In an industry where using toxic chemicals is considered to be the norm, it is refreshing to see successful companies challenge the status quo while retaining their position as industry leaders. This not only helps the environment directly, but also serves as an example to other aspiring companies within the same industry to take equal or greater eco-friendly business initiatives without sacrificing profits.
Love Your Leather, a well known dry cleaner in Toronto, is one such company that is taking environmental protection very seriously in an industry which has long been known to heavily pollute local environments. In most cases, dry cleaners use a highly toxic carcinogenic solvent called perchloroethylene (perc), which has incredible cleaning qualities, however, also causes harm to the environment.
During the dry cleaning process, perc can contaminate the surrounding air, ground and water systems through the three phases of the dry cleaning process; cleaning, purification and disposal of solvents. In a Greenpeace report released in the year 2001, an astounding 70% of perc used for dry cleaning ends up contaminating the environment.
Eliminating the use of perc in dry cleaning is just one of many initiatives that Tony Kantzavelos, owner of Love Your Leather, is undertaking to minimize his company’s carbon footprint. Below is a more detailed explanation of how Love Your Leather is helping preserve the natural environment while remaining an industry leader.
Delivering Exceptional Results Without Harming The Environment
So how does Love Your Leather continue to deliver exceptional results to their clients without using the harmful but powerful chemical solvents that most of their competitors are using? According to Mr Kantzavelos, this is not very difficult to do. All that’s required is to invest in the best eco-friendly machines and solvents on the market and provide your staff with extensive training on using these methods to get the same effectiveness you would get from using traditional dry cleaning methods.
To elaborate more on this, Love Your Leather has invested in state-of-the-art closed loop dry cleaning machines that can use ecofriendly and biodegradable solvents instead of perc. Further to this, all of the detergents used at Love Your Leather are locally sourced, lowering emissions caused by long distance transport requirements.
Using the water wet cleaning method
Mr Kantzavelos has also invested in training his staff to use the water wet cleaning method whenever possible. This method uses biodegradable soaps and conditioners in a high end but gentle washing machine.
After the cleaning process is complete, his highly trained staff places the garments on specialized pressing machines in order to reshape the garments to their original shape and size. This method releases zero harmful chemicals into the environment and delivers similar results to using perc, as long as the staff operating the machines are properly trained.
Other Ways Love Your Leather Is Helping The Environment
Using environmentally friendly dry cleaning solvents and alternative cleaning methods is just one of many ways Love Your Leather is actively reducing their carbon footprint. Mr Kantzavelos believes that it is his responsibility as an industry leader to be an example for other companies by making environmental sustainability an important factor when making business decisions at every level.
Here are some of the other initiatives that Love Your Leather is taking to help keep the environment clean for future generations:
- Using a state-of-the-art energy efficient facility with large windows facing south to take advantage of solar heating and low power consumption light systems
- Regularly maintaining their fleet of delivery vehicles to make sure they have optimal gas consumption and minimum wear
- Only working with partners that have a similar commitment to environmental sustainability built into their business decisions
- Periodically training their staff on the most current environmentally sustainable methods available and making them aware of how to care for the environment
- Reusing water and regulating its usage when possible, without sacrificing cleaning quality
- Automating as many processes as possible to to make a more efficient workflow and put a lower strain on their facilities electricity requirements
Hopefully other major players in the dry cleaning industry can learn from the examples that Love Your Leather is exhibiting, and be confident that they don’t have to sacrifice their profits to be a more environmentally conscious company, as is true for Love Your Leather.
By supporting more companies like Love Your Leather, we can eventually change the status quo in the dry cleaning industry and other similar industries that have been damaging the environment for far too long.