Monday, March 2, 2009

method men

Make sure you read this article from the magazine, 944. This comes from the January 2009 issue! Enjoy!

"Method men
by Max Padilla | photography by Chris Andre

Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan are ready to clean house. Lowry and Ryan, founders of Method, had compelling reasons to develop environmentally sound, affordable and stylish home care products. Lowry was a Stanford-educated climate scientist, who witnessed up close the environmental damage caused by America’s addiction to petroleum and toxic chemicals. Ryan was a “mad” advertising man who realized that a generation of Americans approached house cleaning differently than the past. Nine years ago Lowry and Ryan joined forces to launch a company that influenced how an overlooked industry — household cleaners — made its products more green and user-friendly. And the Method guys did it by showing how cleaning a house can be fun — with ads showing people doing the chore naked and an interactive site populated by legions of Method addicts. Little did they know they would spawn a trend that’s got all the mainstream cleaners going green.

944: how did attitudes about cleaning change?
ERIC RYAN: People don’t deep clean their home once a week like they used to; most of the cleaning now is wiping down counters before and after a meal. Cleaning is more integrated into our daily life, blurring the lines between home care and personal care. We wanted to create cleaning products that could be beautiful enough to leave on a counter. But if it’s going to be beautiful on the outside, it has to be beautiful on the inside — non-toxic with premium fragrances.

944: What did you learn as a climate scientist about household cleaning products?
ADAM LOWRY: The products were toxic to people and environmentally damaging, and really didn’t need to be. Companies were using the cheapest available ingredients to get the job done and not considering the human health or environmental impact of those choices. Solvents in cleaning products [the alcohol-y kind of smell] cause respiratory inflammation. Surfactants in detergents are very toxic to fish and humans. If you are using chemicals harsh enough that you have to use rubber gloves, what is this doing to the world out there?

944: Are the fragrances in most household cleaners harmful?
AL: Pine. There’s nothing fresh about it. Pine scents have this chemical called terpene that reacts to ozone in the air — probably not stuff you want to be breathing too much of.
ER: Does anyone even know what a Tahitian waterfall or a mountain fresh spring smells like? We try to use fragrances true to nature. Our lavender smell is true lavender.

944: did any product change the home care industry?
ER: We launched the first ever triple-concentrated laundry detergent. It uses one-third detergent for the same amount of laundry as traditional laundry detergent. [Manufacturers], to communicate better value, were making laundry jugs bigger and bigger — filling detergent with more water, which was unnecessary. We cut the size and it caught on. And in three years the industry has shifted to two or three times the level of concentration.

944: Your current bugbear about today’s cleaning products?
ER: You’re a good mom by spraying chemicals all over your house to kill bacteria. What gets you sick are not bacteria, but viruses and most antibacterial products can’t kill viruses. And we haven’t found a way to discriminate between good bacteria and bad bacteria.

944: Which Method products are you proud of?
ER: “Smarty Dish,” a mono-dose tablet for your automatic dishwasher. You don’t have to pour liquid, you just pop in a single pill. But what is really smart is the chemical inside of it. If you look at the leading cause of child poisonings in the home, it’s automatic dishwashing detergent — pretty nasty stuff not only from a health perspective, but also [for] what it does when the chemicals [bleach and phosphates] enters the water stream. We created the first non-toxic, phosphate-free, bleach-free detergent that really kicks ass and smells beautiful. "

1 comment:

Becky said...

I love to learn of new great "green" cleaning products out there. Cleaning with products that are safe for both my family and the environment is my number 1 goal. Recently I read a book titled, "Super Natural Home," by Beth Greer that has been a godsend in helping me choose both cleaning and personal care products that will be safer for my family and I to use. I found this book to be an indispensable tool for conscientious Americans who want to do their part to address the energy and climate crisis as well.

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