Submitted by: Green Apple Cleaners
Posted: Sep 09, 2008 – 11:59 PM EST
NEW YORK, NY. - September 9, 2008 - As the garment industry leans toward environmental sensitivity, they are pleasantly surprised to find that earth-friendly is also more fabric-friendly. Fashion leaders are discovering that traditional harsh detergents and dry cleaning techniques may wreak as much havoc on fabric as they do on the environment. Yet, in Lodi, New Jersey the home of New York City's only truly green dry cleaning plant, Green Apple Cleaners claims that it's the customers they care most about. "We founded the company to provide a safe and healthy way to clean clothes that doesn't pose a health risk to the people who wear them," says David Kistner, Founder and CEO of Green Apple Cleaners.
Dry cleaning industry teams up with fashion designers.
However they look at it, Green Apple Cleaners is happy that non-toxic cleaning has caught the eye of the world's top clothing manufacturers. Last month, they co-hosted a workshop with America's Best Cleaners especially for the Brooks Brothers technical design team on the benefits of CO2 dry cleaning and H20 "wet" cleaning as it pertains to the care of Brooks Brothers garments after the sale. The team brought various garments to test in the Green Apple Cleaners systems, including its new Solvair machines. Among them, a leather jacket with horn toggles, a leather line knit sweater, and various other garments from the upcoming line.
"Brooks Brothers is world-famous for meticulous attention to detail, from the company's environmental impact, to the threads they choose, to the life of the garment when it leaves the store," says Christopher White of America's Best Cleaners (ABC) who organized the event. "When the design teams create new product, they need to know how it will respond to all cleaning techniques." Through workshops, America's Best Cleaners helps manufacturers take into consideration where the dry cleaning business is going before they develop a new line.
America's Best Cleaners sets new standards of excellence.
ABC has a rigorous certification process and only a few make the cut. Green Apple Cleaners qualified last year. "Environmental stewardship is just one of the many criteria that qualifies a dry cleaner to be recommended by America's Best Cleaners," says Christopher White, ABC's Director of Business Development. "We first look at quality of cleaning and finishing, customer service, and delivery systems among other factors."
To maintain ABC accreditation, Green Apple Cleaners must send a fabric swatch from their cleaning plant in New Jersey each month to The Hohenstein Institutes, an independent testing lab in Germany. The swatch is tested for residue, luster and quality. After all, a top priority of dry cleaning is to get the clothes clean while protecting the integrity of the garment. With so many fibers, trims, and techniques used today including rayon, cotton, silk, blends, velcro, leather, linen, wool, alpaca, braiding, beading, embroidery, lace, felt and new threads like bamboo and hemp-- it's a challenge. Then, there are the seemingly infinite numbers of dyes and fabric applications to consider.
"CO2 and "wet" cleaning are better for the clothes, hands down," says Green Apple's founder David Kistner. "When the Brooks Brothers team handed us the linen and leather garment, we put it through our Solvair cleaning system and it came out exactly how it went in, but cleaner." This is without the use of the toxic chemicals that once gave dry cleaning a bad rap for their health risks, and for polluting groundwater and other natural resources.
What exactly is the dirt that cleaners must remove? Oil, food, wine, milk, grease, cosmetics, creams, deodorants, juice, coffee, sweat, salt, bacteria, perfume, pollen, grime, dust, nail polish, paint, odors, gum, and the residue left by other cleaners, "A truly professional dry cleaner doesn't follow the cleaning instructions on the label," says Kistner. "They do better than that. Like a good chef, they look first at ingredients. Our skilled technicians handle each garment individually and can get almost anything out without harming the garments."
The best designers take cleaning into consideration at the early conception stage. More and more of them are going one step further to ask themselves how it can be cleaned in an environmentally sustainable manner. "It's great news for everybody that the fashion industry is looking at overall impact on the environment. In fact it's become trendy to be green," says Kistner.
New York recognizes business leadership role of Green Apple Cleaners.
Green Apple Cleaners is a founding member of the Sustainable Business Network of New York City (SBNYC.org) and an active participant in projects involving the United Nations, Riverkeeper, "Go Green" children's education programs in NY and NJ schools, eco-fashion events and all things green. This month, the company became 100% powered by wind and became a finalist in The New York Enterprise Report for Small Business Award for Best Green Practices.
Its signature black garment bags are re-used, and deliveries take place to over 600 residential and commercial buildings and more than 10,000 clients via smart cars, pedi-bikes, and hybrid and bio-diesel ready vans, a welcome sight in the Big Apple where the Mayor's plan for a greener, greater New York is in full swing. Though the bulk of Green Apple's business is pickup and delivery, there are now three storefront locations in New York and three in New Jersey with two more planned this year. New York City's storefronts are located in the West Village at 92 Greenwich Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets, and in Midtown at 1187 2nd Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets, with a new Upper West Side location celebrating its opening this week.
New storefront opens on Upper West Side.
This Saturday, September 13th is the Grand Opening of the new Green Apple Cleaners storefront on the Upper West Side at 322 Columbus Avenue between 75th and 76th Streets. From 10-5pm, the event will feature organic treats from The City Bakery, special offers, and their "green fleet" including NYC's only dry cleaning delivery 'rickshaw' and the chance to sit behind the wheel of their newest 'smart car.' For more information visit www.greenapplecleaners.com or call 1-888 I LUV CO2 (1-888-458-8262).