BLANC Lab x ALICE
Agathe Blanquart - the CEO of the "chic with a Parisian twist" kids fashion label ALICE à PARIS - mentioned to Mathilde, our CXO, that she was looking to add to her brand's sustainability credentials. She wanted to learn more about garment care cycles to prolong the life of her designs. Fortunately we knew just how to help them...
What is BLANC Lab?
The BLANC Lab is what we have been working on behind the scenes for a few months and we are really quite excited about it.
The goal is to encourage the use of the “W” symbol on ALL garment care labels, and become the first and most premium cleaning test space for the fashion industry. We wish to test all fabrics and garments with our wet clean technology to demonstrate to brands that “Wet is best” - because conventional dry cleaning is toxic and is in the process of being phased out by many governments.
Wet cleaning is by far the healthiest, most eco-friendly alternative and can now be done to a great standard.
BLANC Lab sets out to incentivise designers to switch over to the “W” care symbol on their care labels. This will mean that their customers can have the peace of mind and enjoyment of a healthy, green after-care alternative for the garments they purchase.
We have been working quite closely with a number of brands - some of them luxury - to help them test garments and fabrics, and see how they behave with various cleaning methods and processes. We can tell which designs last or don’t last as well, and for how long.
We also want to work with and encourage smaller brands that can’t afford to have an in-house lab testing their garments before commercialising them. If they test them with us, they know in advance what will happen to their design when customers bring them in to us or others. This is so that no unexpected damage or discolouration occurs after the act of purchase - because a tested design comes with better after-care instructions. This is better for the brands themselves, their customers - and dry cleaners of course, who will be able to do a much better job. There is also benefit for BLANC, as it enables us to fine-tune our specific programmes and cycles to cover the widest range of fabrics and designs - to provide an ever better, more personalised clean.
Introducing... ALICE à PARIS!
Winner of the 2018 Babyccino “Best Tweens Fashion” Award, ALICE à PARIS' mission is for parents to enjoy dressing their children every day without spending too much, so kids can live their daily adventures with style. They are very focused on making quality designs that last - children's clothes that can be played in joyfully and without a care in the world, then passed on to siblings or cousins. A brand after our own hearts!
ALICE à PARIS’ creations are known for their Parisian twist and love-at-first-sight prints and colours in natural fabrics - floral, check, stripes, texture, flashy colours and classic tones.
BLANC Lab x ALICE à PARIS
Agathe Blanquart, ALICE à PARIS' CEO and Creative Director, has been very keen to take her brand to the next level when it comes to sustainability since she took over from the original owners in 2016. She understood that parents want to buy clothes that last, and that the world needs fashion labels, big or small, to care about what happens after customers purchase their designs.
Agathe had personally been an early adopter of wet cleaning and a real brand ambassador for us, so it was natural that we would want to partner with her label at some point. Which we’re doing this September! Lovely ALICE à PARIS creations are adorning the windows of our London stores this month - and also ALICE à PARIS’s BLANC Lab tests are coming to fruition.
After testing many of her proposed fabrics in 5 successive wet cleaning or laundry cycles at our West London Atelier, we could determine the relative durability, and resistance to spotting and cleaning, of a number of the fabrics that were considered for ALICE à PARIS’ upcoming collection. The results informed her decision of which ones to go ahead with.
We also tested 10 of her most popular designs, which small brands are often unable to do, to determine what garment care instructions to best apply to each - whether something required professional Wet Clean or was ok to wash in the laundry. In that case we helped her determine the right temperature to put on the care label based on the garment’s composition, as well as whether it was tumble dry friendly, and how hot the ironing could be. Testing also enabled us to record what hand treatments and care cycles were best should her customers decide to give BLANC various ALICE à PARIS garments to clean.
“The various tests with BLANC gave me 100% confidence that the garment care labels I put on each of my designs are perfectly suited to them”,
Agathe says. “I know that my customers can clean their garments numerous times, or wash them at home as the case may be, without having to worry about potentially damaging their children’s clothes with the wrong care treatment. I feel that my designs now basically have the BLANC-tested seal of authenticity”.
ALICE à PARIS are sold on the concept of testing fabrics and designs ahead of producing their new collections. “Being able to test our designs and fabrics as many times as we wanted, to ask questions and try various things with the BLANC Lab team made the whole process so much easier for us”, Agathe says. ALICE à PARIS is sure to hold many more testing sessions in our airy West London Atelier! “We are working on putting the “W” - for Professional Wet Clean - on our garment care labels as soon as we possibly can.
On top of knowing that this will be so much better for all the children who wear our designs, we are thrilled to be doing our bit for the environment - to make the world we leave our children a better place”, concludes Agathe.
We at BLANC have high hopes that we can partner with more designers and work hand-in-hand with them to make the fashion industry more sustainable. If you own or run a fashion brand and are interested to hear more about our wet cleaning Lab, how to put “W” on your garment care labels, or how to test your designs to ensure they are longer-lasting, please get in touch with Mathilde and she will tell you more and arrange a visit to our Atelier.
ALICE à PARIS are known for their beautiful blouses for boys and girls, ballerina skirts and cute baby rompers among many smart and simple designs. The team is working hard to fulfil their dream to offer an authentic, accessible and reasonably priced designer fashion so parents can enjoy dressing their little adventurers with style every day. From sizes 3 months to 14 years. To view their full collection visit www.aliceaparis.com, or take a look at their Instagram page.