Inspired by clean healthy living, ECOS was born

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 the 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.

Van Vlahakis
1953 The American Dream

Our founder Van Vlahakis arrives in NYC from Greece with $23 in his pocket. His homeland and its pure, plant-powered approach to cleaning will provide future inspiration for the creation of ECOS.

Van Vlahakis in a lab
1967 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.

California bridge
1977 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.

ECOS facility in Westwood, New Jersey
1988 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 circa 1990
1990 ECOS Laundry Detergent becomes our flagship product
EPA Logo on a background of an orange tree
2008 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.

ECOS facility in Illinois
2010 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 at the time.

ECOS Geela award
2010 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 in the Pacific Northwest
2011 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.

A Green Story movie still
2012 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 EPA's award
2012 ECOS receives the U.S. EPA’s award for 100% renewable energy

The EPA’s Green Power Leadership program recognizes our leadership in the use of renewable energy, helping advance the market for green power and the development of renewable electricity sources.

Photo of Greece
2013 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.

Pink clouds on a blue sky
2013 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.

Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks
2014 Continuing the family legacy

After Van Vlahakis’ passing, his daughter Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks is named President and CEO.

ECOS raises minimum wage
2014 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 Zero Waste certification
2015 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 corporate building
2016 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.

Ocean waves
2016 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 of sustainable manufacturing (carbon neutral, water neutral and zero waste).

ECOS team accepting award
2017 ECOS celebrates 50 years of sustainable 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 team in factory
2018 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.

Woman playing with her child
2020 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.

LEED Zero award
2021 LEED Zero

ECOS becomes first manufacturer in the nation to achieve LEED Zero Carbon, LEED Zero Energy & LEED Zero Waste

Well Platinum
2022 WELL Platinum

ECOS becomes the first manufacturer in the world to receive Platinum-level WELL Building certification