1980 - 1993


Long before ‘sustainability’ and ‘eco-friendly’ became household names, Ecover was founded in a small cottage in a rural town in Belgium by a team of highly motivated eco-pioneers. They had enough proof to show that phosphates, a common ingredient used in laundry and dishwasher products, were polluting our water systems. They cared so much they wanted to create a phosphate free washing powder. It was a real success that soon found its way to health food stores across Europe.


Ecover goes retail. While Michael Jackson was rocking the charts and shoulder pads were big, the eighties were tough years for Ecover. But at last in 1989 we made our first steps onto the supermarket shelves and became widely available to all of you.

1991 - 1992

1991-1992 were big years for Ecover. We began the decade with a new owner, a business man from Scandinavia called Sørensen, who had a huge impact on our business. This all coincided with the construction of our brand new eco factory, the first of its kind in the world, based in Malle, Belgium. On opening day the media jumped on it and we were featured on all major news networks – alongside Bill Clinton’s presidential victory.


Our hard work paid off when the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recognized us on their Global 500 Roll of Honour list, which awards people, groups and companies who make major contributions to the environment. Ecover was the first and only household cleaning brand to win this fabulous recognition. Joining us on the list are well-known names like Robert Redford, Sir David Attenborough, Greenpeace and the National Geographic Society.

next chapter: 1994 - 2001