NEW YORK — America’s Best Cleaners (ABC) and Lodi, N.J.-based Green Apple Cleaners recently held a workshop focusing on “green” drycleaning technologies for the design team of high-end clothier Brooks Brothers.
ABC focused on the Solvair "hybrid" system, liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) and wetcleaning techniques in after-sale care. The company’s technical team brought garments from the latest line to test, including a leather jacket with horn toggles, a leather-and-linen knit sweater, and other garments.
“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,” said Christopher White, ABC’s director of business development. “When a design team creates [a] new product, they need to know how it will respond to all cleaning techniques.”
The team was pleased with the results, ABC added, and surprised to find out that “ecofriendly” can be easy on fabrics, too. “CO2 and wetcleaning are better for the clothes, hands-down,” says Green Apple founder David Kistner. “When the Brooks Brothers team handed us the linen-and-leather garment, we put it through the Solvair system and it came out exactly how it went in, but cleaner.”
Green Apple joined ABC last year after passing a stringent certification process that includes swatch testing from the Hohenstein Institutes, an independent textile lab based in Germany. “Environmental stewardship is just one of the many criteria that qualify a drycleaner to be recommended by America’s Best,” White said. “We first look at quality of cleaning and finishing, customer service, and delivery systems, among other factors.”
Good designers take cleaning into consideration at the concept stage, Kistner added, and more are going a step further to ask how garments cam 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,” he said. “In fact, it’s become trendy to be green.”
Green Apple is a founding member of the Sustainable Business Network of New York City (www.sbnyc.org) and active in many “green” initiatives. The company is now 100% wind-powered, and delivers to more than 10,000 clients in metro New York using Smart cars, pedibikes, and hybrid and biodiesel vans.