An Interview with Ori Sivan of Greenmaker Industries

October 26th, 2010 | Posted by tjones in Green Homes | Green Products | Interviews

I had the opportunity to speak with Ori Sivan, the founder and general manager of Greenmaker Industries.   Green Depot carries a range of products made by Greenmaker, including the well-reviewed Ivy Coatings VOC-free paint, our Plybam bamboo plywood, and Foundations bamboo flooring.

Green Depot: Mr. Sivan, I was just wondering if you could tell me about your position at Greenmaker.
Ori Sivan: I’m the general manager for Greenmaker Industries.

GD: And could you tell me a little more about what Greenmaker does?
OS: Greenmaker industries is a green building materials manufacturer, so we have several lines of green materials from commercial cleaning products to bamboo floors and bamboo plywood.  We really provide a one-stop shop for green dealers, and any sort of reseller, who wants to carry green products.  People choose to go through us to get those products because we provide them with a range of products that are all environmentally-friendly and priced really well.  They’re very high quality products with very competitive pricing.

GD: It sounds like you have a strong emphasis on quality and affordability in green products.
OS: Well, one, I came from a retail background before I got into wholesale business, so we really have a good idea of what the customer needs.  Let me say that the most important thing that we do is that we search far and wide for the best products and provide them at what we feel is  a very competitive price.  In the case of our bamboo flooring – Foundations – you’re getting an extremely good product that is as good as any conventional flooring, but is sustainably produced.

We make things affordable by keeping our overhead low.  We don’t invest in advertising.  Instead we invest in our dealers.  We trust Green Depot to pass on the message that this is a good product and talk about the different installations that they’ve seen done. In other words, we count on our dealer base for the end user to get a quality product with a good end-value.

GD: Which products would you say are the best received by the customer?
OS: Well, definitely, the two most popular products are Foundations Flooring, and then Ivy Paints.

GD: We’ve actually spoken to Kevin Stasi before about the benefits of Ivy Coatings.  Could you tell me about some of the benefits of using bamboo flooring and plywood over conventional wood products?
OS: When comparing bamboo to conventional wood, the two things that are outstanding are one, from an environmental aspect they are extremely renewable.  Bamboo takes five to seven years to grow, and when you cut it down, more bamboo grows back in its place, like grass.  This is so much more renewable compared to another wood, which would typically be a hardwood like oak or maple.

It’s also much much more sustainable than a tropical hardwood.  Tropical hardwoods and bamboo are both dimensionally stable, so they don’t expand and contract.  Tropical hardwood and bamboo are hard, so they don’t bend.  But topical hardwoods take up to 300 years to mature – compared to bamboo’s six years – so bamboo is much more sustainable.  It’s also a very beautiful, appealing product in a variety of different shades.  We apply a number of different stains to create beautiful bamboo products.  We also provide a product that can be custom stained for designers and architects.

GD: Could you tell me a bit about the cleaners that Greenmaker Industries produces?
OS: A lot of the cleaners we make are Green Seal and Design for the Environment certified.  They’re extremely cost-effective because they’re extremely effective at cleaning.  We’re now seeing a lot more interest in green cleaning not only in homes, but in commercial settings – universities, hotels, restaurants, businesses.  We are being approached by the commercial sector to provide this.

GD: So the focus was on home cleaning before but there’s been a recent growth in commercial interest?
OS: Yes, definitely.

GD: You mentioned that the cleaners are Green Seal or Design for the Environment certified.  What does it take to get that certification?
OS: It’s an involved process.  We basically had to open the formula to the reviewer to check for toxins and other things like that.  It was a lot of paperwork and money, but if you’re doing a product right – making it environmentally-sensitive – from the beginning there’s not a lot of trouble to get it done, just time and effort to get all of the documentation in order.  When you’re doing things right, and start with the right materials, it’s not that hard to.  But it still can take several months – three to six months.

GD: Thanks so much for taking the time out today to talk with us!

Greenmaker offers a wide range of products, each of which has a website.  Check out www.foundationsflooring.com, www.ivycoatings.com, www.greenmakercleaners.com, or www.plybam.com for more information.  You can see which green products that Green Depot carries by visiting our website.

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