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Blue and Green can be seen!

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 15:06

Blue and Green can be seen!

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How one company is looking at a Green solution for a typically blue product, by Sustainability Director Garry Knox.

Earlier this year I wrote a blog about the average consumer water footprint and what the main contributory factors were and that production of food and fibre were those main contributory factors.

Now there is a fashion retailer who has come up with a Green solution to Blue jeans, to create a positive impact on water usage in manufacturing!

It’s always good to have a great pair of jeans and it’s even better to do something great for the planet. “Patagonia Jeans” has launched its new jeans collection in three styles and more importantly the cotton is organic and the sewing is ‘Fairtrade’ approved.

Not only are they manufactured by using 84% less water (a great way to reduce the consumer water footprint) but also 30% less energy, leading to C02 emissions dropping by 25%.

After several years of research, they have achieved this by looking for an alternative to the traditional indigo dying method.

Here’s hoping that not only others will follow in their foot steps but recommendations for GreenEarth® as a more sustainable form of garment aftercare become part of the agenda too!

The post Blue and Green can be seen! appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.

Lapels Opens New Location

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 14:44

“Lapels Dry Cleaning Opens Another Massachusetts Store”

Owner says Kingston store is southernmost in state

KINGSTON, Mass. — The Lapels Dry Cleaning franchise opened a store here earlier this month at 150 Summer St. in a location previously known as Kingston Dry Cleaners.

“Lapels Dry Cleaning has had a presence on the South Shore for several years, but the Kingston store is the southernmost store to date,” says Kimberly Wilkinson, owner of Lapels Dry Cleaning of Kingston. “Lapels Dry Cleaning has been very well received at other locations on the South Shore, and we’re confident of a similar result here in Kingston.”

Lapels has pioneered its eco-friendly drycleaning experience over the past dozen years, the franchisor says. Most recently, it signed a partnership agreement with GreenEarth® for its newer locations like Lapels Dry Cleaning of Kingston. Lapels claims its cleaning process leaves no odor and is gentler on clothes, thus lengthening garment life.

Lapels’ emphasis on customer service starts with a “warm and inviting reception area, with friendly customer service representatives, and alteration services,” the franchisor says. Lapels offers “Automatic Rewards,” with patrons earning credit toward free dry cleaning for every dollar they spend; loyalty programs; a VIP program that eliminates the need to wait in line; the use of a 24-hour drop-off service; and free home delivery to all customers. Same-day service is available with pickup after 5 p.m.

Lapels Dry Cleaning of Kingston is open seven days a week; hours of operation vary.

The post Lapels Opens New Location appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.

The New Retail

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 17:10

The New Retail – Where will your next Drycleaning Location be?

Tim-Maxwell-(1)
By: Tim Maxwell

With 2015 looking like a year of net sale increases for drycleaners reporting to the American Drycleaner Magazine’s “Statshots” feature, it appears that the downward trend in sales that many businesses in drycleaning have been dealing with over the past 6 or 7 years may be coming to the end of a cycle. This is great news for operators that have weathered the storm through the first half of this decade.

With this optimistic economic perspective, the opportunity to open new retail locations to insure that their business is “fishing in the right pond” may be on the mind of those aftercare professionals that are looking at expanding their reach.

Landlords and Property Managers are increasingly re-imagining their retail locations to address the slow erosion of sales from traditional bricks and mortar to on-line shopping. Extensive landscaping, pedestrian-friendly walkways, outdoor seating, fountains and water features are being deployed to facilitate a better consumer experience. The new CEO of Edens (owner/developer of 136 retail centers), Jodie McLean in a recent interview stated, “We look at our places as the “living room of their communities”.

Given this perspective, and the resurgence in demand for pad sites on the periphery of traditional grocery-anchor backed plazas, see page 42, progressive drycleaners in expansion mode have great opportunities to secure top-tier locations.

Securing these locations require that now more than ever before, Drycleaners need to focus on factors most attractive to their landlords. The prime retail landlord of 2015 is looking for a retail tenant that provides multiple visits to the center every week, odor free, clean and attractive visually – without any traditional potential environmental liabilities.

Where GreenEarth Cleaning Affiliates have provided this level of confidence based on the unique silicone medium in their cleaning system for 15 years now…the pressure is on to continue to lower energy and utility use in the space.

Addressing methods of reducing energy and diverting waste from landfills in their centers are critical building blocks of sustainability initiatives that the most progressive property managers have embarked upon in the current decade. Some, such as KIMCO have achieved better than expected results and economic benefits based on a structured and focused approach, see Kimco report.

The future of good retail dry cleaning locations continuing to be made available to operating plants will require that garment care providers continue to evolve in their quest to be more efficient and relevant to not just the consumer, but also to those that lease the locations that the consumer visits.

The post The New Retail appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.

The Digital World – Part II

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 14:21

The Digital World Part II

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By:Aaron Newport

We have all seen them, popping up here and there. It seems like every other week I read about a new Dry Cleaning app that has just hit the surface; Washio, Starchup, Rinse, Dhobie, DRYV, and that is just to name a few. The question is, which one will pull ahead and emerge as an everyday household name, or will any?

Most of them seem to have the same premise, essentially amounting to the Uber of dry cleaning. The first hurdle for these app developers is to convince dry cleaning operators to agree on a contract for a percentage of sales gained through the app. Once the app has built a core group of dry cleaners to work with, they must start bringing business their way, in order to build a reputation among the dry cleaning industry. It is difficult to get anyone to buy into something that is untested. Fortunately, in most of these cases, the initial cost for the dry cleaner is nothing.

Now in this day and age, consumers are eager to download the newest, trendy app. So a large part is building enough buzz around your brand to create a consumer need. This may not be a need for the app, but a need to know what the app is and what it can accomplish. So the success of these apps is largely dependent on their ability to promote and brand themselves.

These apps can serve a purpose and can have great success. Dry cleaning is all about consumer convenience right? We do not need anymore proof that consumers find apps convenient. The success apps have had in the last few years, all throughout the service industry is astronomical. So much so that to develop an app built customized for a business can cost $20k-$50k, or even upwards of millions of dollars, depending on how interactive and inclusive the app may be.

That is why these dry cleaning apps give local dry cleaners a great advantage. They get the benefit of having an app for their customer, without the huge investment. It is not going to be branded to their store, and they could be sharing an app with their competition. However, they are much more likely to lose customers to one of these apps if they are not on it.

The post The Digital World – Part II appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.

GE Affiliate Getting Great Coverage

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 17:28

AURORA, Colo. – There is a new way to save green, while going green at the same time. $1.99 Any Garment Cleaners on South Parker Road in Aurora says they are changing the dry-cleaning industry one shirt at a time.

“There’s no odor. You come into our stores people can’t believe it’s a dry cleaner,” says Reuben Rosenblatt.

That’s because many dry cleaners still use petrochemicals like PERC to clean your clothes.

“Green isn’t regulated by the EPA, we don’t have any chemical waste,” said owner Michelle Lange.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene or PERC, is a toxic chemical that can contaminate the air, water and ground.

“We found this [cleaning solution] as an alternative to the old cleaning. We realized it was perfect,” said Rosenblatt.

The alternative solution is made by GreenEarth Cleaning. It is essentially liquefied sand or silicone.

“The silicone beads will just grab the dirt from within the garment and remove them safely. They don’t damage fibers as it happens. They don’t take color as it happens,” Lange said.

It’s safe enough for sensitive skin and — at only $1.99 — it’s even safer for your wallet.

“This isn’t the first cleaners to go green, but we’re the first ones that married the discount with the full green clean,” said Lange.

$1.99 Any Garment Cleaners
4018 S Parker Rd
Aurora, CO 80014
303-680-1404

To read more and see video of coverage click here.

The post GE Affiliate Getting Great Coverage appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.

Minding Your Own Business

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 12:06

“Minding Your Own Business”

By Joe Blaha.
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I happened to be reading the summer newsletter from the PDCA (Pennsylvania and Delaware Cleaners Association) and came across a column (with the title I borrowed above), written by Ricardo Gonzalez, the DLI (Drycleaning and Laundry Institute) Web Developer.

It caught my attention as it focused on the dilemma often faced by those of us who routinely offer new techniques or technology and struggle to understand the resistance from those who stand to benefit the most.

What struck me was the remark that Ricardo made that our egos tend to stand in the way of making changes because that puts us back in the position of feeling like a beginner which can feel like a step backward.

The suggestion was offered to recognize that resistance to new ideas is actually resistance to growing, as the challenges associated with new ways of doing things are the engines that encourage growth.

GreenEarth Cleaning is committed to the pursuit of cutting edge marketing and technological advances and sharing them with our Affiliates worldwide.

So much is constantly changing and just keeping up with the changes can be daunting. Then the thought of implementing change and investing in the time and other costs required without a clear picture of the benefits is understandably a big concern.

Fortunately as members of the GreenEarth family, a major benefit is the collaborative input of so many Affiliates who are adopting these suggested changes and reaping the rewards.

Whether in the marketing arena with web and social media developments or technological advances such as the excitement inherent in the adoption of the most sustainable (and lowest cost) dry cleaning system in the industry available, with the adoption of activated clay filtration (ACF ), there is great strength in having thousands of GreenEarth plants all working together and not having to make decisions solely on your own experiences.

Here are a couple of studies that demonstrate why it is important to have a strong online presence: Searchlight Interactive out of Charleston, SC held a study to portray how consumers are finding services in 2015. To learn more click here. And High Touch Communications out of Montreal, Canada held a study to portray how consumers react to poorly designed websites, to learn more click here.

These are just a couple of hundreds of studies out there that demonstrate the importance of your online presence. While it may seem daunting and time consuming, it is monumental to the growth of your business in this day and age.

The post Minding Your Own Business appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.

British Retailers Starting to See Green?

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 11:44

Are British Retailers Starting to See Green?

By Garry Knox
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The annual Technical Visit to Johnson Cleaners organised by the ASBCI for its members has always been a popular and exciting day on the ASBCI event calendar and this year was no exception.

This year I hosted the event in conjunction with Johnson Cleaners. Johnson Cleaners core service is dry cleaning and they are the master licensor for GreenEarth® in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Johnsons are the only national UK dry cleaner that uses GreenEarth® instead of using harsh chemicals.

More and more retailers around the world are now recommending GreenEarth® as a sustainable and more gentle form of textile aftercare, including Next, asos, White Company and LK Bennett. They do this by placing our logo on one of the care labels.

Retailers are often challenged with the objective of recommending sustainable aftercare, whilst also getting the best results for all textiles, trims and even buttons! Therefore there were many questions and the insight proved to be invaluable for all those who attended.

So popular is this event that an additional day was put on this year to cater for the additional demand.

Visitors included team members of all backgrounds and levels of experience from ASBCI member companies including Marks and Spencer, Lipsy, Debenhams, Next, Shop Direct and Joules.

In a packed day, the attendees were given an insight to the services offered by fellow ASBCI members Johnson Cleaners, including Suede and Leather Cleaning, Duvet Cleaning, Feather Pillow Cleaning, Fabric Restoration and Rectification as well as the company’s new online Wedding Dress Cleaning Service.

I feel confident after these visits, that GreenEarth® cleaning is going to be placed higher on many retailers’ agendas.

For further information about Johnson Cleaners’ service visit their website, www.johnsoncleaners.com

For further information on the ASBCI, please visit www.asbci.co.uk

The post British Retailers Starting to See Green? appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.

New Martinizing Store Opens in Virginia

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 15:49

Fairfax location offers home/office pickup/delivery as well as locker-based option

FAIRFAX, Va. — The newest Martinizing Dry Cleaning store has opened here in northern Virginia. Offering multiple options for service and open six days a week, the store is owned by John W. Gray IV, who spent a 20-year career in finance working for Fortune 500 companies before setting out on his own.

“It has always been a goal of mine to own my own business,” says Gray. “I was inspired by my wife, who has spent nearly a decade running a successful daycare. After researching many franchises and concepts, Martinizing was the right fit for me. I was a satisfied and loyal customer for many years, and I look forward to creating many memorable experiences for my customers.”

In addition to traditional in-store service at the 2,400-square-foot site in the Turnpike Shopping Center, 9558 Main St., Martinizing will offer home/office pickup and delivery as well as a locker-based delivery option.

“Providing route service has been a common way to offer additional convenience for customers,” Gray says. “Now we are going one step further with bizziebox, where we will install lockers in apartment buildings and offices throughout the area. Customers can place their clothes in a locker, we will pick up the order within a day and return it to that locker location. It’s all technology-based, either through our mobile app, text, e-mail or website, and it takes convenience to a whole new level.”

The store utilizes the environmentally friendly GreenEarth cleaning process.

To celebrate his store’s grand opening, Gray will host a celebration next week featuring giveaways, a special drawing, free ice cream, and more.

The post New Martinizing Store Opens in Virginia appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.

Modeling Limitations

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 15:16

Modeling Limitations
By: Ron Benjamin

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It is fairly simple to define the term “environmentally non-toxic”. That would be something that does not harm the environment.

What’s not so simple, though, is to measure whether something is environmentally non-toxic or not. For toxicity depends on dosage. A small amount of aspirin is good for us. Large amounts can kill. In the right dose, aspirin is safe and effective. In the wrong dose, it is toxic.

In order to project whether or not man-made chemicals are toxic to the environment, scientists use computer modeling to estimate the effect a given chemical may have on the environment (rather than releasing it to the environment). These computer models are helpful in guiding the determination of safe exposure limits and in helping us to handle chemicals in ways that are positive rather than negative.

However, it is important for us to realize that computer models are designed and built by modelers for specific applications. Too often, a computer model designed for one chemical or purpose is used to determine how another chemical or purpose might behave.

Such is the case with silicones. Silicone chemistry is not purely organic chemistry. Rather, silicones are classified as inorganic organics because they are molecules formed with both carbon (C) and silicon (Si). Carbon is plant-based and thus organic. Silicon is mineral-based and thus inorganic.

Unfortunately, though, models designed to analyze organic chemicals have been used to analyze silicones. And the modeling that has resulted isn’t totally accurate.

The Minister of the Environment in Canada recognized this situation and in 2011 determined to find an answer to the question of whether or not the computer modeling for liquid silicone was to be believed. Rather than ban the use of liquid silicones based upon the modeling data, he commissioned an independent study to be conducted by three scientists which measured the actual effect of silicones in the environment. Rather than computer modeling data, he asked for real environmental data to be measured.

The results of the 83 page scientific study were published in February of 2012. The study found that despite thousands of pounds of liquid silicone contained in shampoos, deodorants, lotions, etc. going down drains every year, there was no harm being done to the environment based upon actual measurements in the environment. In fact, the study determined that even if twice the amount of liquid silicone were being dumped down the drains, there would be no environmental harm done.

The post Modeling Limitations appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.

Water & Sustainability

Sat, 06/20/2015 - 15:49

Water & Sustainability
By: Garry Knox
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More and more retailers are setting themselves the objective of ensuring that garments can now be machine washed at home rather than being professionally dry cleaned.

At a customer level, this may make sense at first, especially from a convenience point of view and also cost. Perhaps maybe retailers see less issues when a customer shrinks the garment at home or experiences dye run compared to when taken to a dry cleaners; who can say?

But what is the true cost of domestic washing in terms of machine washing at home? Especially when you consider the amount of water used to manufacture cotton.

The average consumer uses 3,800 litres of water EVERY day. That’s direct (cups of coffee and showers) and indirect use (the food we eat and the clothes we wear).

What’s perhaps surprising is the balance of direct and indirect:
• 3.8% of water footprint relates to home use
• 96.2% of water footprint relates to products being brought to market of which:
o 91.5% relates to agricultural products (Food and Fibre)
o 4.7% relates to industrial products

There is now a growing appetite to recycle as much water and heat as possible to reduce the water foot prints and their impacts.

In the meantime garment manufacturers can look to recommending sustainable aftercare on labels or online in the form of GreenEarth dry cleaning as well as the waterless washing machine available from Xeros.

Source: Hoekstra & Mekonnen (2012) The Water Footprint of Humanity, PNAS

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Cleaning the Garments of Tomorrow

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:28
Cleaning the Garments of Tomorrow By: Tim Maxwell.

 Tim Maxwell (1)Tim-Maxwell-(1)

After watching a trailer for the new Disney film “Tomorrowland” the other day, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander a little bit into the territory of drycleaning (not the typical perspective of viewers I would guess!). I saw the elaborate (as well as simple) costumes that Hollywood had depicted as the garments worn by us in the future and thought of the typical reaction of those in my industry towards new fashions as they arrive for care in order to revive them to their “good as new” appearance.

Unique or exotic trim components, abstract color appliques, foreign fabric construction techniques, and the like usually result in a “glass half empty” perspective by those of us charged with the cleaning and care of garments that may require special handling in relation to typical shirts, pants, jackets, and blouses handled by the hundreds every day.

It seems to me though, that the more successful professional garment care providers tend to be those that embrace their ability to revitalize the most intricate of fashion as their competitive edge over those that turn away the consumer through communication that doesn’t provide the customer with confidence that their cherished possession will be appropriately cared for.

The successful operators seem to be the ones you see in the aisles of the industry trade shows as they explore new machinery and process improvements that produce clean – refreshed garments with less energy and utility usage. Technologies like the Xeros Bead Cleaning System that utilizes tiny polymer beads in the laundry process to reduce up to 80 % of the water used in a typical wash – while producing a cleaner oxford shirt. (xerosltd.com).

“Drycleaning” machines that utilize a vapor / steam / detergent combination to clean clothing that would be a challenge in traditional wet cleaning processing. Cold-filtration GreenEarth Cleaning (greenearthcleaning.com) machines that reduce all utilities inputs to fractions of standard water, electricity, and natural gas required by traditional distillation machines – allowing for softer and fresher smelling garments.

The forward thinking members of the drycleaning and laundry industry are looking farther down the road then the next stop sign…who knows what garments will be worn by the consumers of tomorrow ? Will the suit jacket worn by your best customer double as a wifi hotspot ? Will her husband have a blazer that includes a music library, GPS capability, and double as an air purifier for protection from other passengers on the subway? (The New Wearable Clothing – GPS World).

The current trend towards more distinct fashions (particularly geared towards males – a category that has lagged behind female fashion over the past decade or so)  presents a “glass half full” opportunity for the best service providers in the fabric care industry to strut their stuff. Technologies exist today to care for the more adventuresome fashions being contemplated by the designers of clothing for tomorrow.

The consumers of tomorrow will expect the garment to not be damaged in cleaning…they will also put forward the requirement for the most sustainable after care as a “need to have” not a “nice to have”. The good news is that the informed after care professional of “Tomorrowland” has great opportunity to distance him or herself from the drycleaner that doesn’t embrace the evolution of fashion!

The post Cleaning the Garments of Tomorrow appeared first on GreenEarth Cleaning.

Mens Wearhouse Suits Up Millennials

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 15:11

By: Hadley Malcolm, USA TODAY
http://ow.ly/O5UTs

Men’s Wearhouse wants to compete with the likes of Suitsupply, Indochino and J.Crew for the attention of fashion-forward Millennials.

The company — traditionally seen as somewhere a Millennial’s parents, or grandparents, might shop — hopes to broaden its appeal with a younger age group by expanding its line of custom clothing this year and by pushing its higher-end Joseph Abboud line, an American-made suit manufacturer it acquired nearly two years ago and opened an upscale flagship store for in New York City in April.

“Custom clothing is new to us,” says Men’s Wearhouse CEO Doug Ewert, but it’s “a big growth opportunity.”

The challenge facing Men’s Wearhouse: how to court a younger, more stylish shopper without casting off the middle-age man who has been its core customer for more than 40 years.

Ewert, 51, says the brand can do both, and he is working to change young people’s minds about being outdated.

“The Joseph Abboud acquisition was designed to bring a new customer to shop at Men’s Wearhouse,” he says. “Over half of customers that come in and shop Joseph Abboud have never shopped at Men’s Wearhouse before.”

Men now shopping for themselves

Custom and tailored menswear has become an increasingly popular market for Millennial men interested in fashion and developing personal style. Brands like Indochino, Suitsupply, Bonobos and J.Crew let guys order tailored suits, shirts and pants through trendy online shops or boutique stores with curated lounges of clothing.

Overall, the menswear industry is one of the fastest-growing retail categories in online sales, according to research firm IBISWorld. And sales of more form-fitting, trendy styles have jumped the past three years. Sales of modern, slimmer suits and formalwear grew more than 21% from 2012 to 2014, according to retail consulting firm Conlumino. Sales of bespoke clothing grew 11.7% in the same period, while sales of traditional suits grew 3%.

Guys have started looking for clothes that fit them better, from e-commerce-centric brands that make it easy to shop without investing a lot of time, says Andy Dunn, founder and chairman of Bonobos, which started as an online store and now has 16 “guideshops” across the country where men can work one-on-one with stylists to get fitted and pick out colors and fabrics, but still place orders online for delivery.

“For a long time it was seen as somehow unattractive or unmasculine for a guy to spend too much time thinking about what he wore,” he says. “Now we’ve kind of evolved to a place where it’s unattractive if a guy doesn’t.”

Men’s Wearhouse says slim-fit suits, popular with younger men, make up about 45% of its business. Sales have also been solid; same-store sales grew 3.9% last year. The company won’t release specific figures, but Ewert says traffic was up in 2014.

Men’s Wearhouse started offering custom options with the Joseph Abboud line of suits, sport coats, pants and vests a little less than a year ago, after buying the company in July 2013. It plans to add custom dress shirts to Abboud within the next year, as well as a “survival suit” made from stretchy, stain-repellent, anti-microbial fabric, with pockets designed specifically for electronics and a way to feed your headphones through the lapel.

Ewert says the shift in the menswear market can be pinned on style-conscious Millennials who actually like shopping.

“They see dressing as a way to express themselves more differently than the Baby Boomer generation did, and custom clothing is just a part of that,” he says. “They like not looking like everybody else.”

Brands aim for cooler image

Still, even the name Men’s Wearhouse invokes the Costco of suits, says Neil Saunders, managing director at Conlumino. Stores have racks upon racks of gray and black and blue jackets and pants at relatively inexpensive prices.

“It doesn’t have that special feel,” he says.

The Abboud line aims for that special feeling. It is the company’s most expensive, and meant to target a more “aspirational” customer, Ewert says. Suits run on average $600, while the average at Men’s Wearhouse is closer to $300. The price difference is due to higher-quality construction and fabric selection.

Men’s Wearhouse has been trying to aim younger since abruptly firing its founder and chairman George Zimmer in June 2013. Zimmer was the Baby Boomer face, and distinctive gravelly voiced star of the company’s commercials. Now ads feature younger men, in trendy black-framed glasses and hip facial hair.

In the last 15 years, the company has primarily gotten the under-30 set to step inside its doors through its tux-rental business, which spikes during prom and wedding season.

But with more online shops and start-up brands entering the market, guys can often get a custom suit or tux rental in a similar price range as at a middle-market retailer without ever having to go to a store, says Alex Ingram, the co-founder of a Boston-based men’s style blog called abostonblazer.com.

Ingram, 26, says he’s never bought anything from Men’s Wearhouse. He prefers local or direct-to-consumer brands.

“I’m really interested in being unique and dressing in a way that’s not necessarily how everyone else dresses,” he says.

Adding to its image challenge is the fact that eight months after acquiring the Abboud brand, Men’s Wearhouse bought Jos. A. Bank, an older, traditional brand known for its outrageous deals. It’s unlikely to entice Millennials looking for one-of-a-kind items; Ewert says it’s meant to target an older crowd. Sales at stores open at least a year fell 2.5% in 2014, though that was better than expected.

“We’ve got to stay relevant for the Baby Boomer customer as well,” Ewert says. “But also align ourselves with brands that are relevant to the Millennial customer.”

It will likely be difficult for the company to do both at once, Saunders says.

“There is a part of the Millennial market that … likes very smart clothing and likes to look very on trend and is willing to spend on clothing,” he says. But, “in that market, Men’s Wearhouse isn’t particularly edgy.”

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Pittsburgh’s Model Cleaners Expands

Mon, 06/08/2015 - 12:37

Newest store opens in suburb of Cranberry

CRANBERRY, Pa. — The Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber and Model Cleaners hosted a May 21 ribbon-cutting and grand-opening ceremony here at the business’ newest facility.

The state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly fabricare center offers same-day drycleaning service utilizing GreenEarth cleaning technology, as well as free pickup and delivery service, at its 1187 Freedom Road store, the company says.

“I would like to thank the Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber of Commerce for co-hosting the grand-opening event and being a good partner for local businesses,” says Dan LaCarte, executive vice president of Model Cleaners. “We are excited to be opening our second facility in this region and furthering our commitment to care for our customers and community.”

Founded in 1986, Model Cleaners is Pittsburgh’s largest family-owned drycleaning operation with 13 locations. Half of its business comes from its free pickup and delivery services to 70 communities in Western Pennsylvania, the company says.

Jack LaCarte opened the first store in Charleroi, Pa., 30 years ago. He continues the tradition through his five sons, John, Mike, Dave, Joe and Dan, all of whom are part owners of the business.

Model Cleaners started with five employees and now employs more than 300 across its facilities and home delivery service.

Along with its drycleaning division, Model operates uniform rental, model apparel and real estate development divisions.

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The Digital World – Part 1

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 11:34

The Digital World – Part 1

By: Aaron Newport.

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In today’s world, nearly everything we do is done digitally. Not only are we doing everything digitally, the majority of our daily activities can be completed entirely through our phones. There is an app to pay bills, listen to music, follow news updates, book travel, you can even press a button and your ride shows up five minutes later. Not to mention social media, there are countless social media channels out there and the number of users on those channels is increasing exponentially. According to the Pew Research Center, 74% of adult internet users are using social media. That number is growing fast on some of the not so well know channels, like Pinterest and Instagram. As a marketer in 2015, if you are not using these tools to your advantage, you are missing out on a golden opportunity to connect with your consumer.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr are all great tools that we can use to communicate our mission to the consumer, and that is just naming a few. The other day I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and stumbled upon a promo for a free fence estimate that a friend had just happened to share. Now that contractor will be putting a fence in my yard next weekend. How powerful of a tool is that?

Most people these days do want to feel like they know the people they are spending their money with. Social media is a fantastic way to create that relationship with someone, before they are even a customer. When you are posting things that are fun, interesting, relative to the community, or important to you; you will connect with someone on some level, and that is going to resonate well with that consumer. Whether it be consciously or sub consciously, when consumers these days are deciding where to spend their money, that connection you made with them through social media is going to weigh in as a factor in their decision, without a doubt.

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The Clean Show 2015 “One Industry. One Stage “

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 11:08

The Clean Show 2015 “One Industry. One Stage “

By: Joe Blaha.

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Atlanta had not welcomed the dry cleaning industry to the biannual Clean Show since 1987 and it would seem that this pairing was overdue as the numbers of vendors exhibiting and attendees surprised most everyone.

Reported by Riddle & Associates, the show management firm, unofficial attendance for the first day actually exceeded the count for the entirety of the three day show in New Orleans in 2013.

It is commonly felt that our industry is finally seeing growth across the country and the buzz generated by this Clean Show certainly adds additional positive energy.

Action in the GreenEarth booth welcoming both existing Affiliates and those interested in learning more kept everyone hopping.

Attendance for the GreenEarth Affiliates meeting and following reception may have also set records in spite of traffic gridlock and torrential rains that provided challenges for getting around town.

Fortunately, I finally discovered the joy of utilizing my Uber app for hailing rides. I won’t leave home without it now.

I expect the Las Vegas Clean Show 2017 will see continued growth in attendance and I would hope to see you all there!

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Dependable Cleaners Receive Diamond Achievement Award

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 13:34
DLI Presents Fawcett with its Highest Honor Longtime Massachusetts cleaner receives Diamond Achievement Award

ATLANTA — The Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI) recently presented Donald C. Fawcett, owner of Dependable Cleaners in Quincy, Mass., with its Diamond Achievement Award, the Institute’s highest honor.

DLI President Alan P. Johnson III made the presentation following a DLI educational session here during Clean 2015.

Fawcett served as DLI’s District 1 director in 2000-2004, DLI president in 2003-2004, and chairman in 2004-2005.

The Diamond Achievement Award recognizes excellence across all aspects of the cleaning industry, and has only been awarded “a handful of times” in DLI’s 107-year history, the Institute says.

Fawcett earned an engineering management degree from Norwich University in 1948 and served in the U.S. Army before eventually joining the drycleaning business started by his father. Today, Dependable Cleaners employs 230 people in 16 locations.

Over the years, Fawcett made time to serve the industry through his membership and service in organizations like the Varsity Group and the International Drycleaners Congress.

He remains involved in the family business, but his daughter, Christa Hagearty, directly oversees daily operations. This, according to Fawcett, allows him more time to enjoy his family (including 12 grandchildren) as well as maritime pursuits such as racing and competitive sport fishing.

In presenting the clear, diamond-shaped award to Fawcett, Johnson cited his leadership as being an inspiration to the industry as a whole.

“Don has always been very encouraging to newcomers in the industry and has always had time to help colleagues,” Johnson says.

After the presentation, attendees flocked to the podium to greet Fawcett and offer their congratulations to him and to his family.

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Care labeling mysteries: Volume 1

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 16:41

Care labeling mysteries: Volume 1

By: Garry Knox.

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So you remove your dry cleaning hat for a moment and stand in a branded clothing store and look at different items of clothing in particular, the care label.

The majority of customers have got their heads around symbols, such as ‘Do not Iron’, Maximum Water temperatures and ‘Dry clean only’. Those symbols are clear.

But sometimes the instructions that come with them are not so clear. I visited world-wide retailer lately and some of the instructions were:

  • ‘Specialist Dry Clean only’
  • ‘Dry Clean inside out’
  • ‘Dry Clean in a net bag’

Sometimes all three.

When I asked store staff what ‘Specialist’ meant… they either didn’t know or they guessed it meant, “Don’t try and dry clean it yourself”.

So imagine that a customer therefore takes their items to a drycleaner they consider to be a specialist, who actually cleans in Perc… None of the instructions above will help protect a leather or PVC items or anything with sequins.

Isn’t it time for some retailers to stop guessing, get off the fence and put their customers’ money where their mouths are?

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SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 15:58

SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY (OUR SS)

By: Ron Benjamin

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To many of us in our older years, SS stands for Social Security. And for those of you who are younger, it may mean the Selective Service!

But for GreenEarth, SS is our code for Sustainability Strategy. And it’s what we think about a lot.

Quite simply, we have tried — and continue to try — to be concerned about where our garment after care industry will be in 5 to 10 years. And what we need to be doing to remain relevant to our customers then. Since our initial days in 1999, our view has been less about the short term “survival” view and more about the longer term “sustainable” view.

In the April 14th 2015 edition of the Wall Street Journal, I noticed a statistic citing that 46% of the submittals of all shareholders regarding their company’s annual meeting had to do with concerns about treating their employees and the environment better. According to Ernst & Young, this 46% statistic compares with 37% the year before.

GreenEarth was formed 16 years ago by three dry cleaners who believed there was a better way than perc when considering employees in our industry and the environment in which we all live. And so we defined our goal as finding a solution for the aftercare of garments which is best for people, the planet, and profits. In other words, optimal sustainability.

And of course, this is right in keeping with the 46% of the shareholders of publicly traded companies who are now demanding the same treatment by the companies in which they own stock. We also believe it indicates what’s on the minds of our industry’s customers – the folks who have the money to spend on garment after care and who are generally in the upper demographics of education and income.

Given the concerns of the customers who our GreenEarth licensed dry cleaners serve, we are proud that our GreenEarth liquid silicone dry cleaning process is the most sustainable method to provide garment after care – period. Why can we say that? Because recent scientific studies reach that conclusion. The most notable was an independent 83-page scientific report published in 2012 by the Canadian Minister of the Environment, where the conclusion of the report states that our silicone dry cleaning fluid is “environmentally non-toxic”.

No other dry cleaning process has the scientific basis to make this claim honestly. In this age, where business transparency and honesty is often questioned, let’s all commit to providing our customers with the facts they are demanding. Let’s communicate our commitment to sustainability. Let’s live that commitment. And let’s find additional ways to enhance it. For if we do, we will continue to be relevant to our customers, our employees, and the planet in the years ahead.

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GreenEarth Affiliates Helping Out

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 14:04

DONATE WINTER COATS NOW FOR THE NEEDY OF TOMORROW
by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published: May 6, 2015 12:04AM

Hudson — Just as the weather is warming, and it’s time to discard old winter coats, think about donating them to the Hudson League for Service Warm Winter Coat Drive for someone next year.

The Hudson League for Service, founded in 1947, is collecting warm winter coats to distribute in October to people in need in the Hudson school district.

“This is the second annual coat drive,” said Jennifer McKinley. “Last year the Hudson community was very generous and donated nearly 400 coats. Many adults were overjoyed to have a coat because of the cold winter.”

Matt Hons, owner with Craig Hons of Martinizing Dry Cleaning, 118 W. Streetsboro Road, will clean and freshen all donated coats for free, a service valued at $4,000 to $5,000. Martinizing Dry Cleaning uses Hudson’s original GreenEarth cleaning non-toxic cleaning process.

“We’ve been part of the community as a locally owned and operated company for 20 years,” said Craig Hons. “This is one way we like to give back to all the customers who have helped us be successful.”

Pastor Jerry Witt of Hope Community Church, 3033 Middleton Road, has agreed to store the cleaned donated coats for distribution days.

“We’ve joined the team with the Hudson League for Service and Martinizing Dry Cleaning to help store and distribute coats to needy families in Hudson,” Witt said. “Our vision at Hope Community Church is to impact the community outside our four walls. We continue to do ministries in conjunction with other organizations and churches in Hudson and the surrounding communities.”

Coats can be dropped off at Hope Community Church which is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Martinizing will have a box for coats and is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Destination Hudson Visitor Center also will have a box in its vestibule for drop off.

There is a great need for adult coats for men and women, especially in larger sizes, McKinley said.

“Parents think of their children first,” McKinley said. “They grow out of their coats, and it becomes expensive so parents go without, or senior citizens go without a coat to pay bills. We want to reach out to them so they can be warm.”

Check donations may be sent to Hudson League for Service at P.O. Box 203, Hudson, OH 44236 with “coat drive” in the subject line.

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GreenEarth Affiliates In The News

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 11:57

Owner Sayan takes advantage of film trade opportunities

MEDFORD, Mass. — When one meets a dry cleaner, one asks what niche business he or she does besides retail cleaning. Typically, the answer is alterations, or wholesale, or commercial, or insurance restoration, or wedding gowns. But Farshad Sayan, owner of Clevergreen Cleaners, answers, “Movies.”

Huh? Sayan has a friend in the movie business in Los Angeles who spends her time reviewing about-to-be-released films. With the proliferation of movies being made in the Boston area—The Way Way Back, The Judge and American Hustle are a few recent examples—Sayan reasoned that the industry needs an on-site dry cleaner to keep their costumes clean and well-maintained.

He prompted his Hollywood friend to suggest using Clevergreen for their cleaning needs. One costume supervisor tried them, then another, then another. Sayan now has a movie trade. In fact, a recent film netted Clevergreen $35,000 in revenue. “This movie trade is irregular, but I can figure that movie volume will be 3-5% of total volume,” he says, “and it’s profitable.”

With extensive experience under its belt, the company knows how to handle this sort of client. Sayan handles the pickup and delivery himself. He maintains a low-key, unobtrusive presence on the set, dealing either with the costume supervisor or his/her assistant. Flexibility is essential.

“The movie people give me outfits and say there’s no rush,” Sayan explains. “When I get back to the plant, there’s a call saying they must redo the scene and need the outfits immediately.”

When that happens, the cleaning team stops what it’s doing and processes the costumes.

By now, Sayan and crew are proactive. They turn over movie outfits as speedily as they can, regardless of the date needed.

It is sometimes a challenge to clean these outfits. Recently, the cleaner had to figure out how to clean a fox’s outfit without ruining it. Pretty much, every costume is unique, and because of the individualized jobs, Clevergreen obtains a good price for the work.

“We’re not (offering) discount prices,” Sayan says. “But we will make your job easier.”

That seems to work, and costumers keep coming back to him.

SERVING BOSTON

The company plant is in a residential area of Medford, a city on the outskirts of Boston. The 5,000-square-foot plant makes for a comfortable workspace. The basement has 12-foot-high ceilings, which helps keep the place cool, and is good for storage.

Clevergreen’s three drop stores—Beacon Hill, Station Landing, and Kendall Square—are strategically placed to win affluent trade. Kendall Square, for instance, is the home of high-tech industry in Boston. Many workers bring their clothes in for cleaning on their way to work. The flagship store, on Charles Street in Beacon Hill, home of Boston Brahmins, does $500,000 revenue. Under negotiation is a fourth drop store in the South End. Altogether, Clevergreen’s annual sales are approaching $1.2 million. That’s after being in business only eight years.

Sayan is firm on seeing that his drop stores obtain a 20-year lease. And these are not the kind of leases under which the landlord adjusts the rent after three years. Sayan’s pitch to the landlord: “We want to become part of the neighborhood and that takes time. You must provide us that time.”

At Clevergreen, good service is essential to keeping its customers happy. Its truck picks up and delivers every day at all locations, so same-day service is standing operating procedure. The company also offers 3-hour rush service at a premium price. The staffers at the drop stores and plant counter are all trained to be professional yet personal, Sayan says. “I encourage them to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. This helps them to be more understanding and sympathetic.”

Sayan admits that hiring the right people is key. “One of the hardest things is to get a self-motivated drop store manager who cares about his/her customer,” he explains. “It’s a matter of hiring people who I think will work out (or) getting rid of them promptly if they aren’t doing the job and replacing them with someone who will. And then when you get the right person, doing whatever is necessary to keep him/her happy.”

Sayan once co-owned another dry cleaner, Tuttle Cleaners, for many years, but he sold his share of that business in 2006, and many staffers came over to work for him at Clevergreen.

Another of Sayan’s people-management principles is communication. “When something is going on, I’ll say to the person that I can’t help you unless I know what’s the matter.” They often open up to him, he says, allowing him to concoct a solution.

Thanks to his people skills, Sayan maintains a loyal team. His driver has been an employee for 24 years, the plant seamstress 31. Altogether, there are 25 full- and part-time workers.

Sayan is quite sensitive to the needs of employees with children. Accordingly, he maintains a child-friendly permissiveness and has allocated a space in the plant for children. It has toys, a large-screen TV and comfortable couches, wherein a child could be entertained for hours. Yet it is right out in the open. “We understand that parents might have babysitter problems with their children, and it is perfectly OK to bring them here for the day,” he says.

Another worker accommodation is flex-time scheduling. That means if someone comes in late, he/she is not chastised. Rather, there is a workload to get through, and it’s that person’s responsibility to do the work.

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