with his daughter, CEO Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks. Under her leadership, ECOS has achieved Climate Positivity, becoming the world’s first company to make its products in carbon neutral, water neutral and TRUE Platinum Zero Waste facilities. Our commitment to combating climate change grows stronger than ever.
The American Dream
Our founder Van Vlahakis arrives in NYC from Greece with $23 in his pocket. His homeland and its pure, non-toxic approach to cleaning will provide future inspiration for the creation of ECOS.
An entrepreneurial spirit
After several years working as a chemist in the cleaning products industry, Roosevelt University alum Van Vlahakis recognizes the negative health effects of the harsh chemical ingredients used in most cleaning products. He starts his own safer, greener cleaning products company in his garage in Chicago and opens his first facility in Bensenville, IL.
Welcome to California
We open our first West Coast facility in Huntington Beach, California, to meet the demand for safer cleaning products in the growing environmental movement.
The ECOS family grows
To help reduce shipping distances and minimize our carbon footprint, we add our first East Coast facility in Westwood, New Jersey.
ECOS Laundry Detergent becomes our flagship product
ECOS is recognized by the U.S. EPA for environmental safety
We earn the EPA’s highest level of recognition in the Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative for the use of safer surfactants that are non-polluting and help protect aquatic life.
Green greetings from Illinois
We unveil our newest Midwestern Division facility in Addison, Illinois, equipped with the largest commercial solar panel array in the state.
ECOS receives California’s highest environmental honor
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger bestows on us the Governor’s Environmental & Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), recognizing our efforts to conserve resources, protect the environment and bolster local economies.
ECOS opens its doors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest
We locate our new Northwestern Division in Lacey, Washington, to reduce shipping distances to the northwestern U.S. and Canada, bringing us one step closer to carbon neutrality.
Van’s green legacy makes it to the silver screen
A Green Story, a major motion picture about ECOS founder’s life and work, premieres.
ECOS receives the U.S. EPA’s award for 100% renewable energy
The EPA’s Green Power Leadership Award recognizes our leadership in the use of renewable energy, helping advance the market for green power and the development of renewable electricity sources.
It’s good to go home
We return to our roots in the beautiful country of Greece, opening offices in Athens, expanding our international reach and reducing our carbon footprint.
ECOS becomes carbon neutral
We achieve carbon neutrality by switching all our facilities to 100% renewable energy and dramatically reducing our transportation emissions. In the process, we offset over 28 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
Continuing the family legacy
After Van Vlahakis’ passing, his daughter Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks is named President and CEO.
ECOS raises its minimum wage to $17, one of the highest in the industry
True sustainability means not just protecting the environment but also supporting workers, their families, the community and the economy.
ECOS receives TRUE Platinum Zero Waste certification
Each of our four facilities across the U.S. diverts over 95% of its waste from landfills and incineration by reducing, reusing, recycling, and most of all rethinking our approach to waste.
ECOS opens its new corporate headquarters in sunny Cypress, CA
Our flagship manufacturing facility officially opens its doors on Earth Day. The Cypress building runs on 100% clean energy and includes a solar panel garden – perfect for our HQ’s sunny Southern California location.
ECOS becomes water neutral
A new sustainability milestone is reached! After years of dedication to reducing our water use and supporting water restoration programs, we achieve the final step in the trifecta the trifecta of sustainable manufacturing (carbon neutral, water neutral and zero waste).
ECOS celebrates 50 years of environmentally conscious cleaning
We celebrate our 50th anniversary with local leaders and community partners at each of our facilities and by investing in a more sustainable future as we establish the Vlahakis Organic Chemistry Lab at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where students research green chemistry and products based on renewable resources.
ECOS is recognized as a Top Workplace
With a collaborative culture, a sustainable mission, exceptional benefits and a supportive work environment, we earn recognition in the Orange County Register’s annual list of top workplaces.
ECOS is named U.S. EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year
Thanks to our innovations in the development of safer products, the U.S. EPA names ECOS its Safer Choice Partner of the Year for the fourth time.