Recycled Dry Cleaning Bag

re-usable dry cleaning bagA re-usable Dry Cleaning bag seems like an idea whose time has come. So did husband  and wife entrepreneurs Rick Siegel and Jennie Nigrosh. They got sick of throwing away tons of plastic dry cleaning bags, s o they created The Green Garmento. Nearly 130 million POUNDS of plastic dry cleaning bags are tossed away every year, re-using dry cleaning bags could drastically cut that figure.

Green Garmento's dry cleaning bags are made from recycled materials and are re-usable. Customers can also use them as a travel garment bag. The concept is simple: customers purchase a Green Garmento dry cleaning bag for a nominal price at their local dry cleaners and keep using it. Less waste goes into landfills and dry cleaners see a savings and (hopefully) pass it on to customers. It's a win/win green business.

Dry Cleaning Bags as a Business

Green Garmento makes its money selling dry cleaning bags to dry cleaners who in turn sell them to their customers. It's not a direct to consumer model. The concept makes sense. In this era of emerging green businesses, Green Garmento fills a large but overlooked niche. My local cleaner offers a “bounty” on used hangers: bring your hangers back for a five cent credit. Green Garmento is taking that philosophy further with their dry cleaning bag.

I would use this product and I think many others would too. Green Garmento is finding success with their offer with many dry cleaners. Tales of cleaners selling out of Green Garmento abound and several state their green approach actually helps them acquire new customers. The idea is selling well with consumers.

Do Sharks See Green?

The Sharks like green businesses, if they bring in the “important” green stuff: money. Green Garmento appears like a business that is growing and they are in a unique niche. Besides the normal valuation and sales issues, the Sharks may have some objections.

One glaring issue with Green Garmento is their debt. They've gone through nearly $900K in funding to get their dry cleaning bag business going. The first Green Garmento design was a flop – the bags tore too easily. After going back to the drawing board, the new version was deemed durable enough to put into use. Regardless of design issues, $900K is a number that will cause the Sharks to proceed with caution.

Another potential objection is the lack of proprietary product. Anyone can make a dry cleaning bag and offer it to customers. A quick online search revealed garment bags available for bulk purchase under $4 each. Any dry cleaner could order up a few hundred, charge ten bucks for them and do the same thing Green Garmento is doing. The Sharks will most likely bring this up!

Spoiler

Just like anything else, objections can be overcome, and perhaps the Green Garmento has a compelling enough tale to do that. Last week on Twitter during the Friday broadcast, this tweet came out:

Integrated PR ‏@integrated_pr
@SharkTankABC fans: Who'll guess on which #Sharks opt 2 take a bite out of @greengarmento in 2 wks @ABC 9p? #SharkTank Hint: Green is good

According to their Facebook Page: “Integrated PR is a collaboration of public relations, marketing & internet professionals that specialize in the world of entertainment, pop culture and lifestyle.” They're pretty “plugged in” when it comes to Shark Tank. Does this tweet foreshadow a deal for Green Garmento? Perhaps. Either way, I am “IN.”

 

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.

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