A cancer diagnosis led Tina Anagnostopoulos to ditch traditional cleaners. But when she couldn’t find a non-chemical option that also got the job done, she created her own line of plant-based products.
We’ve all heard the commercials that ask you to take a real, hard look at some of the ingredients included in everyday products. Cleaning products, for example, have typically been heavily reliant on strong, toxic chemicals. And while there are some plant-based cleaning products available, they never seem to do the job quite as well. Enter: Áthos, an American-made, family-run business that offers customers plant-based cleaners that really work.
“We’re offering you a cleaning product where you don’t have to sacrifice cleaning power,” explained Tony Anagnostopoulos, marketing director at Áthos. And since it is a family-run business, Tony is also the son of Tina Anagnostopoulos, the founder and owner of Áthos.
The idea for Áthos came to Tina almost six years ago when she was diagnosed with skin cancer – twice. Tina had always loved cleaning with chemical cleaners like bleach and Windex. So much so that Tony recounted, “Our neighbors would always make jokes because our recycling was always filled with big containers of bleach.”
When Tina received her diagnosis, her doctors told her she needed to cut chemicals and toxins out of her lifestyle wherever she could. She knew her beloved cleaning products would be the first to go. But when Tina tried using the plant-based cleaning products available on the market, she found that they were not as effective as the chemical-filled products she was used to. That spurred her to create her own line of plant-based cleaning products.
After three years of testing and formulation with chemists and botanists, Tina found formulations that worked just as well, if not better, than chemical-based cleaning products. And if you’re wondering what makes them so much more effective, the answer is simplicity.
“We’re very upfront in terms of what’s in the bottle, which is essential oils, plant-based extracts, and alkaline water,” Tony said.
What sets Áthos apart from other plant-based cleaners available on the market is that their products are truly clean.
“One of the tricky things on the market is that there’s this whole concept of ‘eco-washing,’” Tony said. “So, a lot of these brands that portray themselves as plant-based or eco-friendly but they’re not. It’s just a marketing gimmick… and, in terms of the ingredients, it’s very easy to hide what’s in the bottle.”
That is why, if you look at Áthos’ products, there is a very clearly defined list of ingredients that they refuse to use in production. “Those top things that we did not want in [our formulations] that are listed on the websites are all things that are terrible for your health and terrible for the environment,” Tony said.
Protecting people as well as the environment is a big part of Áthos’ mission. “Our whole platform is the fact that we’re plant-based, giving back to the earth, and taking care of the environment,” Tony said.
And that’s not just talk. On top of ensuring their products are clean and safe for both humans and the environment, Áthos also refuses to test their products on animals and uses 100% recyclable packaging in all of their orders. They are even working on creating a concentrated form of their cleaning solutions to distribute in glass vials, which can then be mixed with water in a bottle of the customer’s choosing, to further reduce waste.
Áthos’ dedication to the earth and sustainable business practices echo the Greek community their name was inspired by: Mount Áthos, Greece. “It’s a self-governing peninsula filled with monasteries and monks who all produce things that are natural from the earth. They live totally off the land,” Tony explained.
The Anagnostopoulos family hails from Greece, so the connection could not be more fitting. “We wanted to pay homage to our Greek background,” Tony said.
Currently, Áthos operates with the help of eight family members, including Tony and Tina. Everything Áthos produces is manufactured and packaged by the Anagnostopoulos family in Chicago.
When asked about why Áthos chooses to manufacture in the U.S., Tony explained that, in addition to ensuring the quality and consistency of their products, it was all about “supporting local and supporting our family, and shipping across the United States to put that money back into the American economy.” That is why, “everything from label creation down to the solution itself is American made with American hands,” Tony said.
Áthos currently offers four types of cleaners, including bathroom, glass and window, granite and quartz, and multi-surface cleaners. While the company’s products can be found in retail stores around the country, including several refill stores in the New York area, the easiest way to check out their products is through their website.
At the end of the day, Áthos uses simple, genuinely clean ingredients to provide customers with a safer way to clean their homes. By keeping their family-run business Made in America, the Anagnostopoulos family is giving back in more ways than one. “That’s just who we are,” Tony said.