Back in 2014, I had 2 young kids (then age 2 & 4) who were both suffering from eczema. Not just dry patches on their elbows, but actual waking up to bloody sheets in the middle of the night because the itching was so bad. It was on their face, arms, legs. We started seeing doctors, one after another. They kept giving them steroid creams.
I started researching on my own, while making appointments with various pediatric dermatologists, pediatric allergists, and various pediatricians. They all said the same thing, they have it really bad, some kids grow out of it. Hopefully yours will too, here is another cream. They also developed asthma. This went on for several years.
My research led to air filters for our home, allergen covers for their pillows and mattresses, air filtering plants, removal of dairy & gluten from their diets. We kept trying. We bought new mattresses without the harmful chemicals. I researched the pajamas they were wearing & realized many were still made with harmful flame retardant chemicals, those that were not, many were made of polyester. Polyester is plastic and their sensitive skin couldn't breathe at night. These harmful products were everywhere.
It took tons of research and hundreds of hours of time just to learn & understand that the products at those big box stores were awful for my kids, they were awful for everyone's kids. So I switched.
I started researching the other products in my home as well. Were the pans I was cooking with safe? How could I tell? There was conflicting information everywhere.
More specialists, more steroid creams, more tears. By the time both of my kids were in elementary school I would get calls home from the teacher that they were scratching uncontrollably, especially after their favorite, Physical Education class.
I think the kicker for me was the "laundry detergent" I was using. There was a picture of a baby on the cover, it was sold at the baby stores, and it cost more than anything else on the shelves...
The day I researched the chemicals that were in that soap , is a day I will never forget. I felt so betrayed. The baby on the cover, fooled me. The fact that it was sold at all of the baby stores made me believe that this had to be the most gentle laundry detergent ever made. This must be what was best for my kids. The fact that it was "pediatrician approved" was the cherry on top.
The final straw was when my pediatrician said, "They have eczema, there is nothing we can do, they aren't growing out of it, we need to discuss how to treat this long term." More steroids.
No. No. Nope.
I dove into the research, hired a Holistic Naturopath and haven't looked back.
The research for chemicals within the products in my home went from the foods we were eating, the products we were using to clean with, toothpastes, bar soaps, body lotions, shampoos. It all had to go.
The products labeled "Free & Clear," "Gentle & Pure", etc, I believed the jargon. Those were marketing terms, they didn't actually mean anything. It's called Greenwashing, a term that is used to describe brands trying to trick consumers into believing their products are safe, but the terms mean nothing.
At this time, I visited a store in NYC that was zero waste. Yes! What the planet needs! Sign me up, so we started making changes at home. The more research I did the more I noticed so many brands that didn't use chemicals, were also concerned with plastic.
This is when the first half of 4 The Greater Good was born. A marketplace with non-toxic products that are plastic free!
The 3rd piece of 4 The Greater Good came later. One of the natural laundry detergents we initially found and used at home, worked great. It was bought in bulk, was chemical free, and we loved it. However, after we learned about the environmental damage caused by harvesting of palm oil, (and that was one of the key ingredients in the initial laundry soap) we decided we would not be able to carry that product in our store. This is where part 3 of 4 The Greater Good came in, The ingredients in the products we carry, need to be sustainably harvested.
The 4th & final piece of 4 The Greater Good is yet another piece to be ethical around all of the products & ingredients they contain. The products must be ethically made. The makers must be paid fairly.