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Tree Huggers is More than A Store | Business

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Tree Huggers is More than A Store
Business, News, People
Tree Huggers is More than A Store

By J. Bennett Rylah

Angela Topp opened her first Tree Huggers in August of 2010 in Holland. The earth-friendly, no-waste retail store there, she says, had the same response when it first opened as when she opened her Grand Rapids branch in East Hills (947 Wealthy St. SE) this summer.

"[Customers are] a little hesitant at first, thinking that we may try to convert them to veganism or have them join Greenpeace," she says, "but they usually get excited once they look around. I think I get more hugs and 'thanks for opening up' than your average business."

What Tree Huggers provides consumers is different. It's a very conscientious form of environmentalism. Topp investigates each product in her store. She is weary of anything that contains ingredients the average person can't pronounce. She uses local companies and artists, and many of the products she sells are made from recycled items -- like a toothbrush made from yogurt cups and toys made from milk jugs. It's important to her that everything is made from the safest materials.  She talks about finding cleaning products with full ingredient disclosure. "If it's good for you, it's good for the environment," she says.

But Tree Huggers is meant to be more…

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