Green Business Case Study: Verde Kids
Verde Kids

Verde Kids logo 

Former teacher Jessica Kester opened her specialty retail business in 2010. Verde Kids features 100 percent eco-friendly clothing and toys for kids age newborn to 8. 

“Friends and my students’ moms showed me,” says Kester, “a huge demand for healthy, creative children’s products—especially in a local shop where you can actually touch the wonderful lines of gifts and goods often only sold online.”

Verde Kids store Green Measures at Work in this Business:
  • Had to replace flooring, chose bamboo for its sustainable, durable as well as handsome qualities
  • Elected to replace light bulbs as they wear out versus changing all—phasing in more efficient fluorescent tubes and using CFL bulbs in floor fixtures
  • Using only low-VOC paints
  • Purchased some new “Eco-Wood” display racks, made from reclaimed wood—other display fixtures have been purchased at resale shops
  • Actively works with vendors to reduce packaging waste, avoiding pre-packaging items in plastic
  • Strives to “reduce and recycle on the front end” to reduce shop trash as much as possible
  • Supports local economy by buying locally as much as possible—which reduces shipping costs too!
  • Uses “Better Life” cleaning products, a locally-based, non-toxic brand now in national distribution
  • Uses “Nashville Wraps” 100 percent recycled content paper bags (printed with flowers) and tissue
  • All product selections are based on
    • What they’re made of—healthy, organic, non-toxic, recycled-content and durable materials
    • Where they’re made—as locally as possible
    • How ethically they’re made—in fair trade and healthy working conditions
    • How they’re packaged—with recycled content, recyclable material and minimum waste
    • Next-cycle usefulness—if they can be used again by younger kids, donated or recycled

This Business Has More Green Plans:
  • Updating HVAC system to significantly increase efficiency
  • Continually sourcing hand-made local crafts as gift items—supporting home-based businesses

Green Ideas Your Business Can Use:
  • Research and learn more about the Green you feature—customers will value your knowledge
    • Pesticide-free organic cotton clothing is healthier for children’s skin, which is five times more permeable than adult skin
    • Organic cotton items also last longer than conventional cotton fabric—where scouring to remove chemicals weakens fabric fibers—so favorite clothing items can be used and enjoyed by younger siblings (a better gift-dollar value) or donated for others’ reuse
  • Showcase your Green values in your packaging
    • Verde Kids is a gift store so festive wrapping is important—staff “upcycles” product packaging materials into tags and bows—material variation keeps wrapping style fresh
  • Talk to your customers and look for ways to adopt their ideas
    • Verde Kids customer moms, aunties, grandmas and friends suggest products they’d like to see in the shop—and suggest new local artists and crafters as product sources
Greening Conversations

These interviews spotlight practice resources for saving energy, reducing waste and marketing your business — green ideas worth hearing!

Learn more and listen


Green Resources for Small Businesses

Take advantage of free online sustainable business resources.