Ashkin Believes “Green” Will Bring Entrepreneurship Back to U.S.
From New Green Garment Bags to “Dashboards”
Bloomington, IN — Stephen Ashkin, best known as the professional cleaning industry’s “father of Green Cleaning,” believes that this country’s renewed emphasis on Green and sustainable issues will lead to a new generation of U.S. entrepreneurs.
“This actually is already happening,” says Ashkin. “Many people flush with cash from Internet businesses and new technologies have already been investing or starting a variety of environmental and sustainable supporting businesses. And because of the tragic oil spill, we likely will hear of businesses and products developed just to tackle this situation.”
Some of these Green start-ups and investments are already well known, according to Ashkin, with a few started by some unlikely players. Ashkin refers to T. Boone Pickens, a billionaire oilman and financer who has become America’s leading promoter for wind farms and wind-generated power plants.
“And then there are people like Rick Siegel and Jennie Nigrosh of Los Angeles,” says Ashkin. “They developed a Green, reusable garment bag made of recycled materials [that is] designed to replace the 700 million ‘single-use’ plastic bags used every year by dry cleaners in the U.S.”
Many dry cleaners and dry cleaning groups agree there is a need for the Green garment bag and are looking favorably on the new product. Ashkin says the couple believes their enterprise may turn into a $10 million business.
An example in the professional cleaning industry is Ashkin’s own Sustainable Dashboard Tool, LLC. The dashboard is a Web-based tool to help jansan distributors measure and monitor fuel and energy use and other data so they can operate in a more sustainable manner and cut costs.
“Like most Green entrepreneurs’ [projects], the dashboard probably would never have happened if Green and sustainability had not become such core issues in our industry,” adds Ashkin.