HOW THE RIGHT DRY CLEANERS CAN PROTECT YOUR CLOTHES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
When it comes to your next big fashion investment, you want it to last, and for that, aftercare is essential. Beautifully crafted, often delicate designer clothing will invariably carry a ‘Dry Clean Only’ label, but what does that actually mean and why is it harmful to the environment? We asked one of the UK’s leading eco-cleaners, BLANC, how we can care for our most precious pieces without compromising the planet, and what a sustainable and ‘green’ alternative to conventional dry cleaning looks like.
Wet cleaning is one of the safest cleaning methods for washing delicate clothes. Using less water than for usual laundry, alongside specialist biodegradable detergents and soft mechanical action, it ensures fibres are respected and can be cleaned safely. It is very efficient in removing organic stains, is safe for babies, children and allergy sufferers, while uses less energy and water.
CARBON DIOXIDE CLEANING
Another complementary technology uses liquid CO2 cleaning: carbon dioxide is a non-toxic and naturally occurring gas that turns to liquid when exposed to high pressure, becoming a super-efficient natural solvent. It is particularly good at tackling oil-based stains and minimises the risk of shrinkage. Because the carbon dioxide used is a by-product of existing industrial processes, this all-natural method has a very low impact.
Ozone cleaning is a 100% hypoallergenic clean technology based on a chemical water treatment technique that uses oxidation of water and can safely remove odors and eliminate moths. It prevents unnecessary cleaning, ensuring a longer lifespan for the garment. This one is a great option to hit the reset button on winter clothes before storing them away.
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PACKAGING
Most dry cleaners use plastic bags to protect the garments after they have been cleaned, which comes at a great cost to the planet. They cannot be recycled domestically, and need to be taken to your local retail store. Eco-cleaners offer more conscious packaging: for instance with BLANC, they have replaced all the plastic covers with a 100% home-compostable alternative, and also offer reusable laundry bags - a small swap that can make a big difference to your fashion footprint.