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Making the switch to eco-friendly dry-cleaning. Better for your health, for your clothes, and for the planet

words by Camille Benard

January 22, 2020

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Orsola De Castro once said “The most sustainable clothes are the one already in your wardrobe”. Reusing clothes and repurposing them is at the heart of having a sustainable wardrobe. But making your clothes last longer, while being sustainable is another challenge that we need to collectively tackle. There is an overwhelming need for an alternative to regular dry cleaning.

Dry cleaning is often a resource people use to make sure their clothes are taken care of, but we are rarely told about the environmental and the human consequences it can have. The solvents used in regular dry cleaning, like Perc (perchloroethylene), can have catastrophic consequences on the environment. It can contaminate water supplies and soils, making them toxic for the animals and plants that live there. It also contaminates aquifers, rendering the water that we could use toxic. Even when the facilities have the right equipment, the products often end up being disposed of, harming the environment around them.

But it doesn’t only impact the environment, it also has effects on the dry-cleaners, and on the workers in the facilities. When looking into what products you use around your house, and your belongings, it’s always good to check the ingredients, and to make sure that nothing can harm you. Multiple studies have shown that the products (used in 80 to 85% of global dry cleaning) are carcinogenic. They can cause lung and skin cancer and can have a degrading impact on your central nervous system. When trying to switch to a sustainable lifestyle, taking into consideration the people working in the services is a must. 

We should focus on promoting eco-friendly dry cleaners that use non-toxic products for the environment, and for the health of the workers. Respecting the Earth, and the people that surround you should be the goal of every company. Blanc is one of the eco-friendly companies that offer the environmental and human considerations that we should all look for in a dry-cleaning company. They do not soak the clothes in toxic chemicals, but use a technique called “wet-cleaning”, that has been shown to be respectful to  all fabrics, while respecting the workers and the environment. It is easy on your clothes, and does not shrink or damage wool, as some solvents tend to do. It is an easy switch from your regular dry-cleaner that goes hand in hand with Save Your Wardrobe’s mission to create sustainable fashion.

Change can come with every small decision you make. Switching to an eco-friendly dry cleaner could head-start your journey to a sustainable wardrobe.

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