By ERIN HORROCKS-POPE
Five years ago, Tara Holguin opened Green and Frugal in the Cliffside community of Scarborough, with the mission of making green and sustainable living both accessible and affordable.
Throughout her life, Tara Holguin has felt a connection to natural-living principals and strived to make eco-conscious choices in her day-to-day. Becoming a mother, Holguin found herself getting more frustrated by the difficulty to find eco-friendly products, in addition to what she now knows are unnecessarily high prices.
“I was becoming so concerned about potential risks and long-term effects of commercial products,” said Holguin, reflecting on her frustration of the ingredients used in products that she needed to use for her young children, like sunscreens, moisturizers, and hair care.
“I felt like there’s only so much I could do before having to rely on ourselves to create actually natural products.”
In her thirties, Holguin made the choice to leave her corporate career to go back to university, during which time she took courses on food production and waste, genetic engineering of plants, equity studies and Indigenous studies.
The knowledge gained from each of these courses, woven together, inspired Holguin to open Green and Frugal so she could support others who want to attain more sustainable lifestyles with “ease, affordability, and education”.
As Green and Frugal boomed in popularity, with customers travelling to the small Cliffside storefront from across the GTA, Holguin expanded, opening locations in Kensington Market, Whitby, and West Toronto.
However, five years later, Holguin has made the choice to work towards closing those locations and focus on her newest shop, now open in the Upper Beach neighbourhood, closer to where she found a large percentage of her customers reside.
“It’s so great being able to open here,” Holguin told Beach Metro Community News.
“Everything about the neighbourhood just fits what Green and Frugal is about. This strip of Kingston Road is so walkable and accessible, and so many locals are either already engaging in a more sustainable lifestyle, or they want to learn how to be. Even just finding this store, it was really meant to be,” said Holguin, explaining that the retail space was previously a compounding pharmacy which has also made the transition for her workspace much simpler.
All of Green and Frugal’s body care products are made in-house from natural, high-quality ingredients.
Holguin takes pride that her products are also water free, because including water as an ingredient requires the addition of preservatives to prevent bacteria and mold from growing, as well as blend the natural oils and water along with preventing rancidity, growth of bacteria and mold.
“If a product contains water, it also has to contain some sort of synthetic material,” said Holguin. “So, it doesn’t matter how eco-friendly or sustainable the label reads, if it contains water – it’s not made from all-natural ingredients.”
Holguin’s mission through Green and Frugal is to help others make the switch by making sustainability affordable and simple.
Some ways that Green and Frugal makes good on this mission include direct/wholesale pricing straight to customers, ‘buy by the gram’ programs, DIY products and workshops, refill programs and discounts, concentrated products – so a little really goes a long way, and product customizations which make sure the product you’re purchasing is what’s best for your body.
Green and Frugal will be holding its Grand Opening celebration at the 918 Kingston Rd. (just west of Lawlor Avenue) store this weekend, May 6 and 7.
You can learn more about Green and Frugal on their website at https://greenandfrugal.com/ or by visiting them in-store at 918 Kingston Rd.
Did you enjoy this article? Become a Beach Metro Community News Supporter today! For 50 years, we have worked hard to be the eyes and ears in your community, inform you of upcoming events, and let you know what and who is making a difference. We cover the big stories as well as the little things that often matter the most. CLICK HERE to support your Beach Metro Community News!