Where are you located, and what does your business do?
We are located in Concord New Hampshire, the heart of the Granite State. We take much pride in our efforts to bring back Main Street shopping as we are dedicated to these long standing communal establishments. Real Green Goods is an earth-friendly department store offering the highest standards in eco-friendly products with the lowest impact to the earth and its inhabitants. Whether organic, recycled, fair-trade, or sustainable in nature, we provide goods that exude powerful meaning on an emotional level.
How long have you been in business?
Our venture has been in business since the summer of 2007. We launched our website first, uncertain whether we would find an adequate store front. As the process of developing our website was concluding, we got word of a location on Main St. that had become available. Though we are young on paper, our ideas and values have been long developed in the individual minds that have collaborated on the Real Green Goods mission.
Does your company or products hold any "green" certifications? If so, which?
Yes, we are proud members of CO-OP America, SPNHF(Society for The Protection of New Hampshire Forests), NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association), and we have created our own organization called Green Concord (www.greenconcord.org) which establishes green criteria for businesses in Concord, NH.
What makes your company green?
Real Green Goods envisions being green as the modern, yet historical way of conducting business. It revolves around every aspect of operations, management, and product. The basis of a green company, Real Green Goods included, originates in ethics or social responsibility. The moral goodness of a company whether large or small is seen and felt by everyone connected to that business. Specifically to RGG, the customers, employees and wholesalers all have some form of relationship with one another.
A green business is thus one who treats each of these groups with the same fair and honest approach no matter what the situation. We have chosen products that lessen their impact or ultimately create zero or positive impact on the Earth. We as employees also practice what we preach with our use of CFL's in the store as well as being a repository for CFL's, recycling our waste, or buying used furniture from auctions to set up our store.
What's the story behind your company's beginnings?
Deborah deMoulpied the founder and owner of Real Green Goods was born and raised in New Hampshire, a state known for its diverse geography. Her involvement in outdoor activities led her to develop a love for nature as well as a broad sense of environmental awareness. Due to the numerous dramatic changes that have occurred over the last decade to New Hampshire, as well world wide environmental conditions, Deborah began to realize the turn the Earth was taking, undeniably due to human actions. So the research began, Deborah spent day after day researching ways she could potentially make a positive change in her community, the state, the nation, and the Earth. These searches led her to the belief that the Northeast was lacking green businesses that offered products other than the organic and whole foods industry which had recently seen high growth and demand. Surely, there will be a correlation between this demand and a demand for typical home goods in the future. And so, Real Green Goods was born. She was convinced that if the customers had a store where they could actually touch and feel these new green products, that they could then make changes in their product selection.
What have been some of the biggest challenges of maintaining high standards of social and environmental responsibility?
As a retailer we require our manufacturers and distributors to be held to the eco-standards which we have established. Our biggest obstacle in generating the selection of products that we wished to offer was weeding out those companies which shared our values and standards. With the green industry becoming a trend in modern society it is easy for some to “join the bandwagon” by not fully believing or understanding what potential of good is out there.
We have found that there are many “shades” of green, some are light, some are dark, and some are indecisively in between the two. Our vision is to be a representation of those darkest “shades” of green, both by our products and our social and environmental responsibility.
What has been your proudest moment as a green business?
Our proudest and most common moments here at our store are when customers express their sheer gratitude for our existence. It is the sharing of this level of appreciation that motivates us to strive higher and higher to offer the services and products that are needed to lessen negative environmental impact. These reminders set forth our ability to create real change in consumer trends and norms.
What is the most hopeful trend you have seen recently from the green economy?
When asked for a “hopeful” trend our initial reactions are guided by recent discussions and worries of a possibly recession, or at least, slow growth over the coming years. A trend that has been so vital to us lately is consumer awareness and appreciation for the organics industry. The comprehension and understanding that consumers are becoming familiar with are overflowing into fair-trade, recycled, sustainable, and energy-efficient industries. The green economy is evolving into a more encompassing passion to produce and purchase anything that may be beneficial to the consumer directly. In our store we see this by purchases of stainless steel water bottles and organic personal care products. With the consumers becoming enlightened to purchase these green goods over conventional ones we hope to prosper during these potential times of recession and come out on top as the new economic drivers.
What’s the next green project you’re working on right now?
As mentioned in our green certifications section we have created a group called Green Concord. The ideas of this organization are derived from the ideals of CO-OP America. The ability of green business and economy to overcome conventional, corporate businesses is by coming together for a sole purpose and to promote alternatives. We are currently discussing criteria and partnership levels for future entrants to commit to if they wish to join. The group has been co-advertising for a few months now in order to lesson the burden of marketing expenses. Unity and amity are historically seen as the foundations behind big change whether political or cultural. We envision every town in the country being able to, at some point, create groups which set forth such criteria for businesses to follow to ensure communal and fair practices - for this is the future of being green!