Posts tagged green

Material World: Sudsies Lays Out The Fabrics of the Future, Part III

Sustainable Trends
Companies across all industries continue to be scrutinized for their environmental practices, and the business of fashion is no different. Many fabrics claim to be “green” and labels tout sustainable practices – vegan leathers, organic fabrics, local manufacturing, recycled or repurposed materials, fair trade, etc.  All sounds great, but if this cause is close to heart, we recommend doing a little research to get the full picture behind each claim. A great resource we found is, which allows you to search labels and retailers from around the world through variety of categories.

In our own research, we came across designer Carole Collett, who is elevating eco-friendly fabrics to eco-MADE. She uses her background in science and textile manufacturing to create textiles from “living technology.” Her Bio-Lace work projects what designs plants would create if they were engineered to grow textiles. The resulting images showcase beautifully intricate lace-like patterns from the plants’ roots. It’s a concept we hope to see much more of in the future.

Happy Earth Day!

Next week we’ll go back to the future…


Don’t forget to read Part I and Part II of this series..

Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaning

Green energy. Green initiatives. Green companies.

Green this. Green that. Green me with an eco-friendly whiffle ball bat.

That’s right. Everyone – and everything – is going green. In fact, chances are YOU have already “gone green” (go ahead, look in the mirror…if you dare). Or if you haven’t, your neighbor has (and is probably chastising you for lagging behind the times). But what does it all mean, really? Would you necessarily even know it if you’ve already gone green? And once you go green, can you ever go back?

Simply put, it means living a more environmentally friendly and conscious lifestyle. By choosing to do things – both big and little – a little bit differently than the ways most of us have done them in the past. You know, like recycling bottles and cans. Printing out fewer emails. Purchasing more fuel-efficient automobiles. Biking and walking to local spots. These are all ways we can work to reduce our individual “carbon footprint” on the planet. At a time when it needs all the help it can get.  

Individuals like you aren’t the only ones taking further steps toward establishing and maintaining a more eco-friendly world, however. Businesses are also getting in on the action, perhaps motivated by consumers and their increasingly healthy and conscious choices. Companies both large and small alike are researching and implementing more environmentally sound practices, and often listening closely to consumer feedback and suggestions in doing so.

Examples range from Enterprise Rent-A-Car offering “carbon offsets” (allowing consumers to fund green energy projects to compensate for polluting behavior) to New Belgium Brewery manufacturing and bottling craft beer entirely via alternative energy sources to Clif Bar eliminating shrink-wrap packaging and shipping its organic energy bars via biodiesel-powered trucks. And more and more, such examples are becoming the norm.

You can get more insight into the “greening of mainstream business,” including news, podcasts, videos and job listings, by visiting <>  – the Business Voice of the Green Economy.

The professional dry cleaning industry has also seen a surge in eco-friendly practices and businesses. More progressive dry cleaners, such as Sudsies, employ an “environmental wet cleaning” process that utilizes specially treated and conditioned water, in addition to more traditional solvents. Other environmentally friendly dry cleaner practices include instituting systemic recycling programs, conserving more energy and water, investing in technology or services that exceed regulatory requirements and educating and training staff in environmental regulations and issues.

There’s even a Green Cleaners Council working to promote and reward genuine environmental sustainability efforts and expose “greenwashing.” The council has established a set of benchmarks to rate dry cleaners on their eco-friendly practices, and also provides them with a forum to share their successes and discuss strategies for future growth. The scores achieved on the “blind review” also help customers determine how green their cleaner really is.

You can see how your favorite dry cleaner rates on the Green Scale by visiting the Green Cleaners Council online at <>.


Green Drycleaning

While being green is often associated with being expensive, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips on how you can save money while doing what is best for the environment!  

  1. Bring Lunch: It reduces waste from takeout lunches like styrofoam, plastic, and paper; while saving you five to ten dollars a day!  

  2. Eat Vegetarian (at least occasionally):  It is believed that raising animals for food is contributing to global warming. Vegetarian alternatives like pasta and beans are much less expensive than meat! 
  3. Shop Online: It is a more eco friendly way of getting what we need; saving gas and many grocery bags. There are also great online deals and coupons that can save you 10-15% or more! 

  4. Buy Bulk: It reduces the amount of wasteful packaging and trips that you will have to take to the store, it saves money in the long run. 

  5. Buy Used: If you do so, it cuts down on the emissions from manufacturing and transport of new goods. Buying used things are always cheaper than brand new; just make sure to look for gently used while shopping online!  

    Just a word of caution about buying used:  BUGS - MOTHS – SILVER FISH – BED BUGS.  A friend of mine made a ‘like new’ purchase on ebay of a white wool skirt.  The only problem was the skirt came complete with moth larvae, which infested her whole closet.  Sure, you can purchase used, but ALWAYS send it out for professional cleaning BEFORE you add it to your wardrobe or household decorations. 

  6. On line billing and bill payment: Cable companies are doing it. Utilities are doing it, and if your cleaner is a member of the Green Cleaner Council they may be doing it too!  Sign up for on line billing and payments whenever possible.  It saves paper, transportation costs and time! 

  7. Pick up and delivery services from your drycleaner: Make use of your cleaner’s pick up and delivery services.  There is an economy of scale attached to one cleaner travelling to many homes, as opposed to each customer making a trip to the cleaner. Saves you time too!  

Visit to find a GREEN cleaners near you!


Dry Cleaning: Everything you wanted to know

Sudsies Photos 0606 085

We all know where to find the local dry cleaner. At least those of us who have to dress up for a living do.

 But do we really know just what it is that goes on behind those doors? Do we really want to know? And if we did know…could we even handle The Truth?

If your answer to all of the above questions is “YES!” (or even a dryer “sure, why not?”), then you’ve come to the right place.


 The practice of dry cleaning actually dates back to ancient times, likely beginning with the advent of textile clothing itself.  The famous first-century ruins of Pompeii provide a record of a sophisticated trade of “fullers”, who used a type of clay called “fuller’s earth” along with lye and ammonia. The Parisian firm of Jolly-Belin, launched much later in the 1840s, is considered the first official dry cleaning business. We’re pretty certain they didn’t have a website, however.


 Contrary to its name, dry cleaning is not a completely dry operation. In fact, certain fluids called “solvents” are always used in the process.

 In the early days, camphene, benzene, kerosene and gasoline were all used as solvents. As you can imagine, this made for some “heated situations”, and in the 1930s, a nonflammable, synthetic solvent called percholoroethylene, or “perc” for short, came into play. Perc is still used in many dry cleaning plants, though other solvents have also been developed and implemented.


 Today’s dry cleaners are efficient, machine-run operations – although the careful attention to detail at the end is always done the old-fashioned way. While there are a wide variety of dry cleaning machines out there, they all work on the same principle, and consist of four basic parts ­– a holding tank, a pump, a filter and a cylinder.

 The cylinder, or wheel, holds the garments. The holding tank holds the solvent, and the pump circulates the solvent through the machine during the cleaning and disinfecting process. The filter is used to trap solid impurities.  After the cleaning cycle, the solvent is drained and an “extract” cycle is run to remove the excess solvent from the clothes. Once the clothes have finished extracting, the cylinder stops.

 The drying process is a personalized affair, and uses warm air circulated through the cylinder to vaporize the solvent left on the clothes.  Stain removal, finishing and packaging are all done by hand, although specialized finishing tools and machinery may also be utilized.

 There’s a little more to the process, but you get the drift. After all, we don’t want to be too “dry” here.

 Of course, more and more dry cleaners like Sudsies are environmentally conscious and employ increasingly eco-friendly dry cleaning processes. So let it never be said that this is a dirty business – at least as far as we’re concerned.


Go Green even When You Dry Clean!

Green Dry CleanUnless you’ve been living under a rock or in a cabin out in the woods (and that would certainly be ironic), you’ve heard a lot lately about “going green.”

It seems the tide has turned permanently toward a greater protection and stewardship of the environment, and Americans of all stripes are making more of a concerted effort to reduce their “carbon footprint” – or at least thinking about doing so.

Green automobiles. Green energy. Green business. Green politics. It seems everywhere you turn, green is the dominant color.

Things are no different in the professional dry cleaning industry. An emerging “green movement” is challenging some long-standing practices, such as the process of “wet cleaning” with regular water, which is a less toxic alternative to what is now in use. So please make sure to find a dry cleaner that is educated in and uses this eco-friendly method.

Other ways a dry cleaner can “go green” include instituting systemic recycling programs, conserving more energy and water, investing in technology or services that exceed regulatory requirements and educating and training staff in environmental regulations and matters.

There’s even a Green Cleaners Council hard at work to promote and reward “green marketing” and expose “greenwashing”. The council represents a wide cross-section of the industry, including customers, attorneys, engineers and waste management experts. The council has established a set of benchmarks to judge dry cleaners on their environmental sustainability, and also provides them with a forum to champion their successes and discuss strategies for further growth. The scores achieved on the “blind review” also help customers determine just how green their cleaner is.

Thanks to ongoing innovations like a plastic hanger recycling program and an EPA Design for the Environment program-endorsed wetcleaning process  along with many invaluable suggestions from caring customers – performed very well on the review, earning four out of five leaves.

So do the right thing and go Green today. See how your favorite dry cleaner rates on the Green Scale by visiting the Green Cleaners Council online at