Sustainability and the laundry industry
We’ve all heard about the detrimental impact that COVID-19 has had on our hospitality sector, but when you take a moment to consider the fate of those that provide essential services to the industry, we uncover a far further reaching problem that could see thousands of businesses and their employees impacted.
Laundry businesses servicing hotels for example may have found that demand for their expertise has all but died off. Many who had previously held contracts to clean towels, tablecloths and bedsheets for hotels have turned towards helping the healthcare sector to futureproof their business and help in the fight against Coronavirus. Aside from the larger commercial operations which have been forced to rethink their services and pivot towards new sectors, there is also the question of how smaller, high street laundry and dry cleaning operations can stay afloat with more and more people working from home.
Now more than ever, sustainability is a watchword for laundry businesses nationwide. It can be used to drive more cost-efficient processes, win new business and minimise environmental impact; something that more and more of us are thinking about as we grapple with a pandemic.
The use of chemicals traditionally used for dry cleaning has seen something of a downturn as people are actively seeking out more environmentally friendly ways of cleaning their bed linen, suits and other items.
Wet cleaning is one of the latest technologies to arrive in the laundry industry and is helping businesses to be more sustainable in their day-to-day operations as well as helping to protect the environment in the longer term.
A solvent-free, non-toxic process that uses water and gentle detergents, wet cleaning can be used on a variety of fabrics including delicate silks and leathers. It is far less damaging to the natural environment than traditional dry cleaning.
Another way that laundries are making their businesses more sustainable is to add additional revenue items to the bottom line. One thing that we are seeing more of is a move to educate customers on at-home garment care with the sale of items such as lint rollers, spot treatment sprays and moth repellent products.
Many of these products are now created using recycled materials and position the laundry as a one-stop-shop for all things fabric care, giving the bottom line a much-needed lift with a non time-sensitive service.
Reduce reliance on single-use plastics
The reliance on single-use plastics in the laundry industry has caused concern for many environmentalists. More and more, the industry as a whole is moving towards adopting reusable bags for laundered items, cutting down on the amount of single use plastic required.
From sustainable suit bags made of sturdy materials to large bedding sacks that can be branded, many dry cleaners are able to boast green credentials by offering reusable bags at a small charge to customers and increase the visibility of their business at the same time.