You studied at the Faculty of Textiles in Liberec, what are your ideas for your future career? Have you dreamed of becoming a fashion designer?
My dream was to design a tracksuit collection at the beginning of my studies. But I soon discovered that everyone else was doing it, and the construction of the haircut didn’t really absorb me. Instead, I became interested in textile care, focusing on ecology and sustainability.
Is your interest in ecology related to the fact that you live in North Bohemia, a region that has struggled with the adverse effects of industrial production?
North Bohemia is no longer synonymous with a polluted area. But people here have had more to do with ecology than other parts of the country, so that might have something to do with it.
Have you ever washed ecologically?
Not from the beginning. I did the laundry as my mother taught me. She buys washing powders in Germany and they say they are of the best quality. However, later on, I like to replace the fabric softener with vinegar and use baking soda on the stains.
How did you come up with the idea of making laundry paper?
I thought about the wash system during the trip and felt that overall there were some issues with this section. Washing the papers seemed like the best solution. They are lightweight, easy to store, save a lot of space, and easy to wash by hand. They are suitable not only for traveling or athletes but also for seniors who save the effort of carrying heavy purchases.
Above all, I put the philosophy of sustainability into the program. For example, we are waste and plastic free.
What would it look like to make such a product? Is it trial and error or three-way equations and formulas?
Product development is just as challenging as developing brand, marketing and other strategies. But I’m not afraid to make mistakes, so it’s true that the trial-and-error method describes my startup pretty well.
You have invested yourself in the development of laundry paper. Can you tell me how much?
I won’t divulge the exact amount, but it’s in the hundreds of thousands.
When did you think that laundry paper was a good product for business?
I entered the competition for the best start-up at the Technical University of Liberec and I won.
I used my own funds, so I used a crowdfunding campaign to launch the project. Thanks to the target amount charged, I got the first 700 customers from the start even before I launched the product.
Petra Dubkova (25 years old)
As part of a crowdfunding campaign, you raised more money than you expected. Were you surprised by such success? How do you explain that?
Yes, that’s right, the results exceeded my expectations. Let me explain this by saying that this is a very exciting thing and many people are interested in it.
However, there were problems from the start. What happened?
Due to the covid pandemic and the post-war situation in Ukraine, I dealt with production issues. There was a slight delay, but the situation has now settled down and we shipped the items to subscribers before Christmas.
You’ve started your own electrical shop, does that mean you’ll continue manufacturing?
I will definitely do it. There is a lot of interest in the product and we have many positive reviews, which pleases me and reassures me that we are going in the right direction.
What are your future plans? Where do you see yourself and EcoHas in five, ten or twenty years?
I see EcoHaus on every drugstore shelf and next to the washing machine in every household. Every sports backpack is travel-ready. Of course in every suitcase or luggage. It doesn’t contain any liquid, so it can even be in carry-ons on the plane. And I hope this is not an exaggerated idea.