We may make a choice of ecological clothing , one which is made in the best conditions and which has the least possible impact during its design, the fact remains that a large part of the ecological traces of clothing reside in clothing care.
When we say maintenance , we calculate the quantity of water used, detergents/stain removers/softeners and drying. The way and frequency of washing a garment will have an impact on its lifespan and a shortened lifespan means a greater ecological impact. That said, all stages of garment care have their alternative: wash in cold water, ecological detergent, vinegar as anti-static softener and hang to dry!
But what about a garment that requires dry cleaning?
Do you think washing clothing without water is possible? It's fishy, isn't it? In fact, this type of washing only treats the fibers on the surface.
And what about the human and environmental health impact of dry cleaning?
Let it be said, already when leaving, when purchasing a garment whose instructions suggest dry washing, several costs are to be anticipated. First, there are the economic costs. Depending on the item of clothing to be maintained, prices vary between approximately $4 and $20. Let's take the example of a jacket. The purchase prices for this are at least $150 for a quality jacket. Dry cleaning it will cost around $12 each time. We therefore agree that it is necessary to at least calculate double real costs when purchasing.
Maybe you've never thought about the question. Have you ever smelled a garment that has undergone this process? Otherwise, I invite you to open your nostrils slightly the next time you come into contact with a garment that has undergone traditional dry cleaning. Horror !
In most cases, what makes this process possible is the use of solvents that are toxic to both your health and the environment. The most commonly used is perchlorethylene , a solvent recognized as being harmful to health due to its neurotoxicity, potentially carcinogenic , and toxic for the environment. The latter is frequently used by cleaners, exposing the health of workers, that of their customers, but also that of the environment to danger if this gas is not recovered sufficiently and adequately.
Alternatives to dry cleaning
Fortunately, based on growing consumer interest in greener solutions, some cleaners have developed healthier water- or CO2-based dry cleaning processes. You can refer to the Daoust/Forget Group and other independent cleaners who offer beautiful dry cleaning solutions without toxic solvents .
In all cases, we invite you to contact your local cleaner in order to validate with him the process used and if it is still based on a toxic solvent, inform him of the other choices and your wish that it adopts new, more ecological strategies.
But at the end of the day?
For economic and ecological reasons, we invite you first and foremost to read the care labels when you are about to purchase a new item of clothing. It is clear that you will benefit from avoiding clothes requiring dry cleaning from both an economic and ecological point of view.
Ask your cleaner and make better choices for you and the environment!