Green shopping with neerg.com is an eco-friendly experience. The company was founded by Patrick Pettay after he became "frustrated trying to find and purchase eco-friendly products". Patrick decided to take his Internet company one step further and chose to "create a social enterprise that could truly change the health and lives of others".
Patrick Pettay and His Green Vision
Patrick was well-prepared to step into ecommerce since his professional background is in developing ecommerce websites for large companies, including MySpace, Hulu, Fox.com, Americanidol.com, and others. It was an easy next step for him to put together a team of other green-minded Internet professionals that, "allowed us to bring a wealth of knowledge about social media, online buying, and content to the overall vision," Patrick explained recently in an exclusive interview with LoveToKnow editor, Sally Painter.
Green Shopping with neerg
The company name neerg is green spelled backwards and the company's tag line is "be and buy green". According to Pettay the tag line came about, "because in the end it's more about how one lives her or his life and certainly not about buying more."
Patrick's dream was brought online in April 2010. He states, "very quickly, the team has been able to amass green merchants with great value for consumers to connect with and easily discover new products they might not otherwise have known about. We have approximately 50 merchants and close to 1,000 products with those figures growing daily."
Interview with neerg founder Patrick Pettay
LoveToKnow (LTK): When you started looking for eco-friendly products, what was one of the things you discovered?
Patrick Pettay (PP): It was just crazy that it was hard to find eco-friendly soap, food, and clothes in one place, let alone save these items and share them with my friends around the Internet. Additionally, when talking to friends and family, I realized that most people want to lessen their impact on the world and live a healthier life, but it just has to be easy to do.
I started to think about how to create a destination that could truly showcase all the world's eco-friendly items in one place and also provide users with interesting articles and how-tos about being green (cooking, traveling, etc). I found out that I had two old friends who had just launched eco-friendly product companies and discovered many other individuals were starting eco-companies with great sustainable products. These discoveries helped the company to evolve and include ways to connect users with merchants and have the merchants tell more about their companies and products.
Not Just an Ecommerce Website
LTK: What makes your company more than an ecommerce website?
PP: neerg is not a social network, but as it grows it will become more and more social with the ability to discuss the topics that are important to all of its users. This includes topics ranging from ways to raise your children in an eco-friendly manner or how to redo rooms in your house green. The site will also include ideas other people have tried and liked, and forums to discuss these topics.
More to Come
LTK: What kind of plans do you have for developing the website and your idea?PP: Over the coming months visitors will see a lot of great changes to the site, in addition to just more products and merchants. These advancements will include the ability to share the items on the website with the entire online community, outside of our site very easily, and also find out about new products and new types of merchants when you aren't even on the website. An example is you'll have the ability to explore new items listed on the website while you're on Facebook or your phone.
Local Green Events
LTK: What other kind of features do you plan for the website?
PP: Visitors to the site will have the opportunity to participate in deals of the day from a few select merchants, along with the ability to find out about local events covering the green space in their area.
It is super exciting so we hope people come by, create a profile and say how they try to be eco-friendly or want to be eco-friendly, and come back often.
Surprise Over Available Eco-Friendly Products
LTK: What has been the biggest surprise since opening your doors?
PP: The biggest positive surprise has been truly how many incredible innovative eco-friendly products are being produced and conceived to help replace the goods most of us use today in order to lessen our impact on the world (and our bodies). The goal as we grow is to really make it easy for consumers to have a plethora of eco-friendly options for every need in their life.
Green Products for Everyone
LTK: What type of green products can visitors find on your site?
PP: We have products that span across 20 major categories that include casual and designer clothes and shoes, bags and purses, soaps and cosmetics in our bath & beauty category, a comprehensive baby and kids section, all different types of food and beverages, along with items for the house, gardening, furniture, and more.
Green Product Criteria
LTK: What are the green criteria for featuring products on your website?
PP: All items must fit at least one eco-friendly criteria, which we call Categreens. These include organic, recycled, upcycled, biodegradable, energy efficient, resource efficient, or fair trade.
Becoming a Vendor at neerg
LTK: Do you allow all sizes of companies to participate as sellers on your site?
PP: neerg was created to allow merchants of any size to sell directly to consumers. This includes large companies like Patagonia to literally my mom, who makes organic cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. Our hope is that this will incentivize more companies to produce more items that are eco-friendly and inspire people to start their own lines of green products.
LTK: If someone wants to become a seller on your site, what does he or she need to do?
PP: A company or individual first creates a user profile and then clicks a big green button to start the process of creating a merchant account that involves neerg collecting company contact information and the merchant creating a collection account (for their sales) with Amazon.
We ask for 100 percent transparency from our merchants. This has been a great fit since the reason many merchants are drawn to our website is because they can tell their story directly to the consumer and fill them in on how great their products are, how the products are created, and how the company is involved in the community.
Three Percent Donation to Green Efforts
LTK: You donate three percent of your top line revenues to three non-profit or not-for-profit organizations dedicated to eco-friendly causes and green initiatives. What aspects of these three organizations appealed to you?
PP: Our mission is to donate at least three percent of our top line revenue back into organizations that are dedicated to eco-friendly causes and supporting the green movement.
Our goal is to expand the organizations we support with future choices coming not only from the company team but also the overall community through suggestions and needs that are brought to our attention.
Building a Community
LTK: What will readers find in the Content and Community sections of your website?
PP: We've partnered with a growing list of sites, including top brands like ecomii, Organic Authority, Causecast, and more to bring engaging and informative articles about the green space and easy ways to change and live a more eco-friendly life.
As we grow we'll continue to expand the amount and types of articles highlighted along with allowing people to read about local subjects and local activities. We'll also be expanding our community section to include forum topics like cooking, raising your children healthy and eco-friendly, local events, and ways to interact with the community and friends to learn from each other.
LoveToKnow would like to thank Patrick Pettay for taking time out of his busy schedule to share his commitment to a green lifestyle and give readers a glimpse into green shopping with neerg.