Boom and bloom for drycleaning franchise in Central Fla.
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Calling itself the “friendly garment cleaning franchise founded on the ‘We Care’ philosophy,” OXXO Care Cleaners has bloomed in the Orlando, Fla., area with three recent franchise store locations popping up, and a fourth on the way, it reports.
The franchise writes that, “Orlando customers love the unique combination of services offered — 24/7 ATM pickup/drop off, boutique-style setting, mobile payment app, use of GreenEarth® Cleaning, and on-premises hand ironing,” it notes.
The company’s Orlando-area expansion comes amid the metro area’s booming growth and popularity, the company says. For the last four years, it relates, the area has undergone a profound economic transformation, from its airport expansion to the luxury residential boom downtown.
“We are confident that the personalized service and experience offered at our Orlando locations will continue to drive loyalty for our brand throughout the region,” notes Salomon Mishaan, CEO.
Guillermo Gallegos, owner of the firm’s Clermont store location, near Orlando, brings business experience from the manufacturing and industrial sectors. He most recently owned a Home Depot-style store in Venezuela. His store serves the city’s northwest region.
“I fell in love with OXXO’s innovation as soon as I moved to Florida,” says Gallegos. “I actually became OXXO’s representative for all of Central and Northern Florida and am proud to own the Clermont store today.”
Also, the franchise will expand again, it notes, at the end of this year with the planned opening of another store, this time in Winter Park, another nearby suburb, to be run by franchisee Reny Balsa.
“Balsa, a food industry professional from Venezuela, knows how to cater to consumers who need fast, friendly, and convenient service,” the firm says, adding that, “In Venezuela, Reny’s family owns the food company that services Grupo Polar’s cafeterias.”
“When I decided to come to the U.S.,” relates Balsa, “I identified Orlando as the perfect city in which to live and own a business, because it truly reflects the ‘American Dream’ – from Disney, where all dreams come true, to the city’s fast-growing STEM sector, which means Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.”
Balsa feels that the city reflects the “anything is possible” mindset, as he calls it, “combining innovation and technology with a modern service that people today really need. People truly like the luxury drycleaning experience,” Balsa points out, and adds, “we’re very excited,” about the franchise opening its fourth area store.
The post GreenEarth Affiliate OXXO continues to Flourish in Central Fla. appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.
Not just cleaning clothes, creating fun environment
CHICAGO — If you live in Maine, you might be a customer of Pratt Abbott Garment Care, the state’s largest provider of drycleaning, vended laundry and linen/uniform rental services.
“One of the reasons we have all three business sectors is to provide volume to afford a management infrastructure which allows our employees growth opportunities,” says David Machesney, who, along with his father Jim, purchased the company in 1991.
The other, he maintains, is because providing “everything clean” simplifies life for customers.
The firm umbrellas 12 drycleaning facilities, eight vended laundries, and a 50,000-square-foot linen and uniform rental plant. By design, multiple revenue streams feed the Pratt Abbott enterprise.
“Co-mingling,” he adds, “also allows us to run fully attended laundries and offset some of the labor cost from drycleaning revenue.”
Thus, the vended laundries tend to make the drycleaning stores more profitable, and vice versa. Even better? The pairing creates “one-stop-shop” customer convenience. That’s important, according to Machesney, because Pratt Abbott “is in the business of selling time.”
Uniform and linen rental, the most profitable of the firm’s business sectors, began in the 1970s, but only recently ballooned into super-performer status.
Making up a robust 58% of total company revenue, the uniform and linen service provides pickup and delivery of cleaned and leased garments and linens. During the last 12 months, it has realized double-digit growth, according to Machesney. Thanks to the new plant’s size and equipment mix, he expects that growth rate to continue for the next two to five years.
Committed to improvement, Machesney ensures his drycleaning locations, plants, and vended laundries operate at peak performance. He reinvests for big returns.
“We continuously improve all our processes to provide innovative services that increase satisfaction, quality and value for our customers, and create profitable growth for our company,” he says.
During the last decade, for example, he’s renovated several vended laundries, which resulted in a per-store revenue bump of 10-30% and utility cost savings of 50%. “We like to diversify our assets and control our destiny,” he notes, “so in addition to having the three different segments of garment care industry, we invest in commercial real estate to control our locations and further diversify our assets.
“We absolutely want to continue to grow and solidify our market,” Machesney says. “If you can do something you like and be profitable along the way, that’s the ticket.”
Machesney is ever on the hunt for new opportunities. His most recent development is new Express Laundry Centers in North Windham and Yarmouth, Maine.
It’s a journey, according to Machesney. “I didn’t look to get into the business to clean clothes. I wanted to run a business and I knew we needed enough size and infrastructure to do it right. I have 160 employees and five direct reports, and we try to make it a fun environment.”
Grateful for the company’s success, Machesney and his team make a point to give back. “We are active volunteers of Junior Achievement,” he points out.
Additionally, Pratt Abbott cleans 40,000 Coats for Kids each year and supports Camp Susan Curtis summer camp for underprivileged kids. “These kids are in tough situations and summer camp gives them a chance to breathe and plan for their future,” says Machesney. “It helps them break the cycle of poverty.”
Thanks to Instagram, the blogging world is booming and bigger than ever. As an image-reliant platform, fashion bloggers, especially, are reaching social media stardom for their wardrobe choices and styling tips. And within just fashion, there’s so much variety. Want that cool mom closet? There’s a blog all about it. You’re more the outdoorsy type? There’s one for that too. How about a blog on achieving that trendy street style? I guarantee it’s out there. Here at GreenEarth Cleaning, we see ourselves as part of the sustainable fashion industry. While the manufacturing process is what most people associate with the movement, how a garment is cared for after it has been purchased has just as much of an effect on the planet. Most exciting to us is that there are bloggers who are speaking up about sustainability in the industry and sharing their ideas for improvement. Below, we’ve highlighted a few we’re following along with when it comes to environmentally conscious fashion.
Chicago-based Elizabeth brings a broader scope to her writing, incorporating mindful living practices with her ethical brand finds. She often shares points for more responsible travel as well. The fact that her subject matter is so diverse is actually what drew me to the blog in the first place. There’s always a new aspect of sustainability you probably hadn’t thought about before. And her holistic thinking inspires you to apply the same outlook to maybe some aspects of your life that aren’t as green as they could be.View this post on Instagram
It’s #SlowFashionOctober and I’m celebrating by wearing and supporting incredible slow fashion brand and Conscious Style partner, @sunday.west ~ . . Ensuring that the piece was ethically made (unless it was thrifted) is an absolute must now for me before I bring in a new piece to my closet. And working with @sunday.west, I know that it’s Kim ~ the owner, designer, and jack of all trades ~ making every piece herself! How cool is that? . . I know that she’s carefully constructing each piece (I can tell by the fantastic quality of this dress!) and that each piece is made with intention and passion (I can tell because she shared her story on the Conscious Life & Style blog!). There are no questions about who made the piece or how it was made. . . THIS is fashion I can feel good about. ♥️ Now I’d love for you to tell us: why do you support slow fashion? . . #ConsciousStyle #Partner #SlowFashion
A post shared by Ethical Fashion + Lifestyle (@consciousstyle) on Oct 2, 2018 at 4:08pm PDT
Kate Hall lives, breathes, and probably dreams sustainability. Currently residing in Auckland, New Zealand, she and her husband live a zero-waste lifestyle. You can tell her passion for the environment started with fashion, though. Her enthusiasm about the subject leaves you just as enthusiastic, even if you’re entirely new to the world of ethical style. It has to be one of the most refreshing things to see someone’s love for their work carry over into an end result. Reading “Ethically Kate,” it honestly can be somewhat difficult to remember that living consciously isn’t our society’s norm…yet.View this post on Instagram
ETHICAL BAGS I’m off jet-setting to Queenstown this morning: and my @duffleandco Rhodes Duffle is in the overhead locker (literally typing this on the plane!)✈️ The Jodie Crossbody Bag is another favourite and I can’t count how many messages I’ve had about how much you all adore this bag! @duffleandco tick all my boxes when I comes to sustainability, and I can 100% vouch for their quality and durability: key for everyday bags ❤️ Use code ETHICALLYKATE for 10% off if you were disappointed in missing last week’s giveaway! See ya guys I’m off to Queenstown @itsisaaccraig
A post shared by Kate Hall Eco Lifestyle Blog (@ethicallykate) on Oct 3, 2018 at 1:36pm PDT
From fast fashion addict to slow fashion activist, Leah’s volunteer trip to Brazil inspired her now minimalist lifestyle. While the Brisbane local does write well-informed on the topic, probably my favorite part of this blog is that she’s also still learning. A soon-to-be Branded Fashion Design graduate from the Billy Blue College of Design, her own upcycled creations using scrap fabrics are the entries that keep me coming back for more. She talks the talk and walks the walk. And who can’t appreciate that?View this post on Instagram
A post shared by The Unmaterial Girl (@unmaterialgirl) on Oct 6, 2018 at 12:50am PDT
By Zarah Eads
The New Owners Of Bloomsburg Dry Cleaner Make Going Greener A Priority
(story by BloomUToday.com)
The new owners of a Bloomsburg dry cleaner have chosen to change the previous direction of Lapels Dry Cleaning and are making it more environmentally friendly by using a material like sand to clean clothes, rather than chemicals.
A pair of Berwick lawyers, Travis Petty and Nick Lutz, along with friends Angelo and Denise Venditti, purchased Lapels Dry Cleaning back in June. Petty said it was a fairly easy call to switch from chemicals to liquid silicone saying “we view it as not only as an investment in the community, but also in the Earth. If we don’t look at these sustainability issues now, we’re going to have a lot of problems.”
In September, officials with Green Earth Cleaning were at the store on Route 11 by, Dunkin Donuts, changing over the cleaning system to the greener option.
Green Earth Cleaning’s technical sales representative said the new liquid silicone cleaner lifts stains, oil and dirt from clothing, without using chemicals. One traditional dry-cleaning chemical, tetrachloroethylene, is considered a carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency.
With the new system, what’s left after the dry cleaning process is a putty-like clay or dirt that can be safely deposited back into the soil.
David Grippi, vice president of operations for Lapels, said his newer locations all use the Green Earth process, and other locations are being encouraged to switch over. “I know one of our locations that used it as pond soil, and another planted a tree in it,” he said of the clay leftovers.
Petty said Lapels now has a staff of seven that’s overseen by manager Megan Kiliti.
Lapels Dry Cleaning is hoping to add staff as the business grows and possibly expand into other markets, according to Petty.
The post GreenEarth Affiliate Making Noise in Bloomsburg, PA appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.
- Jeeves, a dry cleaning service that has worked for Prince Charles and his family for three decades, told Femail how to clean a wedding dress such as Meghan’s
- While it isn’t officially known who cleaned Meghan’s custom Givenchy gown, the luxury dry cleaning service had plenty of tips on how to care for delicate pieces
- A wedding dress should be inspected before the fabric is cleaned; experts will typically deconstruct elaborate gowns to clean various pieces separately
- They spot-clean obvious stains and soap the hemline, which has often trailed on the ground, before putting the dress through a gentle cleaning program
- At home, it is best to store a wedding gown away from direct sunlight and to protect it from humidity as well as moths
Preserving a wedding gown can be a tricky task — particularly when said wedding gown is as delicate as Meghan Markle‘s.
Jeeves, a ‘formal dry cleaning service’ that holds a Royal Warrant and has worked for Prince Charles and his family for three decades, told FEMAIL how to clean a wedding dress such as the duchess’, which is set to go on display for the public in October at Windsor Castle.
While it isn’t officially known who cleaned Meghan’s custom Givenchy gown, the luxury dry cleaning service, which has stores in London and New York, had plenty of tips to share on how to care for a dress like hers, from the moment the bride slips it off at the end of her wedding day to when it returns to her wardrobe for years to come.
First, experts will thoroughly inspect the gown to familiarize themselves with its design and figure out how best to clean it.
‘Some gowns include instructions for cleaning (though we wouldn’t always follow these) but generally bespoke or couture gowns do not include instructions,’ the Jeeves expert told Femail.
‘We start by analyzing the fabric, trims, embellishments and the materials that provide structure and support to the gown.
‘This inspection process allows us to ascertain which elements of the dress need to be removed before we can start to clean the actual fabric. If the gown has any damage — rips or tears that could potentially be worsened in the cleaning process — we will repair them at this point.’
Experts then take photos of the dress in order to keep images of what it looked like before it was cleaning.
Next, they remove any elements of the dress that could be easily damaged.
‘In most cases, this step will require us to remove beading and jewels,’ the expert said.
‘Often, the next step will be to deconstruct the dress into sections — for example the bodice and the skirt. We do this because we use different cleaning techniques to clean different sections of the gown.’
Once the gown has been taken apart, experts will begin by spot-cleaning the dress to remove any obvious stains.
‘This process is used for localized marks or stains such as champagne spillages or make-up marks,’ the expert explained.
‘Once we have spot-cleaned the dress, we will “soap down” the hemline, which is often soiled where it has trailed along the floor. This spot-cleaning and soaping down helps to lift any marks and soiling before the next step.
‘If we are dry-cleaning a specific section of the dress, this section will then be placed in a protective bag before going into a machine for a special wedding gown cleaning program which is very gentle to avoid any damage.’
However, experts typically can’t dry-clean an entire gown and usually hand-clean large sections of the design that are too delicate to be placed in a machine.
‘Lace sections such as the veil are always hand-cleaned,’ the expert added. ‘This is a painstaking process that is only completed by our senior technicians as it takes years to learn and a veil can be easily ruined in the wrong hands.
‘Once the gown and veil have been dry-cleaned or hand-cleaned, we repeat the process (including spot-cleaning and soaping down) until we are confident that our client will be thrilled with the results.’
Once the gown is clean, it is ready to be put back together, beginning with the different sections of the dress.
That step is left to dressmakers and can several take days to complete.
After the dress has been fully reconstructed, experts use steam and other tools to remove any creases and return the gown to its original shape.
Any embellishments that were removed at the beginning of the cleaning process are then hand-sewn back onto the gown in their original places. That’s when the photos taken at the beginning of the operation come in handy, by helping experts put every detail back where it should be.
The final step of the process is to return to the freshly-cleaned gown to its owner.
‘Our clients can choose to have their gown returned to them in a breathable bridal gown carrier, which can be hung straight in their wardrobe,’ the expert said.
‘However, given that most of our clients will only wear their gown once, we think the better option is for us to return it to them in a breathable box, with each layer being lined with acid-free tissue.
‘You can imagine that these boxes can get to quite an impressive size if the dress has a long train or is constructed from dense fabric.’
The entire cleaning process can take four to six weeks depending on the design of the dress.
Caring for a wedding gown at home
Once a wedding dress has been painstakingly cleaned and restored, it’s essential to make sure it’s properly stored so that it retains its impeccable condition.
That includes protecting it from direct sunlight, humidity, and moths.
‘Moths love warmth and humidity and mold thrives in the same conditions so be sure to store your gown in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight,’ the expert said.
‘Place anti-moth sachets nearby and refresh them once every few months to ensure it is protected against moths. We recommend Modelli or Acana as the best moth deterrents available. These can be purchased from many good dry cleaners or are available online.’
To those who would like to clean their wedding gown themselves rather than place it in the care of a specialized service, the expert said this is not recommended.
‘If you don’t believe us, ask your wedding gown designer or retailer,’ the expert added.
‘Given the complexity of the structure of a wedding gown and the embellishments that are often added to them, attempting to clean your gown yourself will more often than not end in disaster.’
Meghan has already been reunited with her own wedding gown, which is set to go on display on October 26 until January 6.
The duchess can be seen in a new documentary called Queen of the World seeing her dress and veil for the first time since her nuptials in May, in a visibly emotional moment.
The first part of the documentary aired on Tuesday in the UK, and the movie is scheduled to premiere on HBO on October 1 for US viewers.
The post Tips from a GreenEarth Affiliate on Caring for Delicate Garments appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.
Hollywood, FL, September 26, 2018— OXXO Care Cleaners® is bringing its innovative, GreenEarth® technologies to traditional mom and pop dry cleaners across the U.S. through their new Business Conversion Initiative. Conversions involve the replacement of contaminating chemicals, old-fashioned steam boilers, steam presses, and other outdated dry-cleaning equipment used by most American dry cleaners today with OXXO’s automated, fully electric equipment, such as the OXXO European Style Shirt Mannequin and ATM-style Drop Off and Pick Up Conveyor. Technology, storefronts and branding are completely revamped during the conversion process.
“Today, we announce OXXO’s support to improve dry cleaners and the environment in all of the communities in which we operate and in new communities throughout the country. During each process, everything old fashioned is gutted out and replaced with the same equipment a new franchise unit would have. Traditional store owners appreciate the benefits of OXXO’s 24/7-services coupled with the use of GreenEarth® products, innovative technologies, fully independent electric and automated equipment, European-style hand ironing quality for their customers,” said Salomon Mishaan, CEO of the OXXO Franchise.
One franchisee spearheaded the program by successfully converting his fourth Plant store into an OXXO. He is now currently finishing off the plant conversion in Doral, Florida. “During the conversion, the goal is to maintain the original customer base, and, in this case, we have actually grown the customer base because clients are seeing the change for the better take place. Stores can remain open throughout the process. Our goal is to convert cleaners across the country with a concentration in the Northeast, Central Florida, Texas, and Georgia. If a potential owner is in a region where there are no OXXO’s yet, we will build a plant to support it in their area, which is one of our program’s many incentives,” explains Mishaan.
OXXO Doral (5241 NW 87th Ave, Doral, FL 33178) Storefront serving a nearby Traditional Plant Conversion
Traditional dry cleaners are taking notice of customers buying into the OXXO brand. OXXO has become known for being the most innovative dry-cleaning franchise in the United States today. A converted cleaner will benefit from the well-known OXXO brand and the support given during and after the conversion process, which encompasses training and all the same franchise benefits that a new store owner would have.
Doral OXXO ATM Pick Up and Drop Off
The post OXXO Care Cleaners® Rolls Out Franchise Business Conversion Program appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.
Tailgating is one of America’s favorite pastimes and rightfully so! Tailgating brings communities together, encourages outdoor activity, and it’s just plain fun. There is one draw back, however; some of our tailgating traditions are simply horrible for the environment. Not to fret, there are steps tailgaters can take which will allow for full enjoyment of those weekend parking lot shenanigans, yet still honor dedication to a minimal carbon footprint. Follow these simple steps and achieve the ever so coveted Green Star Tailgater status.
Be like Aaron Rodgers, produce zero garbage
After every game, several thousand plastic cups, plates, utensils, etc., create a sea of trash. Ditch the disposable products; it’s really not that hard. No one is asking anyone to pull out his or her finest china. Go and get some cheap, reusable, unbreakable dishes from literally ANY department store. Designate the set “tailgating supplies” and continue to use them every time a tailgating shindig comes up. It’ll save a lot of money in the long run too.
Recycle beer cans, like the Patriots recycle players
Of course it’s tough to avoid beer cans and/or bottles while tailgating. There will be beer; yes, there will be lots of beer. Save what must be thrown away in a trash bag and drop them off at the local recycling plant, or for most cities in the U.S., just leave it out near the sidewalk. Tailgaters can successfully party garbage free by using reusable products and recycling the rest. Challenge accepted?
Pick food choices carefully, like Richard Sherman picks passes!
Tailgaters have more sustainable food options than Kansas City Chiefs’ QB, Patrick Mahomes, has on Sunday. Purchase food in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging. Chip in with those tailgating accomplices–buy food in large quantities to save some green while going green. Make food from home, again using reusable containers for transporting–NO GARBAGE! Only buy food from stores sold in packaging that can be recycled, like paper. Root for the home team and buy local! Buying local supports the local economy and reduces emissions and packaging needed for transporting products from a greater distance. Lastly, propane is SO MUCH better than charcoal for grilling, is this really still a debate? Seriously, use propane.
Take Jerome Bettis
Take the bus! Reducing the number of vehicles on the road reduces congestion and air pollution, optimizing lung capacity, so fans can cheer on their team for all 4 quarters. Realizing, some tailgaters have a lot to carry with them, in which case, carpooling is another environmentally conscious option. Certainly the crew can optimize car space and minimize the number of cars.
Now go earn that Green Star Tailgater status!
By: Aaron Newport
Fair Lawn and Short Hills, NJ, September 11, 2018— OXXO Care Cleaners® has paved the way for innovation as the first environmentally friendly garment cleaning franchise in the New Jersey metropolis to combine the use of GreenEarth® solvents on all dry clean garments, Top Terra ecological detergent for laundered garments, hand ironing and 24/7 ATM-style service. New Jersey residents have recently shown an increasing interest in environmentally friendly practices. In fact, 65% of donations to Environment New Jersey, a citizen-based environmental advocacy project, were from citizens of New Jersey themselves. Today, OXXO announces the growth of its Fairlawn and Short Hills stores resulting from demand for OXXO’s 24/7-services coupled with the use of GreenEarth® products, innovative technologies, fully independent electric and automated equipment, and hand ironing for a detailed and beautiful look and comfortable feel.
OXXO’s ATM-Style Pick Up and Drop Off brings total convenience to Fair Lawn, New Jersey customers.
“OXXO was founded with our “WE CARE” philosophy and commitment and we apply it to every aspect of our business. We care for our customer’s health, appearance, garments, the community, the environment and our employees,” said Salomon Mishaan, CEO of OXXO Care Cleaners.
Traditional dry cleaners in the U.S. have not innovated their process for at least 50 years. Most still work with antiquated equipment like steam presses originally built for the garment industry and they burn the customer’s garments. They also work with Perchloroethylene, a very contaminating chemical that leaves a stench and fades the colors. “At OXXO, we work with fully electric and automated equipment and the safest cleaning solvent. Instead of using the industry standard method of steam pressing, all OXXO Care Cleaners® garments are hand-ironed to provide a detailed and beautiful look and comfortable feel. Traditional steam pressing uses fossil fuel powered industrial steam boilers and it actually shortens the lifespan of customers’ garments. In addition, all garments are automatically sorted to avoid mistakes in the delivery or losing garments. This avoids extra handling, where garments can fall off of hangers and get wrinkled,” added Mishaan.
Traditional cleaners are taking notice. “We are actually in the process of converting a mom and pop dry cleaner to an OXXO Care Cleaners in New Jersey. Customers in New Jersey have truly embraced our modern and efficient dry cleaning service and we are excited to continue to grow here,” said Mishaan.
Facade of OXXO’s Fair Lawn store, located at 14-25 Plaza Rd, NJ 07410.
OXXO’s 24/7 service gives flexibility to customers with busy schedules. Many of OXXO’s New Jersey customers regularly use Fairlawn and Short Hills’ excellent pick-up and delivery services. OXXO’s Mobile App is popular among customers, which gives up-to-date information on the status of their orders. Terry K. Springfield said, “The cleaning is prompt and reliable. It’s ready when they say it will be. I’ve never had an issue with a missing garment.”
OXXO’s equipment is fully electric and automated, lending to its reputation as the country’s most innovative dry cleaner.
Salomon Mishaan, CEO of OXXO said, “We are thrilled with the results of our New Jersey stores. We encourage anyone interested in becoming a successful business owner to reach out directly to us. We can then refer them to OXXO franchisees who will provide a first-hand testimonial of the simplicity of our process and the assistance we offer to our network to make the franchise opening experience seamless.”
Since launching the franchise in 2002, OXXO Care Cleaners® has expanded to 60 locations worldwide with a strong presence throughout the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States and Indonesia.
OXXO Care Cleaners® has been awarding single and multi-unit opportunities in states across the Southeast, and Gulf and East Coast, including Texas, Georgia, New York, New Jersey and North Carolina, Boston, Chicago, Colorado, and abroad in South America and Indonesia.
Entrance to the OXXO’s Short Hills store, located at 622 Morris Turnpike, NJ 07078.
Founded in 2011, For the Love of Laundry has made a point to offer high quality laundry services with minimal environmental impact. The business is 1 of 2 laundrettes in Singapore to use liquid silicone instead of perchloroethylene, a chemical that has been linked to cancer. By using liquid silicone, For the Love of Laundry is able to offer a laundry service that is both less damaging to its customers’ clothes and less harmful to the health of its employees and the environment. On top of that, the business incentivises customers to return plastic hangers for re-use by donating 5 cents per returned hanger to the Cambodian Children’s Fund, which is another indication that the business is committed to making a positive social impact. We interviewed For the Love of Laundry Learn to learn more about their journey to environmental and business success. Whether you are interested in environmentally sustainable businesses, social impact investing or even entrepreneurship, we believe there’s some interesting lessons you can take away from their story.
When, why and how did For the Love of Laundry begin its operations?
For the Love of Laundry was established in 2011. We set out with the mission of being a trusted dry cleaner in Singapore and to provide the best care for our customers and their beloved items. Our founders learned of the liquid silicone cleaning technology as an alternative to the petroleum-based solvent Perc from their travels. While looking for a dry cleaner in Singapore that cleans with this technology, they realised no one offered it and decided that the technology had to be introduced to Singapore too.
What makes your process and ingredients more environmentally friendly compared to other dry cleaners?
Most dry cleaners use a petroleum-based solvent (Perc), which damages clothes over time and also poses severe health and environmental risks. The use of Perc is banned in the state of California and has been classified as a toxic air pollutant and potential carcinogen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
For the Love of Laundry was the first to use GreenEarth technology in Singapore, and we are still the only company in Singapore to clean purely with GreenEarth, a toxin-free technology that is better for you, your clothes and the environment. Liquid silicone is an all-natural cleaner that biodegrades non-toxically to sand (SiO2) and trace amounts of water and carbon dioxide.
Our plastic carriers are made from biodegradable plastic, and we aim to reduce disposable plastic usage by using one plastic cover for up to four items instead of individually bagging items.
What else does For the Love of Laundry do to be environmentally friendly and keep its prices reasonable?
We are constantly challenging ourselves to be more environmentally friendly as it’s not only better for our environment, but also makes perfect business sense. We also keep a keen eye on our overhead and operating expenses, tracking the numbers and investigating anomalies.
For example, we track our electricity and water bills to ensure they reflect our operations. Anomalies are raised to our team so we can work to ensure we only use what’s necessary. We also work with an FSC-certified printer for our collaterals and print internal documents, when necessary, on recycled paper. We also encourage our customers to return their hangers for reusing or recycling.
How do you measure your business’s impact on the society and the environment? How would you rate your progress so far? What are you most proud of, and where could you improve the most?
We are currently tracking the number of plastic hangers returned to us, and provide an incentive to our customers for returning them by donating to a good cause. For every hanger returned to us, we donate 5 cents to Cambodian Children’s Fund, which helps Cambodia’s most impoverished communities by delivering education, family support and community development programs. The number of hangers returned hence directly influences the amount we donate to our charity partner.
Since we’ve started tracking the number of hangers returned, we’re proud to have tripled the number of hangers returned. We are, however, still working to increase this as we believe in pushing ourselves to do the best we can.
We’re most keen to improve on reducing our usage of disposable plastic at present. While hangers play a significant role in this within our operations, we have not forgotten the plastic covers we use to protect garments during transportation and would love to tackle this issue soonest. We are currently exploring ways to minimise our use of disposable plastic covers by looking to reusable garment bags.
Do you have advice for other small businesses in that seek to adopt sustainable practices?
Sustainable practices do not necessarily have to mean additional cost. In fact, we’ve found that they often lead to cost savings. We would recommend starting by tracking an aspect of the business that is currently a pain point (e.g. high cost from high quantity of hangers purchased), finding a creative way to ease this (e.g. collecting hangers for reuse so order frequency can be lowered) and incentivising the implementation of the solution (e.g. donation to a cause to incentivise customers, incentives for team members involved to encourage customers).
ValueChampion aims to educate entrepreneurs and small businesses about best business practices, especially about financial topics. With that in mind, we are interested in For the Love of Laundry’s financial journey. How did your business first obtain funding?
We have been very fortunate to be self-funded by our 4 founder-shareholders.
Did For the Love of Laundry ever require additional financing later (e.g. working capital loan, asset purchase loan, equity, etc.)? If so, why?
We required additional financing when we relocated our main facility in 2016. We had to take a loan from a financing company and required additional capital investments from our directors. This was necessary for the move as well as for the investment in new machinery.
Did you consider any alternatives to traditional financing, such as crowdfunding? If so, was it helpful? If not, do you think it have been more helpful than the type of financing that you ended up getting?
While crowdfunding is a great tool for certain businesses as it gets the word out for the company and allows the funders to feel a sense of ownership in the company’s growth, we feel this may not be the most suitable type of financing for us. This is due to the fact that the dry cleaning business does require significant capital investment, which will be difficult to attain from crowdfunding alone.
The U.K. introduced a 5 pence Plastic Bag Tax in 2015 to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated from the country’s consumers.
Since then, there has been a reduction in the number of bags issues by 85 percent.
This has led to government plans to not only increase the tax to 10 pence but to apply to ALL Retail brands. Previously, all brands with less than 250 employees and those who were service only, such as take-aways and dry cleaners had been exempt.
It remains to be seen the full extents of the increase, but it is already been described a “profiteering”.
But when you consider the implications of plastic waste contaminating the oceans and recent reports of a Whale’s stomach containing 30 plastic bags, an additional 5 pence and a change in human behaviour by taking ‘bags for life’ to the supermarket, perhaps it’s a small price to pay.
U.K. dry cleaners take note…
By: Garry Knox