Innovation That Matters

Manhattan retailer focuses on green home improvement


We’ve already covered a few examples of retailers that focus on green supplies for do-it-yourself home improvement, and recently one of our spotters alerted us to another that just opened in Manhattan: Green Depot, a store that aims to make green building and living solutions “accessible, affordable and gratifying.” Green Depot has been selling sustainable building products and services through its showrooms since 2005, but it was not until earlier this month that it opened its new, flagship retail store in Manhattan. Located in the Bowery, the 3,500-square-foot store is designed to demonstrate high-performance green materials in action, and is itself on track to be a platinum LEED-certified space. A light booth made of recycled resin materials, for example, helps shoppers compare light bulbs and paint colours in a controlled setting, while the zero-VOC paint bar serves up a line of paints free of volatile organic chemicals. The store’s private-label cleaning line, meanwhile, is available for sale by the ounce, encouraging customers to refill and reuse their own plastic and glass containers. Aiming to cut through the “greenwashing” that’s frequently applied to less-than-entirely-green products and stores, Green Depot also uses a system of five simple icons to make the “green” label explicit for consumers: “air quality,” “local,” “social responsibility,” “energy” and “conservation,” indicating just what aspect of greenness each product addresses. Green Depot bears no relation to Home Depot, but it does promise to help spread a whole new world of eco-credentials to the green-minded masses. Time to jump in with a contender in your neck of the eco-iconic woods….? (Related: Pop-up cafe is a monument to sustainability.) Spotted by: Elliot Marchant



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