Our Story: How Down East more than made the grade

It all started in 1992 when a Halifax-based doctor noticed a growing number of her patients had developed sensitivities to cleaning products. She went on to discover they all had something in common: they mostly worked or studied in public buildings where strong industrial cleaners were being used.

Almost no hypoallergenic cleaners existed at the time, so the doctor reached out to a local cleaning product manufacturer, Bebbington Industries, to see if they could create something that would keep the buildings clean while keeping the occupants safe from the effects of harsh chemicals and odors.

Hypoallergenic and Non-Toxic  

Bebbington thought that the solution was to develop cleaning products that were hypoallergenic and non-toxic. These new cleaning products would be free of allergens such as solvents, VOC’s, dyes, and preservatives, and use only non-toxic biodegradable ingredients'

After two years of research and development—and searching for non-toxic, yet effective ingredients—Down East Cleaning Products were born.

The problematic buildings were among the first to use this innovative new product—which passed the test for improving the air quality without compromising on cleaning power. 

Since their introduction in 1996, DOWN EAST Cleaning Products have proven safe for use by many people with allergies and chemical sensitivities.


They passed the environment test, too: in 1996 DOWN EAST were the first cleaning products to receive environmental certification through Environment Canada's prestigious ECOLOGO® program, North America’s most widely recognized and respected certification of environmental leadership.

We’ve made a few enhancements since then, like incorporating more plant-based ingredients, using recycled and recyclable packaging, and introducing a refill program that reduces plastic waste,

Kinder. Gentler. Local.

But our products are still made to the same exacting standards. And they are still made locally in Nova Scotia. Pick up DOWN EAST at your local store and discover the kinder, gentler way to clean.

The Story Behind our Name

We could have called our cleaning products “Allergies Away” or “Eco Perfect” or any number of names that reinforced their unique attributes.

We could have put a picture of a cute child, or a puppy, on the label to remind buyers of who we’re protecting. Or maybe a tough-looking superhero. Someone who is saving the world from the effects of harsh chemical cleaners, but who has a sensitive side. 

But we decided to go another route.

Don’t be mistaken: we’re proud of creating an effective cleaner that’s both eco- and human-friendly. One that was the first to receive Environment Canada’s prestigious ECOLOGO certification. To us, that’s like winning the Oscar, the Grammy, and the Nobel all at once.

But we’re just as proud of where we come from.

Atlantic Canada is a place of strong, resilient people. Of salt ocean breezes, warm water beaches, and pristine rugged shores. Of lobsters and maple syrup, hodgepodge and blueberry grunt, Dee Dee’s ice cream and donairs.

Did you know kerosene was invented here? So was the world’s first crossword board game, the metal detector, the odometer, the hockey stick, and Anne Murray.

So that’s why we decided to name our brand Down East Cleaning Products in honour of the place we love. A place that’s innovative, yet humble. Friendly, yet strong. The slogan "NovaScotia Strong" reflects well on our community.

Pick up DOWN EAST at your local store and discover the kinder, gentler way to clean.