So, here are five more. With a new year upon us, businesses and business people are rightly focused on cutting costs and extending the life of assets. The same principles should apply to your business wardrobe.
- Check and act on mould.
It is hot and humid. With jackets retired to the wardrobe for this endless summer, they become a breeding ground for mould and mildew. We are seeing a lot of mould, particularly on leather.
Mould is bad for clothing and it can also make you sick. Leaving it there means it will eat away at your clothing, often damaging them for good. So don’t leave it to fester on your clothing. A solution of vinegar and water to wipe out the wardrobe will kill any spores then get the clothes professionally cleaned to stop any damage.
- Ditch the plastic.
The other mistake people make is to leave their suits, jackets and other clothing in the dry cleaning cover or other plastic. Take them out of these coverings which are a breeding ground for mould and mildew. Pop a moisture absorbing product (you can get them from the supermarket) in your wardrobe.
- Jackets off or hang them.
If you are still wearing a suit or jacket to work, no doubt you are getting out of the car, bus or train with a wet back. Take the jacket off for the trip to and from work and when you are not in meetings. In the car, hang your jacket or fold it, inside out, to protect the show side material from sun and other damage.
When you get to the office or get home, hang the jacket, particularly if it is sweaty, outside or in the bathroom for a bit, rather than in the wardrobe.
Don’t forget to get those shoes out of the wardrobe too!
- Refurbish your assets.
If washing or cleaning has taken its toll on your clothing, think about getting it professionally re-dyed. Extend the life of that favourite (perhaps lucky), expensive dress, jacket, skirt or pair of pants. Don’t throw away a perfectly good asset. You will be back looking like a million dollars for a fraction of the cost. You can re-dye any colour but at the moment we are dyeing a lot of black clothing. Re-dyeing is also a great option for an item which has a stain or discolouring that just won’t come out.
While you’re in refurbish mode, many people waste money by throwing out a skirt or pants simply because the hem has come down. If you can’t sew, put the stapler down and get someone who knows what they are doing to re-hem it for you.
Many organisations are focused on future-proofing. Do the same for the planet.
As well as reusing, make sure you recycle. If you are throwing out clothing, see if an op shop or someone else can use the item.
We supply calico bags to our customers now to bring in their laundry. And while I am still working on a replacement for the plastic covers for dry cleaned items, we have joined with the local Plastic Police initiative. Bring your old plastic clothing cleaning covers and any other scrunchable plastic you have into our stores so the team at Plastic Police can convert it into furniture for schools and other uses. While you are at it, think about how your business can incorporate recycled plastic into your manufacturing processes and purchasing. We can’t just keep recycling if there is no end use for the product.
First impressions count. It only takes a little bit of time to keep looking good for business and to protect the planet.
Jennie Lyons is the owner of Pride Dry Cleaning and Laundry and a former Director of the Hunter Business Chamber.
Jennie is passionate about the environment and has transformed her business into an eco-friendly one, vastly reducing chemical, water and energy use as well as recycling all scrunchable plastics. Pride was the first Hunter business to sign up to the Hunter-based Plastic Police recycling program.
She prides herself on delivering innovative customer service too and was the first dry cleaner to install a red box for 24/7 drop off, pick up and payments. She also provides pick-up and delivery to local business offices