We had the good fortune of connecting with Janette Spiezio, Ecopreneur behind Sustainable Haus and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Janette, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
As a parent, raising healthy, well adjusted, socially conscious, caring and curious children is always the most important thing we can do, but for me sustainable haus and raising kids goes hand in hand, if we want healthy children we need a healthier planet and we need to reduce the toxin in our lives. We do both those things at sustainable haus, new jersey’s first zero waste, refill shop, specializing in home goods like beauty care, personal care, cleaners and all things home without plastic or packaging, and the best ingredients possible. As a mission driven ecopreneur our tag line says a lot: healthy home, healthy people, healthy planet. When we model caring for the environment, our children care. I never forced my daughters now 21 and 25 to be any of the things I describe, and yet they are. They are free of chronic disease and are well adjusted. They understand that products aren’t always safe and they know how to make healthier choices, from beauty and personal care, cleaning products, clothing and of course food. I am not perfect; my kids aren’t perfect and the store isn’t perfect. We simply keep researching and learning and try to help people make the journey to healthier living.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
After a 30-year career in Corporate, I started my second act. I wanted to make a big difference. The planet needs us. And as Americans, we need to learn to live healthier lives for the health of their families and the planet. While we are a zero-waste store (little to no: packaging, plastic, toxins, or impact) we are set apart notably by two things, 1) I am more focused on what’s unhealthy and am thus less susceptible to green washing and toxins. 2) Because there aren’t enough great choices out there, I am a maker. Since the beginning we have made a clean laundry detergent, and using upcycled cotton fabric and cotton thread, we make reusable and useful goods that are compostable. No one uses cotton thread, all textiles (home good and clothing) use synthetic thread. This means we upcycle, or have a better use than the original for the fabric. We make lots of wipes, napkins, sponges, bags, towels and about 60 products overall. Our first two products were laundry detergent and everyday napkins and we still make both.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
After a long visit to sustainable haus where first time customers sometimes spend hours, we’d take a bike ride through watchung reservation and hike into the deserted village. We’d visit an organic farm like dogwood, cherry grove or chickadee creek and make a beautiful farm to table dinner with our haul. We’d visit princeton for a day and soak in the learning vibes and eat at agricola (farm to table). Princeton has great second-hand shopping like green street, and we’d visit the record store: princeton record exchange. We’d spend a day at the beach in asbury park with dinner at tallulah’s (farm to table with vegan options) and top off with desert at cookman creamery (vegan ice cream). We’d visit hyssop beauty apothecary to see clean beauty care in the making, and we’d go for another bike ride or hike on a rails to trails park: delaware and raritan canal state park (72 miles and connects philadelphia to ny.) we’d finish the week with a visit to grounds for sculpture to see some amazing art while strolling through nature.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We are the sum of so many experienced and so I’ll note just two but there were really too many to name. One, my parents to immigrated to the us in their late twenties lived a very wholistic lifestyle, we made our own clothing from natural fibers, we grew an organic garden and canned food, we cooked and baked and hung our laundry out to dry and refinished used furniture finds. So I grew up living a very non-toxic lifestyle without much plastic. But I didn’t understand how bad plastic was until I read beth terry’s book, “plastic free: how I kicked the plastic habit and how you can too” since reading her book about 7 years ago, I have been on a continuous research journey. Besides sourcing better products, I do a lot of educating in store, and on social media, both instagram and tiktok.
The photos with me in a blue Blazer: Photo Courtesy of Mark DeHanes. Two Photos of me in a while sleeveless sweater, courtesy of Joanie Schwarz Photography Remaining photos, I took: Janette Spiezio