What a year! 2019 passed by in the blink of an eye and with constantly busy schedules for everyone at BLANC, but it’s a year that I will always look back on with pride and a large smile.
This year, we opened two new London stores in great locations in White City’s Television Centre and South Kensington and continued growing our home collection & deliveries and our cleaning and alterations activities for major fashion and luxury houses.
Green at heart
With growth comes responsibility, and one of the main focuses was undoubtedly sustainability - 2019 allowed us to make some major strides in the right direction. In particular, we found a solution to stop using the plastic ‘polywraps’ which plague the dry cleaning industry and replace them with a fully compostable option. This is a serious financial commitment on our part (the cost per unit is 5x larger than the normal plastic ones), and the answer to years of work and research - I personally cannot wait to integrate this into our daily operations in early 2020.
We also moved all new electricity contracts to renewable energy and finally managed to source our first electric van (quite a major investment, but the right thing to do): watch out for it on London’s streets from January 2020!
Growing the BLANC Team
With growth also comes a very important emphasis on people. We welcomed a great number of inspiring new talents into the BLANC family, and together we worked extremely hard to push our boundaries and reach new successes.
Finally, we spent a lot of time strengthening our operations to ensure quality, on-time delivery and great customer service for all our customers. Given the size of our operation (we now clean in excess of 1,200 garments per day!), this was and is no mean feat, and we still have far to go to reach the standards we have set ourselves; but believe me when I say that no detail is overlooked, no opportunity to learn missed when it comes to continuous improvement in our operations team.
Hard work pays off as they say; we had the honour of receiving four prestigious awards in the past year to reward our team’s focus and determination: first the Common Objective Leadership Awards in March, then The Sustainable Lifestyle Awards and the Franco British Business Awards in November; we were also awarded the Ethical Company Accreditation in October, with a high-ranking Ethical Company Index (ECI) score of 95 that I could not be more proud of.
These public marks of recognition are great rewards for our hard-working teams, and really help us challenge the status quo in the dry cleaning industry by spreading the word about wet cleaning, so I am ever so thankful for them. Although, of course, the most important recognition for us comes from our customers and each time you order a collection or delivery online or walk into one of our stores, rest assured that we will work tirelessly to ensure that our service reaches the highest standards.
This is why I want to finish off with a massive thank you to everyone - customers, employees, partners - who helped make this year a memorable one.