Green grow the cleaners-oh20 May 2021
Cleaners are colouring their world green – from solvents and chemicals combined with processes that are capable of zapping pathogens, including Covid-19, to putting the kybosh on single use plastics. Kathy Bowry reports
On the High Street, there is an appetite for ‘green’ as the public demands gentler methods for cleaning their precious textiles and, coming out of lockdown, it could be that this drive could be a life saver for beleaguered operators. It is a fresh message for a new start that could encourage more footfall.
According to GreenEarth, 2020 was a year no one could have ever predicted. It was a year for pivots and adaptations but also resilience. As unconventional of a year as it was, 2020 offered an opportunity to meet new challenges head-on and plan for the future. And that’s precisely what the team at GreenEarth Cleaning did.
In the spring of last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) determined that the lipid layer of the coronavirus could be attacked with heat of at least 70C for 30 minutes. Due to the higherthan- normal temperatures generated in its drycleaning process, based on its 77C flashpoint, GreenEarth began testing with MRI Global, an independent laboratory approved for testing with SARS-CoV-2, while communicating with Stanford Medical regarding the disinfection of N-95 masks used in healthcare.
The testing demonstrated that through modifying the standard GreenEarth Cleaning process increases the effectiveness of eradication of the virus on textiles by more than six times the results achieved using the WHO ‘heat alone’ guidance. Additionally, the modifications to the system demonstrated kill rates as high as 99% without any additive chemicals. The company has since filed a provisional patent covering a modified GreenEarth drycleaning process to allow for antiviral drycleaning when the virus contains a protective lipid layer.
GreenEarth, now comprised of more than 6,000 retail points of service operated by licensed partners in 40 countries, was introduced in 1999 after nine months of testing in 25 operating plants. From that initial testing period, 26,000 data points were used to determine there was no environmental liability or human health hazard associated with the system. The solution replaces traditional petrochemical solvents with pure liquid silicone, making it environmentally non-toxic, odourless, and gentle on fabric, says GreenEarth.
The sustainability-first business hasn’t stopped there, though. In the 2010s, GreenEarth tested natural filtration systems used in food processing in an effort to help its Affiliates save time, energy, equipment, and money. Its Activated Clay Filtration (ACF), which replaces the traditional cartridge filter combined with constant distillation process, has been proven to lower energy consumption by up to 50%, plus the elimination of hazardous cartridges contributing to landfill waste.
Since the very beginning, GreenEarth has prioritised testing, whether it be drycleaning plant operations, local marketing initiatives for affiliates, certain fabric reactions to the cleaning process, or virus and bacteria deactivation. It’s undeniable that 2020 proved to be challenging, but GreenEarth Cleaning’s commitment to continued learning paved a path for further innovation within the industry.
Still waste diminished
Jumping over to Kreussler, the company is talking about its Clip Green Conc solution. Kreussler developed this drycleaning detergent specifically to help its clients reduce their still waste production without compromising on quality.
Designed for use with both Perc and Hydrocarbon, Clip Green Conc is a super concentrated detergent(Conc is short for concentrated) that has 100% active ingredients with no fillers or co-solvents. A measurable percentage of still residue comes from the inactive components of detergents, so reducing the detergent addition will have a direct effect on the cleaning and handle effect, but with Clip Green Conc the required dosage is ½- ¼ the standard dosage of other detergents.
Excellent cleaning results, long lasting static control, and a fresh, clean smell are the noticeable results you will see on the textiles, said Kreussler.
In the machine, drycleaners will notice a significant reduction in the volume of still waste and a hygienically maintained machine which will dry faster and have less risk of bacteria or malodour development. Clip Green is a premium injection detergent and will directly impact your waste production and detergent consumption making it a perfect complement to a sustainable drycleaning plant, says Kreussler.
TIMPSON GROUP’S GOT ITS SUSTAINABLE MOJO WORKING
The Timpson Group has 695 outlets doing drycleaning, 31 hubs and is supported by the Morrisons/Johnsons business (MoJo) which boasts 257 outlets throughout the UK and six Jeeves shops in London. This time last year the company bought Columbine which has six shops in the south east including the Tunbridge Wells, Kent, shop which will become a new hub.
Brent Sabey, retail director for Morrisons Dry Cleaning/Johnsons Cleaners says: “Our Johnsons business uses GreenEarth and our Timpson @ Morrisons branches use perc. We always have the use of perc in our minds and are constantly discussing sustainable alternatives for the future which is why we have started investing in wetcleaning.
“Sustainability is very important to our business and our customers. In 2019 we invested in an Electrolux ‘lagoon’ wetcleaning system which was installed into our new Hinckley branch.
“Both our colleagues and customers love the fact it’s better for the environment while giving great results to their cleaning. We also have wetcleaning systems in two of our drycleaning hubs – Electrolux ‘lagoon’ in one and a Girbau setup in the other.
“For obvious reasons, investment of new kit has taken a back seat over the past 12 months but it’s definitely something we will be revisiting in the future. We are also continuing to reduce our plastic footprint.” MoJo is achieving this by:
- Encouraging customers to transport their cleaning in reusable garment carriers
- Redesigning our Polyrobe so it can be used as a bin bag after use.
- Charging for Polyrobe.
- Changing to hangers made from recycled plastic.
- Reusing/recycling customers’ hangers
“We already repair, fix or prolong the life of our customers shoes, watches, phones and garments – so we feel well placed as a business to play our part here,” concludes Sabey.