A St. Paul entrepreneur will be on Shark Tank Friday night, pitching the Sharks his self-cleaning clothing line, including underwear that doesn't need to be washed after every time you wear them.
Wenceslaus "Wen" Muenyi, a 27-year-old who was born in Cameroon and moved to Minnesota with his mom when he was a kid, founded HercLéon, an online company that sells laundry-minimal clothing and bedding.
"People think this is the grossest idea in the world," Muenyi told the Pioneer Press in a recent interview. He suggests washing HercLéon underwear after three wears and other clothing once a month.
HercLéon's clothing and bedding is a blend of materials that includes a metal, such as copper, silver or zinc, that's infused in a material, such as bamboo, cotton or recycled polyester, depending on the clothing item.
Muenyi came up with the idea to make clothing out of a fabric that doesn't need to be washed frequently while he was on a trip to Iceland after his mother died of cancer, his website explains. His stinky clothing was in a bag with his clean clothes, but they all smelled. So when he got home, he worked to find a fabric that would fix this problem, and launched the first active-clean shirt in 2019 along with a Kickstarter campaign.
Not only do his clothes help travelers stay fresh, but self-cleaning clothing helps those who don't have access to a washing machine or live off the grid, and helps people reduce their carbon footprint by not having to wash their underwear (or other clothing) every day, which can waste water and wear out materials faster.
HercLéon's mission is to help people live a laundry-free life and move the world to a more eco-friendly future.
Muenyi's website notes that his mom, who died following an eight-year battle with breast cancer not long after he graduated from high school, inspired him to create HercLéon because serving others was one of the few things that brought her joy.
According to the website, Muenyi traveled to Las Vegas last fall to film the Shark Tank episode. When he got there, he had to quarantine in a hotel for nine days and was tested for COVID-19 four times over the course of filming the show.
Muenyi hasn't said if any Sharks were interested in his company, people will just have to watch to find out. The episode airs at 7 p.m. Friday on ABC You can also watch it streaming the next day on demand and on Hulu.
And a note on HercLéon's website says they'll be on Shark Tank, "so place your orders before that day; otherwise, orders will be on backorder for a few weeks/months."