Meet Erica Ahmed, Founder Of The Green Laundress
“Going Green” and “eating to live” are not new concepts. Every few years, a new book, fad, trend is revealed and re-igniting “clean eating” and “earth-conscious” initiatives. For my generation, it is former Vice President Al Gore, going hard, about climate change and global warming up to the recent release of “What the Health” on Netflix. So, for the last 20, 30, 40 years, people from all walks of life have been encouraging others to consider their eating habits and how it impacts the world we live in.
Who’s has been listening?
Erica Ahmed heard the call. And answered. Professional and personal experience led her to consider not just what she is putting into her body but also the chemicals we use in our homes. Daily we are surrounded by harmful chemicals in our food, in our hygiene products, but what about our cleaning products? You know what I am talking about. The ones with the fumes that choke you to death or the other ones that irritate your skin. Yes. Those. Welp, we don't have to struggle any longer thanks to The Green Laundress.
As a business owner and mother, Erica struggled to find safe and environmentally responsible products. And when something is broke and needs fixing, in strong Black woman form and fashion… our sista Erica decided to create a line of non-toxic, earth-friendly cleaning products. The Green Laundress offers a Multi-Purpose Spray, Laundry Soap and Tub Scrub.
Here’s the dirt… (see what I did there?)
MRTV: You are from my home town! How did you find your way to the nation’s capital?
EA, TGL: Yes! I was born in Harrisburg [PA] but moved to Maryland when I was 8. Both of my parents were born and raised in Harrisburg.
MRTV: Share your story. How did you transition from health educator to entrepreneur, parent to product producer?
EA, TGL: I will forever be a health educator because my public health roots run deep! I didn't start out to be an entrepreneur. I was just a mom wanting to find cleaning products that wouldn't irritate my baby's body and compromise her health. Entrepreneurship builds your muscle. It can be challenging but I have learned a lot in a relatively short period of time, met some outstanding people and have grown personally and professionally. Over the last 3-4 months, The Green Laundress has had a growth spurt! We are thankful and thrilled. We anticipate expanding our production effort quite a bit in early 2018.
MRTV: Describe the philosophy behind The Green Laundress and your commitment to sustainability - non-toxic, earth-friendly cleaning products?
EA, TGL: Prevention is the new healthcare. What we do has to make sense and be in alignment. For example, why adopt a plant-based diet if you are going to clean your home and clothing with toxic chemicals? What we eat, where we live, and what we clean with all have to support a healthy lifestyle. We have to make a comprehensive investment in our well-being. My tagline is "Cleaning should never compromise your health. If it does, stay dirty!"
MRTV: Most of the PRODUCTS we use regularly consist of CHEMICALS that are harmful. The product packaging often creates WASTE that isn’t always bio-degradable. What are your products and packaging made of, leaving less of a threat to our environment?
EA, TGL: All of our products are made with natural, non-toxic ingredients which are listed on the label. You will actually be able to clean and breathe at the same time:-). Our packaging varies depending on the product but all of it is reusable, resealable, and recyclable.
MRTV: As a mother, what parenting values have you applied to your business model?
EA, TGL: The gold standard is my child. If I wouldn't feel comfortable allowing her to clean with a product or using a product on her clothing, I wouldn't make or sell it.
MRTV: What, if any, business boundaries have your experienced while building The Green Laundress?
EA, TGL: Be selective regarding whom you partner or do business with. Your brand's reputation is on the line.
MRTV: In what ways do you see the cleaning industry evolving?
EA, TGL: I think the cleaning and cleaning product industry are beginning to realize the significance of lifestyle brands as it relates to cleaning products. As mentioned earlier, using green cleaning products is a deliberate step towards good health just like adopting a healthy diet, exercise regimen, etc. It all goes together!
MRTV: Tell us one your “dirty little secrets” - one thing you want readers to know about yourself?
EA, TGL: I'll tell you two. #1 I prefer cooking over cleaning--but they go hand in hand so there is no escaping. #2 As I mentioned, I am a relatively healthy eater but dark chocolate gets the best of me about twice a week!
Ms. Ahmed a public health consultant, is a member of the Board of Directors for the Maryland Public Health Association. She holds a Master of Science degree in Health Education from Columbia University. Currently, The Green Laundress' Multi-Purpose Spray is currently featured in the October 2017 Ujamaa Box for men. It’s fair to say, she knows what she is talking about. The Green Laundress products are available here. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
I'm sold! Erica had me as a customer as soon as I discovered this is one line of non-toxic products I can use to clean my house and my clothes! No more going to one business for my laundry and another business for household cleaning solutions.
If you're all-natural lifestyle has gone beyond your hair, I want to hear from you! Leave me a comment below.