Garment Aftercare—More Than Just Clean Clothes
Garment aftercare is essential when it comes to fabric lasting longer or even just smelling nice, but somehow, it’s almost become a dirty word.
Let’s unpack that…
Almost every industry or sector has a previous bad news story that hangs around for far longer than the good news stories, and no matter how hard you try to shake it off, the mud sticks.
There are lots of good things to be said about the garment aftercare sector.
A dry cleaning machine is a closed-loop system, which means that all the waste stays in the machine—anything from lint to microfibers and microplastics. The removal of waste will tend to be regulated depending on the geographic location of the dry cleaner. A closed-loop system ensures that the waste will not end up in our waterways.
Of course, we believe that there is no better way to clean than with GreenEarth Cleaning. Not only is it a closed-loop system, but it is also much gentler and milder than other solvents. It has a lower Kauri Butanol (KB) value which means that it is less aggressive and its impact on clothing, and indeed the planet, represents quality and environmentally non-toxic garment aftercare.
The GreenEarth Cleaning system also uses far less energy and water—our studies have shown a saving of at least 50% per load.
GreenEarth’s Sustain detergent, which forms part of the Optimized GreenEarth Cleaning System, is gentle yet most effective. To that end, the necessary dosage levels are far lower than other detergent recommendations. And best of all, it is so safe that hazardous warning symbols are not required.
Laundry loop is closing
GreenEarth is proud to be working alongside PlanetCare and Plastic Soup Foundation in developing ‘SeaClear.’ This is a solution, a filter, to trap microfibers and microplastics, and prevent them from going into our waterways and the ocean.
We’re currently in the Beta testing phase and hope to share more news on that very soon.
Single-use plastic is a well-known “no-no” when it comes to the environment. Many dry cleaners have been offering customers a garment bag for many years, either to buy or as part of a loyalty program. Most bags are breathable, so they can be hung in the closet straight away, retaining their freshness, while also avoiding tons of plastic going to landfills.
A great example of this is the Johnson Cleaners ‘Priority Club’.
Plastic and metal hangers do form an important part in ensuring that a garment stays in good shape after it’s pressed and until it gets hung up in the closet.
Now, some customers will keep them on those hangers, but others discard them to place them on their own hangers. It doesn’t have to be that way. Dry cleaners will be delighted to receive them back, either when you’re passing or just when you bring in your next order.
It keeps the demand down, which means that finite resources are being protected, plus they do not end up in landfill sites. You’ll also be saving your local independent dry cleaner some money too.
Keep an eye out for any racks that they have for you to leave those hangers!
There will always be cases where a garment needs to be cleaned the same day or the next day, but many customers are not in a huge rush. Determining when they want their order ready can help a cleaner maximize their cleaning loads.
Why is that important? Well, the more items in a load, the less carbon and water used per item. The capacity of a machine establishes the maximum size of that load so that the quality of cleaning is never compromised.
Let your cleaner know when you need your garments to be ready—it will help them and the planet.
Make clothes last longer
And of course, gentle and effective care can lead to clothes lasting longer. This is why it’s so important that the information on the care label is correct. Fabric testing forms a large part of that—usually retaining a control sample and cleaning other fabric samples in any garment aftercare solution. The results will determine what is put on the care label and be supported by customer communications.
A garment that becomes damaged after only a handful of cleanings ends up in a landfill. That’s not good for the customer, the fashion brand, or the planet.