Make The Switch To Eco Dry Cleaning
We believe that every person has two homes: the earth and their body. At BLANC, we care deeply about both. That is why we get up every morning to work on decreasing toxicity in cleaning and the environment, enabling our customers to live more healthily and inspiring change in our industry.
Our vision for the future is a planet-friendly, health-friendly and sustainable dry cleaning industry. Sadly, dry cleaning “en masse” as we find it today is not ticking any of these boxes. This is why Ludovic & Mathilde Blanc decided that it all had to change and set out to open the first wet cleaning service of its kind in London. Ever since the first BLANC store opened its doors in Marylebone in 2013, BLANC has quite literally been cleaning up the industry and changing its course for the better. For us, there is no doubt that wet is the new dry! Let us tell you why…
What is Wet Cleaning?
Unlike conventional dry cleaners who soak clothes in toxic chemicals which they then evaporate at very high temperatures, we use the much more planet-and-people-friendly ‘wet clean’ technology. Based on non-toxic, biodegradable detergents and pure water, wet cleaning does not require the use of toxic solvents to be highly effective - rather the use of very sophisticated machines, which were developed by Electrolux, programmed by us and calibrated to be just the right amount of gentle on fibres and tough on stains. These machines calculate individual cycles for each type of fabric (be it wool, cashmere, silk, lace, etc) or garment type. All in all, wet cleaning is a beautiful mixture of artisan care and expert tech: our specialists lovingly hand-treat fabrics with expert use of natural pre-spotting products, wet clean garments with biodegradable detergents in our specialist machines, and then hand finish and press them on our top of the range pressing tables. This sympathetic and individual care for garments leaves them softer, brighter and fresher.
Here's what a garment's journey looks like in our Atelier:
1. Garment examination: it all starts with a full inspection of each garment entering our Atelier where all details about an item are recorded in our system. These notes will follow the garment through every step of the wet cleaning cycle, so that our colleagues are aware of what is required for each piece.
2. Stain spotting: this is where stains are assessed and treated by hand using a range of non-toxic agents. Depending on the nature of the stain our professional Stain Spotting Experts will choose the appropriate stain remover.
3. Machine cleaning: next, the garment is put into our intelligent cleaning machines, with the appropriate cycle. Their delicate and sophisticated mechanical action ensures fibres are respected and items can be cleaned safely, a bit like 'hand wash', only way more effective.
4. Drying and pressing by hand: we dry the items in gentle dryers or let them air dry, and steam shape on specifically designed machines to give the best finish. Our professional pressers hand finish away any and all remaining creases and make sure the item is pressed to the highest standard.
5. Quality-check: before being packed carefully ready to return to you, we perform an individual check of each garment, one after the other, to ensure that the process has worked its magic!
Why We Don't Use PERC
Despite its name, conventional dry cleaning is not dry at all - nor is it clean, as this process includes soaking the garments in solvent-based cleaners, such as 'PERC' (perchloroethylene). PERC is the dominating solvent in the “dry” cleaning industry, accounting for 80% to 85% of all dry cleaning fluids used by conventional dry cleaners to clean garments - this despite being toxic and known as a health and environmental hazard. PERC is a colourless, non-flammable chemical which has, since the 1950s, been used as the standard solvent for dry cleaning. It has more recently been banned in France, the US and other European countries because of the risks that come with using PERC.
Exposure to perchloroethylene can occur in the workplace or in the environment, when people use products containing PERC, spend time in dry cleaning facilities that use PERC, or bring dry cleaned garments into their home.
Better for your health, your clothes and the planet
Wet cleaning is better for your health as it completely removes the risk of exposure to PERC - it doesn’t use any! Consumers who use a wet cleaning service know that their clothes are well taken care of and will return home with a noticeably softer and fresher garment, free of any toxic chemicals that may be harmful to themselves and their families. Making it a habit to go to a wet cleaner instead of a dry cleaner is a simple solution to reduce the exposure to unnecessary chemicals in your life. It will make your skin and your health forever grateful.
Using wet cleaning also has a positive impact on clothes: while dry cleaning can damage your clothes and deteriorate the fabric fibres because of the high temperatures and harsher chemicals used in the process, wet cleaning helps your clothes last longer by using lower temperatures and natural detergents. Using water for cleaning restores the purity of whites and preserves the brightness of coloured items, which in most cases get dull after consistently being exposed to other cleaning methods. At BLANC, we want customers to have a sustainable alternative for clothing aftercare. We also want to prolong the lifespan of all garments entering our Atelier. We believe that caring for what you already have in your wardrobe well is the most sustainable option.
Finally, wet cleaning is the most environmentally friendly professional method of garment cleaning. It does not generate hazardous waste, nor does the process create air pollution. It reduces the potential for water and soil contamination. All our settings clean at much lower temperatures, water is heated on demand to reduce energy usage in machines that are already much more energy efficient, and steam resulting from this process is used in other parts of the cleaning process.
Protecting your health, your clothes and the environment is our number one priority at BLANC, and we strongly believe that our wet cleaning technology brings value to all three. At BLANC, we work hard to make every step of our process more sustainable, from recycling to packaging - you can read more about our approach in our blog post “BLANC’s fight against plastic pollution”.