Earth-friendly shop opening soon in Newburyport

DAVE ROGERS/Staff photoGreen House co-owner Gina DiGivanni says everything in her new Market Square shop will pass the “green test” in terms of being Earth-friendly and eco-conscious.

NEWBURYPORT – The Earth will come first at the Green House shop on Water Street, expected to open soon next to French Twist salon in Market Square.

Green House co-owner Gina DiGivanni called the shop she is opening with her daughter, Ashley Regan, a “zero-waste store” that offers sustainable, plastic-free alternatives to everyday products for healthy homes and a healthy planet.

Items for sale will include bamboo toothbrushes, stainless steel straws, reusable bags, shampoo and conditioner in bar form instead of in plastic bottles, reusable coffee filters and organic personal care items.

“What I love about this store is that it’s not just a store,” Regan said. “It has a higher purpose than just selling people stuff.”

In addition to locally handcrafted items, Green House will feature filling stations for hand soap, dish soap, all-purpose soap and laundry detergent.

“You’ll never have to buy a plastic tub of laundry detergent in the supermarket again,” DiGivanni said, adding that customers can bring their own bottles or containers or buy them at the store.

In another nod to sustainability, the store will feature a bulletin board with recycling options and links to the recently opened Repair Café at the city’s Senior Community Center.

“I want to be a resource,” DiGivanni said.

She said she and her daughter hope to open the store in late February with limited hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday, until spring. The store would then be open seven days a week and the summer hours would be expanded.

Green House marks the third business venture for DiGivanni, a self-proclaimed serial local shop owner.

For seven years, she owned Souffles coffee shop in Market Square before opening Goose Chase Baking Company on Winter Street for a year. After taking a two-year break, the desire to get back into running a business was too strong to ignore.

“I definitely was getting itchy,” DiGivanni said.

DiGivanni said the Green House business model and concept came from her daughter, who proposed operating an eco-friendly shop about 18 months ago.

“The more I thought about it, the more I did my research, and the more I became invested in making better choices for my health and the planet, the more I realized it was a good idea,” DiGivanni said.

DiGivanni said the store, located at the former site of clothing store Nine Street New York, should appeal to Newburyporters and those visiting the city.

“Everything here passes the green test,” she said.

DiGivanni and Regan said they believe Newburyport is ready for a concept like theirs and it helps that there isn’t anyone they know of who is doing the same in area code 01950.

At the very least, Regan said, the store will help the community make more sustainable choices and shop more consciously.

“To make greener choices in our everyday lives,” she said.

Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

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