Membership of Green Business Bureau – Joe’s Organic Cleaners
Joe’s Organic Cleaners had a clear green mission, to protect the health of their people, their town and the local environment. Core to that mission was replacing their cleaning system with a new state-of-the-art organic dry cleaning solution. They knew becoming an eco-friendly business was key to their future and the right thing to do.
GREEN BUSINESS MOVEMENT
Whether it’s to keep up with the competition or to abide by new legislation that is being introduced, today’s business environment is reinforcing eco-friendly business practices more and more. Some businesses are making green changes because they have to, but others are making them out of a belief in creating a positive impact for the communities they serve. Joe’s Organic Cleaners, a new Green Business Bureau Member, is setting out to do just that at their Westbury, New York dry cleaning business.
LEGISLATION CHANGES FOR DRY CLEANERS
By focusing on using an organic cleaning technique that is non-toxic and environmentally friendly, Joe’s Organic Cleaners is well prepared to meet the upcoming sustainability regulations in New York which will require dry cleaning businesses in residential buildings to discontinue the use of perc machines by December 21, 2020. They are ahead of the game with their investment in a dry cleaning machine that uses a non-toxic, K4 system. The bio-based K4 system not only cleans clothes in an environmentally friendly way, but it is also highly effective at cleaning garments. This has allowed the company to continue to provide a high level of quality service while successfully using a safer cleaning solvent.
FINDING WAYS TO INCREASE SUSTAINABILITY
In addition to investing in the K4 cleaning system, Joe’s Organic Cleaners is also focusing on other sustainability programs. These include:
Using dry cleaning distillation chill water re-use for laundry;
Installing LED light bulbs for both in and outdoor use;
Undertaking an Apollo steam trap audit and installation program; and
Providing a hanger and plastic recycling program to customers.
These changes have reinforced the company’s commitment to sustainability, while also providing customers with ways to get involved in their green focus areas.
EVERYONE WINS WITH AN ORGANIC DRY CLEANING BUSINESS
“We are trying to protect the health of the people in our building and community, and its important our residents and customers know we upgraded our dry cleaning machines to do that,” said Alex Kim, owner of Joe’s Organic Cleaners. “We may be a small business dry cleaning company, but we care about overall human health and ensuring effective environmental protection for a sustainable future. Complying with environmental regulations well before they go into effect is a bonus.”
Through a combination of investment in the latest technology, using the best available solvents and chemicals, and employing skilled employees, Joe’s Organic Cleaners is truly taking a green stand in the dry cleaning industry. Their GBB membership is yet another step that demonstrates their commitment to sustainability and being a truly green business.
Dry-Cleaning-What Really Happens at the Dry Cleaner
The term dry cleaning is a bit of a misnomer. In the United States, the dry cleaning process refers to cleaning clothes and fabrics by using a chemical solvent rather than water. The dry cleaning process is typically used on clothes and fabrics that cannot withstand the rigors of a standard home washer and dryer. It also eliminates the need for more time-consuming hand washing.
In reality, the cleaning is almost always done with liquids, however, the chemical solvent contains little or no water. While cleaning the surface of fabrics, it does not penetrate the fibers like water does in a washing machine. This process preserves the desirable qualities of many fabrics and helps to prevent shrinking and stretching.
Most dry cleaners also offer wet cleaning for washable items like starched shirts, slacks, and household linens,
The Commercial Dry Cleaning Process
The commercial dry cleaning process begins in your local dry cleaning storefront when you drop off your dirty clothes. Today, most dry cleaners do not have very large and expensive cleaning equipment on-site; many will transport your laundry to a central cleaning facility. This is more cost-efficient than having machines at every drop-off location. There are several steps for each item cleaned:
Garment Tagging: Every item is tagged with an identification number. Some cleaners use paper tags that are stapled or pinned to the garment. Others use an iron-on strip with a permanently assigned barcode for regular customers. Similar soiled garments from different customers are cleaned together and tagging ensures that your clothes are returned to you.
Garment Inspection: Before clothes are cleaned, they are inspected for items left in pockets, rips, tears, and missing buttons. These items are returned to customers and problems are noted as issues known prior to cleaning.
Stain Pretreatment: As part of the inspection process, the cleaner checks for stains on the clothes and treats them prior to the solvent cleaning process. If you know what caused a specific stain, it is extremely helpful to tell the cleaner to get the best results in the stain removal process. This is also the time a good cleaner removes or covers delicate buttons and trim to prevent damage.
Machine Dry Cleaning: Soiled clothes are loaded into a large drum machine and cleaned with a water-free chemical solvent. The clothes are gently agitated in the solution which causes soils to loosen. The solvent is then drained, filtered, and recycled and the clothes are “rinsed” in a fresh solvent solution to flush away any last remains of soil.
Post Spotting: The dry cleaning process works very well in removing oil-based stains thanks to the chemical solvent. However, other types of stains are not always removed effectively. So, all garments are post spotted to look for remaining stains. The stains are treated with steam, water, or even a vacuum to remove any remaining traces.
Finishing: The final step includes getting the garment ready to wear. This includes steaming or pressing out wrinkles, reattaching buttons, or making repairs. Items are then hung or folded to return to the customer. The plastic bags provided are only there to help you get your clothes home without more stains. It’s important to take them off right away or risk damage to your clothes from trapped moisture.
History of Commercial Dry Cleaning Chemicals
Dry cleaning has been around since Roman times when ammonia was used to clean woolen togas to prevent any shrinking that happens when wool is exposed to hot water. Next, cleaners moved to petroleum-based solvents like gasoline and kerosene which proved to be highly flammable and dangerous to use.
By the 1930s cleaners began using perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene, a chlorinated solvent. They are highly effective cleaners and are still used by many commercial cleaners today. Both have a distinctive chemical odor. Perchloroethylene is referred to as perc and is classified as carcinogenic to humans. In the 1990s the United States Environmental Protection Agency began to regulate dry cleaning chemicals and encourage commercial cleaners to use safer, more environmentally friendly solvents.
30 Days of Outfits: June Edition, By-Stitch-Fix-with-Joe’s-Cleaners
Summertime chic is easy to pull off with a few eye-catching pieces in striking colors and prints made to mix and match. The best thing about warm weather is that less is more when it comes to style that makes an impact. Light, breathable fabrics keep you stylish and comfortable, even in the sweltering heat and humidity.
BEACH-READY PANTS & SOFT SHORTS
Stay beach-ready in the softest linen pants that billow in the breeze wherever your feet happen to hit the sand this summer. Pair soft shorts and a breathable cotton tunic to wear over your two-piece, and go from the surfside to lunch on the boardwalk with a carry-all, oversized bag in tow.
Bold tropical prints that say #MyLifeIsAVacation are making a statement this summer. Bring the tropics to work for a boost of creative inspiration when you pair a pencil skirt with spice-colored leather sandals and a simple, textured clutch. On weekends, opt for cropped jumpsuits and rompers with your espadrilles for a look that says “always down for brunch.”
MAXIS, SUNDRESSES & ROMPERS, OH MY!
‘Tis the season to take your pick of dresses that flutter & rompers that flatter. Manage the on-the-go demands of longer, warmer days, while preserving a cool and carefree summer mood by choosing pieces in prints, big and small. Tame a bright, bold print dress or romper with darker grounding accessories, like a basic black clutch and flat leather sandals. Play up smaller prints by picking out one statement color from your maxi dress to match your sun hat, tote bag or chunky necklace.
HAVING A DENIM MOMENT
Distressed sun-bleached denim with boho finishings at the hem can be dressed up with sandals bejeweled with beads or metallic studs for an elevated boho chic look. Capris and cropped denim in fun colors like aqua, pale yellow or coral paired with a light-weight natural-colored tunic or bright sleeveless blouse is an easy way to refresh and wear your denim as the weather heats up.
Stay cool all season long. Ask your Stylistfor pieces that are just right for sunny days in your next Fix.
Space, especially closet space, is a premium. Many people simply don’t have the room to keep their entire wardrobe in their closets and dressers year round. Storing your winter wardrobe in bins and garment bags frees up space for your spring and summer apparel and accessories. It provides you the opportunity to wash, fix, recycle, and organize your cold weather clothing.
Cleaning, Repairing and Recycling Your Winter Wardrobe 1.Machine wash or dry clean all of your winter items.
When stored for long periods of time, dirty clothing attracts pests and can also
produce unwanted odors, mold, or mildew. Unclean items that contain perfumes,
lotions, oils perspiration can also cause the fabric to stain and yellow.
Before you pack up your winter wardrobe for several months, you should properly
launder each article of clothing.
Machine wash all of your non-delicate winter items.
Dry clean any winter items made from natural materials, like silk, wool, and cashmere. Do not store these items in a plastic garment bag.
Wipe down and polish your shoes.
Winter shoes come into contact with harsh salts and dirt. Prior to storing these items, thoroughly clean each pair. Remove built-up salt and grime with a cotton cloth or shoe brush. Don’t forget to polish and condition your leather boots.
If your winter shoes are badly stained, consider having them professionally cleaned.
To prolong the life of your winter shoes, clean them frequently throughout the winter too
Send out items for repair.
As you wash, dry clean, and clean your winter items, set aside any pieces that appear damaged or broken. This might include coats with missing buttons, clothing with minor rips or stains, and/or shoes in need of new soles. Bring the items you are interested in fixing to a reputable seamstress or shoe repair professionals.
If you don’t have an interest in fixing the item, find a way to recycle it.
Donate items you will no longer wear.
While you sort through your clean winter apparel and accessories, set pieces aside to donate. These items may include garments that no longer fit you and/or items you didn’t wear at all last season. There are several ways to recycle these items.
The most common reason to visit an alteration shop is to have hems and sleeves adjusted on skirts, dresses, jeans, slacks, shirts, bouses and blazers.
Other popular services include mending and resizing garments. Mending services include repairing holes and tears and replacing broken zippers. Size changes can be achieved through adjusting or adding darts to blouses, dresses and blazers. Seams can be taken in or let out to improve fit. The waistlines of pants, skirts and dresses can also be adjusted.
Best fit for pants, dresses and jackets
Here are best-fit guidelines for men and women:
Ideally, the pant leg falls to the top of the shoe and fabric does not touch the floor.
Jacket and blazer sleeves should fall to the bottom of the wrist bone on the thumb side when arms are resting at both sides. For men, shirt cuffs ideally fall one-fourth to one-half of an inch lower than the blazer sleeve to show a show minimal cuff.
An empire waist flatters women with fuller hips and a smaller torso by bringing attention to the waist. An empire waist also flatters straight female silhouettes by creating the impression of a curvy figure.
Custom, or bespoke, tailoring
Custom tailoring is the process of making clothing to fit an individual, and differs considerably from alterations made to a ready-made piece of clothing.
Custom tailors, also known as bespoke, or made-to-order tailors or dressmakers, are highly knowledgeable about how to get a good fit, and about sewing and clothing construction methods. They often work in specialty clothing boutiques and family-owned businesses, or as independent tailors.
Costs depend on the type of item, type of fabric and embellishments, amount of detail requested and prices of the specific tailor. Shirts generally cost at least $100, pants cost at least $250 and jackets are at least $350.
Custom tailoring takes between one to six months, depending on amount of detail and garment type.
Tips for finding a tailor:
Research and get recommendations
In addition to consulting Angie’s List, ask friends and family for recommendations for dressmakers or tailors. Ask your favorite dry cleaners if they have an alternation or tailoring staff or could make recommendations, since they often work with expensive, custom-made clothing.
Ask whether a sewing professional has experience creating the kind of garment you want. Ask to see photos or examples of the dressmaker’s or tailor’s work.
Ask for quotes
As noted above, custom-made clothing can be very expensive. However, the price depends on several things, including the type of garment you want, the complexity of the pattern, whether you need a pattern made for you, and the fabric used. If you have to undergo numerous fittings, that will increase the cost. Ask for an estimate before commissioning any work.
You’ll be called in at least once or twice for fittings. Fittings take time, so you may want to look for a seamstress or tailor who works close to where you live or work.
Cost-saving tip: If you can’t afford custom-made clothing, having store bought-clothes professionally altered can be a good compromise. The secret of many well-dressed people is that they take their moderately priced clothing into a dry cleaner, seamstress or tailor for alterations for a close to custom fit.
Sewing experts can provide additional services, including restyling clothes and repairing fine leather. Restyling keeps clothes current. Sewing experts who provide this service can convert necklines to accent the chest or elongate the neck. They can turn a dress into a skirt or alter the style of the sleeves to create a fresh look.
Minor fine leather repairs involve carefully weaving new stitches to blend into the fabric. Extensive damage to a leather garment may require new material to replace the original leather.
Work with a reputable fur salon before deciding to buy a fur coat. It’s best to hire a professional to repair, clean and store your precious fur.L
DIY tailoring is not as simple or easy as it sounds. Sewing a hem or stitching a seam is not tailoring. To get the fit and lay you want for your clothes to fit right usually requires a sewing machine, serger, seam breaker, sewing mannequin, irons and various other seamtress tools. Tailors even use specific type of sissors called shears.
For most consumers it’s not worth an investment in tools or material. Not the mention the damage that can be done by incorrectly cutting a piece of fabric or finished garment. If you’re not willing to learn or don’t have the patience to apart seam, leave it to the professionals.