The Green Success Story of the Thessaloniki International Fair



Earth Friendly Products’ main offices in Athens, Greece

We all know how crucial our times can be, regarding the issue of environment and climate change. Our planet is in danger, so putting Earth and its environment at the top of our priorities is as important as ever.

That’s exactly what a Cretan immigrant in the United States did many years ago, when the public opinion was still far from interested in environmentally friendly products.

Van Vlahakis, the Cretan immigrant who founded the green giant Earth Friendly Products, died in 2014

Van Vlahakis was born in Crete but at the age of 18 decided to emigrate to the United States of America.

After many difficult years, Vlahakis entered the cleaning products industry. It was then when he saw what harsh chemicals can do to humans and our environment.

So, he decided to create an alternative.

Vlahakis started producing environmentally friendly cleaners and soon, his company expanded due to its green-oriented philosophy.

Over the years, Vlahakis’ company was succeeding, providing us all with a real example of how business and environment can be perfect partners.

Today, a giant in its sector and Earth Friendly Products is recognized as one of California’s best employers, providing its workers with a minimum wage of at least $17 an hour, among other benefits.

Kelly Vlahakis – Hanks, President & CEO, Earth Friendly Products

Van Vlahakis, Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks and their team made a promise back in 2013:

They wanted their production to come to Greece, at a time when no one was thinking of investing in a country that was hit the most by the financial crisis.

Their dream came true earlier this year, when the ECOS teams from New Jersey and California went to Greece to bring their knowledge, skills and expertise in a place with people full of talent and a country that is open for business.

So, after several months of Earth Friendly Products’ presence in Greece, it was time for it to go to Thessaloniki and join this year’s International Fair as a part of the USA Pavillion, since the United States were the honored country this year.

Speaking to Greek Reporter, Vlahakis-Hanks emphasized on the importance of manufacturing in Greece in a sustainable way and added that ‘this milestone brought so much joy and excitement, because it was certainly my father’s vision to grow our ECOS brand here in his homeland’.

Earth Friendly President & CEO Kelly Vlahakis – Hanks (left) with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt and his wife Mary.

The Greek-American CEO had the opportunity to meet with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Wilbur Ross as well as with the U.S. Ambassador in Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt.

Kelly Vlahakis – Hanks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Secretary of the US Department of Commerce, Wilbur Ross in Thessaloniki’s International Fair

They discussed the history of the Company and how it managed to expand by prioritizing the Environment and its protection in an innovative way.

Earth Friendly Products’ ECOS brand cleaners, that are made in the company’s new premises in Greece, are already on sale in most Greek supermarkets and in other 60 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, expanding the company’s reputation throughout the world.