Wednesday, June 09, 2010

ECHOstore promotes green consumerism, healthy living

ECHOstore promotes green consumerism, healthy living
By Ehda M. Dagooc
The Freeman
June 09, 2010

CEBU, Philippines - Green consumerism women advocates recently opened their fifth ECHOstore in Cebu to introduce a sustainable lifestyle to the Cebuano market at the same time expanding their reach in helping depressed communities by uplifting livelihood resources.

ECHOstore is a marketing integrator of Sustainable Lifestyle which represents products from small marginalized, cultural communities, creative industry practitioners, women groups and foundations. 

“We work through, and network with partner organizations and communities to represent products to help break the cycle of poverty through livelihood programs and fair trade practices. ECHOstore is a profit venture with a social cause.”

The Cebu store, which is located at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel-Gift Shop, is seen to drum up a strong interest from the Cebuanos towards a sustainable consumerism lifestyle. Embracing their products would mean developing a healthy living at the same time helping Filipino producers gain a fair share of their produce.

ECHOstore, owned by three women who are hardcore advocates of sustainable lifestyle concept Reena Francisco, Jeannie Javelosa and Chit Juan will start the revolution of uplifting the local industries by prioritizing locally produced products that are environment-friendly and promotes healthy living.

ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle is the first concept store of its kind in the Philippines.

During the formal launching of the opening of the Cebu ECHOstore, partner-owner Pacita Juan said aside from pushing for a sustainable consumer lifestyle, the store is also the answer to the growing demand for eco and health-friendly made products emphasizing that green lifestyle is no longer considered as a fad but rather a “mega-trend.”

Because of these women’s passion to inculcate the essence of green living among Filipinos, the ECHOstore is evolving not only as a social-conscious retail entity, but also as an educator to communities that have the potential to produce sustainable products that will be strongly patronized not only by Filipinos, but also among foreign consumers.

ECHOstore, which has been in business for over a year now, is also eyeing the overseas market noting the growing demand for eco-friendly products in other countries, specifically in Europe.

Juan, however said that before considering the products for export, they must first strengthen the concept here in the Philippines by opening more ECHOstore outlets and expanding partner communities at the same time bolster its partnership with non-government organizations (NGOs) such as Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and PinoyMe, among others to spread the promotion of a sustainable lifestyle, not only in the urban areas, but also in far flung communities.

“We are trying to encourage consumers to shift and change their mindset, in considering the alternative way of purchasing products,” said Juan adding that with the controversial global warming issue, and people getting sick, “sustainable lifestyle is no longer a choice now, but it’s already a necessity.”

So far, ECHOstore is working closely with six communities, one of these is the community in Barangay Luz in Cebu, which is famous for its sustainable bag production made of juice tetra pack trash.

ECHO is the acronym for Environment & Community Hope Organization STORE. In one place, one can get everything he/she needs to start the way to living a sustainable lifestyle.