Why I Turned My Back On The Corporate Life (And Never Looked Back)
This is a guest post from Phillipe Christodoulou who is the founder and co-owner of The Eco Laundry Company.
Five years ago, I decided to do something completely crazy. I quit a successful corporate job at an international recruiting company and started my own business.
It wasn’t just any business – it was a revolutionary Eco-minded dry cleaner and laundry shop in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m not from Argentina and I had never owned a brick and mortar store. Yes, I admit, it was a crazy idea.
But, I’m so happy I took that leap.
Since launching The Eco Laundry Company in 2010, I’ve learned a whole lot about owning and operating a business. I’ve grown leaps and bounds as a professional and as a person. Most importantly, I’ve fueled my company with my passion and zeal for making a positive and lasting change in my community and in the world.
Our company started off with the aim of off setting our carbon footprint by planting trees in the Entre Rios region of Argentina. We’re the first laundry brand ever to become a certified B Corporation, meaning we’re intentionally in business to spark positive environmental and social change. It’s one of the most rigorous certifications for a business to go through, and we’re proud to be among a handful of for-profit businesses that have taken that vow.
Shortly after launching in Buenos Aires, I met Jean Calleja, a then-Wall Street communications executive traveling through South America. When he walked inside The Eco Laundry Company, it immediately clicked for him – he realized this was something that he wanted to do, to help this brand grow and thrive. Like I had done just a few years before, Jean also quit his cozy corporate position to embark on the uneasy entrepreneurial journey. Jean became co-owner and we launched a second location in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood in 2012.
We’re doing all we can to make a lasting difference, especially inside our locations. Our stores run on 100% pure wind energy and our washing machines save hundreds of gallons of water. Biodegradable soaps and detergents help us make it a completely nontoxic experience for our customers. And, we provide first-time customers complimentary laundry bags made from salvaged material and recycled fabric.
We see a problem and we’re aiming to solve it: People should feel good about their drop-off laundry service provider. They should feel that their clothes are being washed in a sustainable, safe way. Clothing is an essential part of our life. It’s literally something we use on a daily basis.
I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a growing movement of sustainable business owners. Still, there needs to be more – a lot more – of us. Here at The Eco Laundry Company, we’re aiming to lead by example. One day, we hope that “sustainable business” is no longer a trend. We want it to be the global norm.
Phillipe Christodoulou is the founder and co-owner of The Eco Laundry Company, a sustainable dry cleaning and laundry service headquartered in New York City, with a second location in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In January 2015, the company unveiled a targeted franchising opportunity to expand the business and share its mission with a wider audience. Follow Phillipe on Twitter @happytalist and learn more about the brand at EcoLaundryCompany.com.
Remember to “join the cavalry” by subscribing to our content here.
The post Why I Turned My Back On The Corporate Life (And Never Looked Back) appeared first on Your Mark On The World.