Truce brings eco-friendly cleaning products to Phoenix Public Market

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Truce, a local cleaning-product vendor, makes its appearance at the Open Air Market on Saturdays. The company boasts environmentally friendly products. (Madeline Pado/DD)

The outdoor Phoenix Public Market is flourishing in these early fall weeks. A business recently set up shop here, selling cleaning products that are safe for people and the environment.

Truce is easy to spot out among the other vendors. Maybe it was the soothing smell of aromatherapy essential oils or the bright and inviting colors incorporated in all the products — there was something so welcoming about Truce.

Certainly, the atmosphere wasn’t the only welcoming aspect. Co-owner Diann Peart was there to inform customers about all things Truce. Originally, Peart started Herb’n Organics to sell these products. The name was changed to Truce only a few weeks ago.

“We’re through with chemicals,” Peart said. “We’re declaring a truce. A truce on polluting the planet, a truce with the people who tell all these lies that they’re green and they’re not. We are transparent, truthful and trustworthy.”

The main goal behind the creation of Truce was to create a healthy product that is safe around food, dogs, children, everyone and everything. Kandie Konomos, another co-owner of Truce, and Peart were not driven by business or the need to make money off a product. They created Truce because people and the environment need it and it was right thing to do, they said.

“It might sound heavy, but it is our moral responsibility,” Peart added.

At the end of their first year producing the products, they got a call from Whole Foods saying they wanted to sell their product. That’s when the duo realized they needed to get serious.

“At the time we were packaging our products in bottles from China,” Peart explained. “I’m a strong believer in doing what you can with what you have but we could not go into Whole Foods saying we, as a company, sold safe products in bottles from China.”

They up-scaled and sophisticated themselves by investing in safe bottles as well as labels. They made the entire line of products as safe as they could.

“Now our bottles are U.S.-made, labels are repurposed vinyl or FSC certified, windmill energy generated papers with no VOC inks. A solid message that permeates the business,” Peart said.

When businesses talk about creating products, factory assembly lines are always what come to mind. Those ideas could not be further from how Konomos and Peart make their products. Truce products are hand-made on Peart’s property, along with packaging and labeling.

“Kandie is the one who created the product,” Peart said. “There was a time before all these chemicals invaded the home. Kandie found simple, chemical-free ingredients to work with and make a product that can outperform chemical based products.”

Truce co-owner Diann Peart, right, displays Truce products to a potential customer at the Phoenix Public Market's Open Air Market. (Madeline Pado/DD)

Konomos felt like chemicals should stay out of cleaning products because everyone cleans.

“We can’t get away from it,” Konomos said. “It is something that we do repeatedly and on a daily basis, so eliminating those chemicals is really important because we’re exposed to those products so often.”

She doesn’t understand why people choose to use products that have chemicals in them when they have other options that are cleaner, she said.

“Chemicals are absorbed directly into our skin and inhaled into our lungs but they are also released directly into our environment and that is what’s important; to keep all those chemicals out of the environment and out of our systems,” Konomos said.

Based out of Arizona, Konomos and Peart are all about community. Giving back to the community is the reason why they started selling Truce at the Phoenix Public Market.

One dollar out of the sale of their dog products goes to Lost Our Home Pet Foundation, a rescue group that focuses on saving animals that were given up because their owner’s houses were foreclosed. Some proceeds also go to the Phoenix Children Hospital’s Camp Rainbow Program, an effort that is important to Konomos, whose son was diagnosed with leukemia.

Barb Wilson, owner of Barb’s Sweets & Treats, picked up a bottle of Clean and Bright and explained just how amazing it was.

“This works so well. I tell you, I get it all the time and the wonderful thing is that it doesn’t leave a single streak,” Wilson said.

Wilson often buys local whenever she can.

“Buying local keeps money in the local economy,” Wilson said. “The quality is better. You know the products, you know what’s in it, you know who made it. You’re supporting our families not some corporate big wigs sitting in an ivory tower.”

In a world filled with chemicals there are still companies, like Truce, that are working hard to keep the planet clean and healthy.

“There is quote by Arthur Ashe that I use quite often. He says start where you are, use what you have and do what you can,” Peart said. “You may not be able to eliminate every unhealthy product in your house. However, you can promote the gradual change to replacing what you have with safer and healthier products.”

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