Monday, March 31, 2008
Dedicated to GJ on 2/4/08 for 2/4/72
1) We wrote a letter today to Runnymede to inform them that we have a blog. A reader thought it was so good that it should go on the blog. We got philosophical and added bits to the letter. Here it is:
2) This is mainly addressed to Runnymede through the Mayor's office. Reading the blog will suffice in keeping you abreast of developments. Apologies to others for repeat mailing.
3) Which? consumer magazine did the greatest service any one has in the past decade on dry cleaning related issues. It gave us a platform to air our views to the press effectively for the first time in 20 years! This is being done through our blog www.http://kazinegham.blogspot.com.
4) Before Which?'s 3 page article in their April issue, http://www.iwto.org/ had named wool as the "fibre of the gods" in their International Congress in Edinburgh in May 2007. Then none other than the UN's General Assembly named 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibres, with their FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation) further promoting the cause through global NGO outlets such as those in Germany and Vietnam.
5) You know whats' coming, don't you, knowing me the way you do?
6) We can't leave 2008 to break the continuity. So I will turn around and name 2008 as my own and Egham's International Year of Segregated Dry Cleaning!
7) Because, as it happens, in the cash rich world (time poor), both the 'fibre of the gods' and their other 'Natural Fibres' rely on us mortal humans for after care through consistent and reliable dry cleaning. 2008 in the middle will provide that strong co valency in the conjoined chain of 2007, 2008, and 2009. Putting this chemistry in words means that CCCC International is conveniently but dutyfully placed as a bridge between one 'fibre of the gods' and the rest of their creations, for the benefit of humankind through business, public health and social responsibility.
8) Thanks to Which?, IWTO, UN and FAO for making this philosophical observation possible. Our serendipitous placing among such heavy weights is a watch dog that will ensure we carry our responsibilities with the diligence that the rest of you do yours. You can watch us too. Do you know how best you can do that? Here is a tip: Follow the blog. When we are in trouble, you will simply step in and help. Because, by staying together, we might even end up developing a bondage with the strength of Carbon Fibre or Spider Silk.
Our Chain was set a standard to equal or better it:
9) It was our own Runnymede that sat the goal posts: She did an awesome thing of her own: She exported Magna Carta to some of you! In fact to at least 1.5 billion of you out there. Extraordinarily, she is just about to export new unifying businesses and hygiene too, to a billion or so; some new ones included, this time around. It may take Runnymede a long time (793 years to be exact) to do big things, but we do it in the end! Besides, we got other other things to do too. Feed the people, pay taxes, and bitch about each other. We are no different. Still, sorry for being so late to give you more stuff. Some naughty people didn't let us do it a little earlier. Spoil sports, ha?
10) More Social responsibility: In fact CCCC of Runnymede will export hygiene to every square kilometer of earth where the cash rich travel in dry cleaned clothes to offer assistance to their cash poor brothers and sisters. They could easily cross infect both worlds without being aware! From a health view point (cleaning up of a global man made environment), the CCCC part of Runnymede cannot demand pay back for services it will render to humanity. Professor Jeffrey Kahn (Bio ethics) Uiversity of Minnesota aptly drew attention through his "You, Me and Foot & Mouth" of 2001. We joined in and published our own anxieties at that heart rendering time the nation painfully endured and paid a heavy price. We even wrote to Tom Mintier London Chief of CNN at the time who had a 2 hour meeting with the Prime Minister. We asked him in no uncertain terms that he should draw the PMs attention on our behalf. We were ignored, possibly because one independent voice could not carry much gravitas, even the public expert that we were.
11) Now a lot better equipped, we will follow examples sat by the time honoured traditions of our Runnymede's Constitutional and Historical counter parts. We are already pleased to draw attention that our just - here defined co valent chain of (IWTO) - (CCCC International - http://www.homeservedrycleaning.com/) - (UNGENERAL ASSEMBLY) - (UNFAO) - (UNWHO) will have added social responsibites we should meet jointly and severally. Clearly, we will have a lot to do. CCCC and Off Spring will identify projects in public health (engineering preventative measures for mobile enviornments), vocational training, the chemical environment (Perc versus the environment), and moral support to world's farmers and producers. CCCC will budget for these out of future profits.
12) Our investors Discovery Beach select projects that and we quote: "...leave a significant foot print on society, on industry, and on the enironment". Did somebody tell them to phrase their qualifying criterea this way, so that they could net us before other invsetors did? Bernard must have spies within the high ranking CCCC staff. There is nobody else here, so it must be me! Honestly, one can't trust oneself these days.
13) We said dry cleaning is as vast a field as an ocean, did we not?
14) Back in the business world, there is no room in the cash rich time poor world for natural fibres such as wool, silk and linen to do well as businesses and industries as long as dry cleaning continues to place suffocating bottle necks in their way. We all know that too well by now. CCCC International Limited and offshoots have removed bottle necks, and we are all in for exciting and prosperous times ahead. Please follow the blog.
15) Runnymede and Egham can invest in us too. Bernard would like to hear from you.
16) Entertainment (British TV)?!: Long live Egham, and eat your heart out Ali G (Borat, The Qazak journalist to world cinema goers) and Staines! You are just famous for being next door to Egham. That's all, really. We will show you. People like Omid Djaleeli and the BBC ought to read the blog if in search of new material. People are fed up with celebrity whatever, kitchens and gardens. What better subject than dry cleaning to have the floor for once. Can you see people dry clean on screen? Neither can we, and that's precisely why we should give it the floor."
17) Another reader e-mailed saying we need a better link to the blog. We are working on it.
18) Copyright of CCCC International, Egham, England, March 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Just a reminder that all material is copyright of CCCC International, Egham, England.
Posting number 4:
We quote below an observation by a group who are well informed on dry cleaning:
1) 'While you were running the business your system worked for you because you constantly brow-beat the customer with convincing sales and confidence that the work was and looked cleaner. Take you away, and the system will have gone bust because the manager (your replacement) will not have concentrated on this important factor.'
2) Our e -mail address removed now. Thanks to all who contributed so valuably. While on e - mails, some recipients are no longer at addresses we had for them such as Ms Baine of The British Design Council that may have found blog contents of value. Others have auto - spammers, and had to be removed to accommodate other important links, potential investors and partners.
3) To those with in depth knowledge of dry cleaning, this is an exponentially huge observation that ordinary observations cannot reach. First, Let us expand the observation to consumers (end users), fashion and tailoring who read this blog. We can then argue that 'brow beating' had no room when we were running our business:
- a) The observer may genuinely believe that good quality dry cleaning is indeed brow beating the customer
- b) Salesmanship and staff with a generous gift of self confidence also reflect good quality dry cleaning
- c) Practically, we are not offering a service different to whats out there already. We will offer more of the same
- d) Our past success was solely dependent to my being ever present at the counter to come up aces all the hours in all the days. So, how can we possibly help 5,000 UK cleaners by making them profitable, if our technology can only be sold through me alone? How many replicas of myself can I produce to trial run each shop while managers/staff undergo training by me?
4) We will shock every one by saying yes to items 3a) and 3b), and even agree with interpretations in 3c) and 3d). In which case we have no new innovations to sell, and have nothing new to offer Which? and the industry either, in terms of giving them helpful tips. Moreover, why should any of you invest in us or become partners to do more of the same that every body is fed up with to their eye balls?
5) But what if our quality parameters were so radically different that we will turn an established industry upside down, and do much more besides? Then we will have had something to really boast about. We will also have amazed the world's academics and business gurus that we have solved a riddle half a century old.
6) Thanks to Which?, http://www.iwto.org(wool as fibre of gods), UN General Assembly (natural fibres), and FAO (natural fibres) for enabling us to really go to town on this one, and share the delights of our discoveries with you. In fact, it would not only be unfair, but selfish of us on a wholesale scale to keep our cards close to our chest, and deprive you from discoveries that fascinated us for years on end. Blogs are super note pads where one can say as much as one likes, and goodness me, here we go. You don't have to read it unless you are as passionate as we are about the subject matter:
Note: In the cash rich time poor world, natural fibres such as wool, silk, and linen have no place unless reliable dry cleaning after care proves capable of meeting strict consumer demands. So far it hasn't, and that is why a chain of businesses and industries face difficulties in keeping their businesses sustainable.
7) So, is our definition of quality any different than what you are accustomed to? The reality is far worse. As we said in an earlier posting, quality does not exist in dry cleaning! More to the point, customer driven or even derived quality parameters do not exist in dry cleaning at all any where in the world. Then, obviously, we will become a global business if we found quality parameters that fully met customer expectations and demands everywhere. We have, and hence we are global!
8) Back in the late 80s when we sat out to find out what customer demands and expectations were, we were shocked to learn that none of them knew what they were. We conducted a very cost effective consumer survey over our shop counter and asked 100s may be 1000s of customers what they wanted from us to make them happy and stop them from complaining about our services?
9) While getting no clear answers, we noticed one wish list in a single sentence that stood out and gave us a thread to get started: "I wish you could make my clothes look like new"! That was it! To skip weeks of thinking and analysing we realised that we had a tough one on our hands. Quality parameters in some other service sector businesses (we didn't know it would be called business modeling a decade later), would be tangible and measurable quantities. Dry cleaning is not one of these services. Take car servicing as an example. If filling up with the correct amounts of lubricants (engine, gearbox, brakes), service intervals, and changing filters made up some of the quality parameters, then these are measurable precisely by units of volume, length (mileage)/time, and area (surface, of filters), respectively. In other words the SI units of measurements or other equivalent yard sticks .
10) We should have mentioned that we broke down the "... look like new" customer demand to its constituent parts, using the 5 human senses. You cannot eat or hear dry cleaning, but you can certainly see it, smell, and feel it. None of these is easily measurable by conventional means. there are no simple units available. The easiest one is the smell that is measured by units of Threshold Odour Numbers! As you know, you have "noses" in the wine industry and they are expensive. There are not enough "noses" around to go nosing around dry cleaning shops, that's for sure.
11) Therefore, we assumed (still unsure of customer reaction) that if we examined the visual sate of appeal, the smell, and the feel and touch using our own modest senses along with my unimpressive nose, we will have some results for trials by our customers. My nose is a bit Mongolian, but did the job. Those interested in me may deduct that my designer stubbles are to make up for the nasal deficit. One tries his best you know, especially if one is trying desperately to fit in. I have not been successful so far, but hey, I've tried. Any way, without giving precious IP away, we can skip steps and tell you that we saw, felt and smelt room for improvements and sat out to achieve them.
12) So, after satisfying the 3 human senses, we assumed we had the 3 main stays of customer expectations and demands sorted. We were right and received fewer complaints. We further re engineered Perc Technology and made it to conform with our new (and expensive) quality parameters. We kept on working while trading, and today we have a list of 9 quality parameters for meeting customer expectations and demands. We sold the service for 1,000 of hours, with little or no complaints. The real exciting part is that our quality parameters also met demands and expectations of fashion designers, retailers, and tailors alike. Our priceless bonus to them is our compatibility with dry cleaning care labels they affix to garments for the consumer and dry cleaner's peace of mind!!!
13) We became so good that we were appointed Jaeger's dry cleaning trouble shooters and saved 1000s of pounds in solving their customer complaint cases. Karen Gray's department (early to mid 90s) was inundated with customer returns with reports from dry cleaners declaring the label as rubbish, and "token labelled". We received orders by courier/post, re cleaned and applied our exciting quality parameters. Our record of success was 100% over a 3 year period, with offending dry cleaners footing our bill, upon the customers' producing their reprocessed work to them by us.
14) With the hard work done, how are we going to devise a scheme that is fool proof and salesmanship and self confidence will play no role? (Answers in items 17 and 18 below). There is no role for 'brow beating' and salemanship to come in to play. When you machine wash your own clothes at home, you don't stand in front of a full length mirror, puffing your chest and feel on top of the world, do you? And why should you? You only washed clothes. You didn't design and make a rocket out of a bottle of washing up liquid that goes to the moon and back before you change young Chamalulu's nappy (brilliant Zambian name for a boy).
15) Neither did the dry cleaner do any thing amazing. He only cleaned clothes too. Why should he be praised so much? Not his fault, because he'd been given tools of trade and service philosophies unfit for purpose (earlier postings). In the absence of quality parameters, we build reputations of being so good, its literally illogical and deductably unbelievable. You know, when you recommend your dry cleaner to others, do you really make sense to yourself about his ability to clean your clothes? An American is reported it to have said his Chinese American dry cleaner is so good his kids pull straight As in high school! That kind of skill has not come here yet, because Afghan dry cleaners kids get all As too but their dad's dry cleaning is as crap as any one elses. A sort of a logic there, I am not sure.
16) Seriously, in modelling dry cleaning on potable water supply, we studied how much or how little impurities were left in laundered clothes. We matched that quality in Perc dry cleaning, and made dry cleaning to resemble laundry a lot closer than ever before. Even stains stopped being a nuisance.. Perhaps now you can imagine why the industry found our claims absurd and unbelievable. But what we do, works. One day, we will write the theory behind it, but right now, we've got the world to give a wider choice of what to wear, and farmers to grow and sell more wool.
17) The quality of tap water is known at least to water engineers. You wash your clothes in it across the world. National, European and International (WHO) quality standards are very similar across the board. It is good enough for you to produce acceptable laundry results in your own washing machines. We did things to dry cleaning that our cleaning with Perc resembled laundry results to some extent. Therefore our answer to our valued friends is that we will widely publish our quality list of 9 items to consumers so that they know in advance of what to expect and buy.
18) If they find our quality parameters acceptable before they try us, and find results matching to what we publicised, then they will have no complaints at times of collection from our shops or receiving work from franchisee drivers in the middle of the night and in the comfort of their homes. If our quality parameters are substandard, they will look for something better. Since better will not exist for years to come, they will come back. We won't brow beat consumers to meet their demands, just the same as they don't brow beat themselves when they machine wash their own clothes. As simple as that, and it is easy when you know how to.
19) We hope to have further convinced you to invest in us or become partners. You will be investing in a truly global business. Just imagine the IP potential alone, in our future role in having a decision making hand in sorting out the problems associated with care labels. Our expertise Will be found in high demand across the globe.
20) A note for the popular, electronic, and fashion media: If what you've read here does make sense, then imagine the bulk of new material you could fill your column - inches with in future. We have the knowledge, you have means to dispense it. We will make a good team.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Care labels in dry cleaning:
This is a subject the following groups would love to find answers to:
Consumers, consumer care such as Which?, world dry cleaners, world dry cleaning industries, high street retailers, free standing fashion outlets, customer relations departments, bespoke tailors, fashion designers, academics, the printed/electronic media, standard organisations such as BSI, EN, ISO and their national equivalents.
Decades of debates back and forth have not yielded results. The reality is an absolute nightmare and out of control.
We worked long and hard over the years to see through the haze and come up with a solution that would be cost effective and acceptable to most if not all of the groups mentioned above. Our 20,000 hours plus hands on commercial experiences running high street Perc prototypes yielded a great number of labels that were compatible with predecessors of CCCC International (our new business) ways of cleaning. We assumed that differences existed between tests carried out by fashion designers, bespoke tailors and other garment manufacturers on the one hand and cleaning procedures carried out by dry cleaners on the other.
Our assumptions must have been correct and the following 92 brands plus the whole of Saville Row complied fully with our "Segregated" dry cleaning in Perc. It is time we told you what this innovative "segregated" dry cleaning is before coming back to labelling:
"Segregated" dry cleaning is where we only clean your business -, leisure -, formal - wear and couture that need dry cleaning for their consistent and reliable after care. We will not clean household items such as sofa covers, duvets, curtains, and rugs. Neither will we clean your industrial wear such as garage overalls, and cleaning token wear such as other trade overalls/all in ones, except corporate office wear such as bank uniforms and similar. There are other services that are not included either such as shirt service/laundry, tailoring and alterations. We will not clean garments from nursing and old people's homes either. Reasons for not cleaning the latter are too technical to get in to here and now.
Laundry and shirt service are excluded because we cannot beat the experts in the field. Tailoring and alterations are left to phase 2 because of the non availability of tailors to match CCCC International's cleaning standards. In Harvi - Nash of Wandsworth we did have a redundant Saville Row alterations tailor (he told us there is a difference between tailors making suits and those making repairs and alterations. There you are and who were we to argue. Our customers were happy with the service and that mattered).
We will not sell unrelated goods such as travel needs or lap tops that would vibrate and firm up loose buttocks and sagging body bits even if they made these things one day! Sorry, buy them elsewhere. To dry clean well enough will keep us on our toes, with no time to spare or need to diversify in to other lines.
http://www.homeservedrycleaning.com/ will be the first of our services that will be launched this year to convince investors in the most comprehensive way that CCCC International works by phone! Even by post to those on this list but outside UK! Suggestion specifically made for those who would wish to test the our service in view of becoming our future investors and partners. With successes thus gained, we will then turn around and improve the existing 5,000 Perc shops in the UK and then all those around the world. Some 95,000 shops in all, to give you an idea what size business you will be investing in, or become partners with. For example, our news will be music to ears of Dr Bob of California Cleaners Association with a reported 3,500 members in his technical care. We looked for Dr Bob in Clean07 fair in Las Vegas but couldn't find him.
Back to care labels:
Since, Perc is here to stay for as long as another 20 years, it is understandable that care labels are still related to Perc. Garments with these care labels, but cleaned in Hydrocarbon, Silica (the ingenious solvent used in GreenEarth), or Liquid Carbon Dioxide, and results obtained are for others to comment. We did not research this field. What we found out was that the following fully complied with our "segregated" practices and will be cleaned by http://www.homeservedrycleaning.com/:
Banana Republic (GAP)
Barbours of Scotland
Child & Sons Wndsworth High Street, London
Concessions at Harrods
" " Harvey Nichols
" " Peter Jones
" " Selfridges
" " House of Fraser
" " Army & Navy
" " Debenhams
" " Fenwick
DAKS Simpson of Piccadilly
Dolce & Gabana
Edina Ronay (if any has survived)
Gharani & Strok
Giorgio Armani Priv
Harris Tweed by others
Harrod's own label
Hunter (of the sixties?) even F clean labels
Joe Blog Jeans
Lacost dry cleanables
Lee Cooper Jeans
Marks and Spencer
Mary Quant of England and japn (200 shops)
Matches of Wimbledon (brands sold)
Moschino Cheap & Chic
Paul Smith, Sir
Patricia Lester, OBE By arrangements with the designer
Polo (Ralph Lauren)
Pringle of Scotland
Saville Row, among them:
Geives & Hawkes )
Henry PooleH ) Thanks to Poppy Charles, John Bianco, Clive Anderson,
Norton and Sons ) Simon Cundey and many others who were kind enough to
Huntsman ) see Mohammad who called on you unannounced on 26.6.7
Richard Anderson )
Scottish Tartans, all clans pure wools. Blends and wool composites subject to tests
State of Montana (By Claude Monata)
Thomas Pink's world class neck ties
Tommy Nutter and other Saville no longer there
Yves St Laurent
Warehouse (Jeff Banks)
Wayne Hemmingway (Red or Dead discontinued and Mr Hemmingway moved on to other entrepreneurial fields and socially responsible projects)
Zenga, especially the current mens suits from Australian pure Merino wool
No doubt, there are a great number of reputable world brands we have left out that should be on our list. The best way to uncover these and bring them to our attention would be to publicise the blog widely to friends, family, and fashionistas to name their cherish brands, and let us have them.
There are fashion designers of tomorrow who are being trained as we speak. Their releases will be tested by us in specially designed test parameters that we will place at their disposal in due course.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
1) An analogy: Let’s make this as interesting as possible. We really deeply empathise with all those here and every where before us. They tried their best to make sense of dry cleaning. We are now eagerly awaiting the industry response to Which? in May’s issue, hopefully, provided Which? have supplied them with detailed information asked for. We said yesterday that if foundations laid in dry cleaning were ill reasoned and unfit for purpose, then whatever world industries have built upon them are also unfit for purpose. Let us give you a foundation analogy, then:
2) Imagine that people don’t know the Tower of Pisa is leaning. Also imagine that the Italians have built a coffee shop on top of the Tower. The industry, you, dry cleaners and consumers alike are enjoying your Cappuccinos. I walk in with a supply of spirit levels in my rack sack and try to flog a few to any enthusiastic DIY punters. Few inspect samples by placing them on coffee tables.
3) They realise that the bubbles in each instrument does not rest in the centre between the two demarcated lines. Instead, bubble travel and rest on one end of the glass tubes where the table surface is higher than the opposing end.
4) An assumption is made that an enormous amount of publicity has been done to impress the world how structurally sound, robust and erect (plumb or vertical) the Italian master piece is. Therefore, you all suspect my spirit levels to be dodgy and knocked up in haste in my garden shed. I am laughed at, and ridiculed. I walk out, stunned and wondering what else I could do to convince you all that the Tower is leaning, and we must do things to stop it from toppling over (the demise of dry cleaning and near choking to death of fashion, sheep farming, and the rest).
5) I would have been so outnumbered that I could not even draw your attentions to scoop the froth from your cups and observe the coffee surface in your cups. Given an opportunity, I will have drawn your attentions to the simple fact that the coffee surface would have been nearer to the rims of your cups on the same side my spirit bubble was resting inside its’ glass housing! The coffee surface would have sat deeper on the diametrically opposing side of your cups, obviously.
6) Would DIY enthusiasts among you have suspected the coffee tables to have been off plumb and bought my spirit levels? Logically we don't know, but I will have caused a crack in the otherwise common belief that the tower had been veritcal all along. We will have created a debate among us. Well, 20 years ago, the industry did not consider my innovations in dry cleaning. But they did not enter a debate either that defied simple logic. They still may not. The difference is that no longer do I sell my goods from a rack sack, but I have a shop now and can sell to any one, without their involvement if need be!
7) With the tower analogy in mind, let us explore the 18 conundrums we mentioned yesterday. We have omitted two that would have given away valuable IP (Do not count bullet points on fashion gods and goddesses. We simply impress you with our continued work on fashion espionage, shall we say?) We look at 16 conundrums while we are still in the coffee shop on Tower of Pisa (Points could not be bulleted, so Roman numerals are used instead) :
i) Why name shops Cloud Nine - , Exquisite -, Supreme, American (in London) -, French (in America) – You wouldn’t Believe Us If We Told You, So We Won’t – Dry Cleaners? Why steer clear of the phrase “clean”? Aren’t we telling the 21st century consumer and fashion designer that we cannot clean? Why be resistant to the phrase clean?
ii) Similarly, why publicities in world Yellow Pages don’t say shops really, really clean clothes? Are they telling us they don’t?
iii) Why prominently promote shirt service if you are a dry cleaner? Is laundry used as a bait to attract dry cleaning, telling the customer that the dry cleaning service here is rubbish?
iv) Another good one: Why advertise professionalism in cleaning wedding dresses that are cleaned once in a life time, instead of displaying posters in shop windows showing suits, skirts and neck ties that need cleaning every week/month? Are shops telling the intelligent punters that they may make a mess of their suit and skirt, but ha, ha! Give them your wedding dresses! Which category of garment brings in repeat business? Where is the sense?
v) Why do you get 100,000 different answers to the same question about any single stain in as many dry cleaning shops in the world? Why would you get 2 different answers about the same stain on the same garment in the same shop if you presented the problem garment twice in an interval of 6 months?
vi) Why do Hoffman press covers get dirty 10 times quicker than ironing board covers do in homes? Could it be that dry cleaned work is dirty and steam at the press loosens dirt, where the vacuum for removing steam sticks the dirt to the press cover?
vii) Why doesn’t dry cleaning make sense to any one, including the industry? I just subscribed to Which? and await industry response in future issues. Will responses contain elements of common sense, and how much of it? For goodness sake, we communicate with dead planets and moons light years away, and tell others whether atmospheres are mostly made up of methane, nitrogen and whether temperatures are hot enough to melt our space crafts. Here we are on earth and can’t explain in plain language why dry cleaning does not clean. Which? has served an ace of a service and its’ 15 love! Can the industry serve one of their own, or will again blame others as they have done in the past?
viii) Why not insist that consumers inspect our service thoroughly before making payments? ix) Why not have plain see through polythene covers with no logos and art work that conceal substandard work?
x) Are consumer wishes and expectations known to the industry to base design and service philosophies upon? Industry design and service philosophies have been top to bottom. Our research indicates that no consumer surveys have ever been carried out to determine customer wishes and expectations. We conducted our own for nearly two years and recorded what consumers want. The result gave us 9 items of quality parameters. These were used to re engineer dry cleaning bottom to top, and it works.
xi) The industry has own standards for cleaning. These are rejected by consumers. The industry remains unaware that it is cleaning for itself. This is really true, and we were amazed to have read that we had Miss Dry Cleaning Contests for various regions, and girls were crowned the equivalents of prom Queens or whatever. Were consumers invited to events to vote? Did the popular press write about it? Not as far as we know.
xii) Is lack of after care the reason for Australians (CSIRO/TFTR) spending precious research funds in seeking solutions for wool to dry quickly? Have they totally given up on dry cleaning? If yes, then have we ever got news for them?!
xiii) Similarly, could the introduction of organic wool be another short term quick fix to divert consumer attention from real issues – man’s inability to provide acceptable after care other than laundering?
xiv) Again, is the inventing of fashion terms such as the rural look, rustic appeal, relaxed feel, and the rest ploys such as shaking a rattle to an infant to look at the camera while photographed instead of looking at dad making faces pissing mum off with the camera ready to capture that magical moment? Aren’t consumers brain washed to accept that it is OK to look like hell wearing things as if worn in bed the night before? Could have hair styles (choppy cut) matching the get up and go appeal been designed to complete the picture of being untidy and looking dreadful, but indoctrinated to thinking one is looking really good?
xv) Lets’ be blunt: Has any one seen Hillary Alexander and Anna Wintour attending catwalk shows? They look absolutely dreadful. What the hell are they wearing as role models and goddesses of fashion for women to follow? Bloody hell!
Why did Yves St Laurent retire early? Why was Karl Lagerfeld the last fashion god to submit to dressing down and wore jeans with a sport jacket? Why did the late Gianfranco Ferre pack up and concentrated on China? He nearly gave up hope on Europe? Answer: Because Perc cleaning was safe in China from the hands of energetic environmental campaigners.
xvi) As mentioned yesterday, why should you clean matching items together or they will show colour differentials? Laundry doesn’t have these problems. An untrained school boy produces better results to (wash or dry clean care label) matching items than a professional dry cleaner does. Why? Why should dry cleaners be trained? Why they shouldn’t?
xvii) Technical but very important: Why do you get fluff build up on high surfaces in the back of established shops (e.g. top of steam pipes and shelves)? You don’t on equivalent higher surrounds to domestic washing machines, or better still in coin op laundrettes? In the former case (dry cleaning), could fluff pass through filter meshes of dry cleaning machines? If so, then fluff (lint) remains spread over garment surfaces. Fluff is then lifted in shop air by the steam pressure at the press and deposited on high surfaces. By logical deduction, could dirt smaller than 20 microns also pass through filters and remain deposited in fabrics? Is that why press covers get so dirty that pores get blocked with dirt and renders the vacuum pump ineffective?
xviii) Who is smarter of the two? The Mongolian Yak farmer who hasn’t stopped wearing wool for 6, 000 years or any of us in the West who nearly stopped wearing wool jumpers a decade ago in freezing Scandinavian winters. Why couldn't we buy a single warm pure wool jumper last winter in shops in Stains and Hounslow major shopping centres? 100 shops in all?!
xix) Why did one reputable chain have dedicated only about 25% of the sales area to dry cleaning, and the rest to sale of umrelated goods. These were (please bear with us): Home cleaning, duvets (we wouldn't) umbrellas, laundry (we wouldn't), films, camers, luggage, locks, picture frames, photo albums, tumble dryer sheets, anti bacterial wipes (useless for cross infected suits, but lets not go there), flight socks, folding money belts, and passport holders.
xix) continued: Shop sign read "... Dry Cleaners". Excuse us, but isn't that misleading the customers? The shop is actually is sort of a travel shop, who happens to do some dry cleaning on the side! And the technology developers and promoters wish to sell the technology to some 5,000 independent UK cleaners using Perc?! No wonder no one is buying. Also, Consumers are intelligent, and they probably wouldn't wish a travel shop to clean their day to day business -, leisure -, formal - wear, let alone their expensive couture.
Note: Who said we could count? And in roman numerals, too (one bulleted item too many). We should stick to dry cleaning rather than pretending to be mathematicians!
8) You may not get satisfactory responses to your quest for solving dry cleaning riddles that have defeated the world for half a century, until and unless you leave the leaning Tower. Alternatively, if you love the view from up there (not so much as loving Perc but being stuck with it, really), then straighten up the Tower. To us, this has been to re engineer Perc technology. It has been our leaning tower, and we have adjusted the sway to make it erect. We have done the hard work. Your job is easy now. Just join us.
9) Some of the comments in bullet points above have been hard hitting. Our intentions must be understood in that we have had so few opportunities in 20 years that we make the most of this wind fall. Not for personal reasons alone, but to benefit all of you and your businesses, and to serve public health too. Alternatively, has the fantastic, hostorically tested, and unbeatable British intelligence been used some how?! We will leave it there. Work this one out yourselves...
10) No doubt, for me it has been an immeasurable opportunity that cannot even happen once in a life time, and don’t I know it? I am aware of all implications as you are in us failing to get this far. But we have not failed, and the harsh and bumpy roads I have travelled on were laid with land mines too. I have paid directly proportional prices to the size of my innovations. But every bit of it has been worth it. Investors may prefer oven baked entrepreneurs who continue to remain full to the brim with passion, dedication and drive no matter how hard you hit them. We are the one and CCCC International and off shoots are live wires.
12) Who else will try to convince you that dry cleaning could be almost interesting and put it in words you've never read before? Find us one and we will keep on telling them to bugger off, until they do. Again you will be left with us as the only one invest in. Its' easy when you know how. As you can see, we do.
13) We feel you are going to like our brand logo for http://www.homeservedrycleaning.com/. We will let you have a peep soon. We had to start without you on this occasion, and our design is the final version that has cost us a good part of £10,000 plus VAT. Sadly, we will not be able to incorporate your views, but we will have other logos too, where you could take part. We are “democratising innovations” as per research conducted by Professor Eric Von Himmel of The Sloane Business School of Harvard University. His book of the same title was published last year and should make good reading for businesses who wish to develop IP.
14) Thank you for reading. We could build the blog in ways we feel fit. Why not approach the build up from bottom to top just as we have dry cleaning? Your contributions and queries will make the blog lively and fit for purpose. We will have met your demands and expectations. So, fire away. We are building brands for you to be proud of. Have your say in shaping them.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Dry Cleaning is more than what meets the eye
Comments to Dry Cleaning Report by Which?:
To illustrate why we have not been given a platform to air our views in the press and media for decades, consider these short answers to selected points raised in Which?'s report:
A) “One skirt came back with more stains than we’d put in it”. Of course it did, and you could add 100 more by dropping water drops with a pipette and let them dry. You will get the dreaded water marks which are stains.
B) “Consumers are defrauded by dry cleaners…”. No, they aren’t. Dry cleaners are given tools unfit for purpose and they don’t know it. It’s a bit like driving a car with square wheels fitted to them. Smoother rides are achieved by fitting an array of shock absorbers and springs. Rides are still as rough as two grannies in a taxi going over a cobble stone road. One saying to the cabbie, I haven’t come this way before! Please tolerate humour to sweeten such a bitter subject. We are all adults.
B1) Replace the square wheels with the round windows some one fitted to the house around 1980s. Dry cleaning needs to be re engineered in similar but simple steps to make it a clean business.
C) “TSA will spot check…. and stress the need to train staff”. Spot check what? No customer driven quality parameters exist, and the end user has rejected industry parameters decades ago. "Train staff" in what? There is no good well between Hoffman pressers and fashion designers. The more intelligent the design, the more crap it is to the presser. Have you spoken to one?
D) “Johnson Cleaners promised immediate action”. Action is driven by square wheels and won’t make sense. Not even from those shops with Green machines. Wait and see. It is not their fault. Why was the balance of another 300 shops not converted, reportedly by the end of last year?
E) Ditto but for Morrison and Persil, except for shop conversions.
F) “Failed to press skirt acceptably” Of course they did. The best of Hoffman pressers are trained to press heavily structured bespoke and military wear. They are heavy handed and press the hell out of every thing. Not their fault.
G) “Stains: Dab garment with clean damp white cloth”. Don’t! You don’t in laundry. Why should you in dry cleaning?
H) If the above has shocked any one, proceedings below and future postings in http://kazinegham.blogspot.com/ will shed light. In addition to offering solutions to the exceptionally hard working industry (without them, I wouldn’t have had this clean slate), we will unearth potentials for investors to in vest in us in millions.
I) Which?'s invistigation is the greatest contribution any one has made to this vital service sector that has crippled a chain of other businesses and industries. This is a rare opportunity that we self dependent resaerchers cherish in order to air our views. No industry platform has been available to us despite our tireless efforts. We will therefore reply to which's queries and more besides while respecting Which?'s independence and impartiality to help that utmost important group the consumer.
J) Even if I am one of the very few on the globe with such positive and hopeful outlook on dry cleaning, I can assure all we will get there. I have done a lot that make sense for once and alone. Imagine what we could do together, with Britain owning the best innovative brains on the planet. We are going places, folks. Just hang in there.
Linguistic, cultural and religious barriers and our brand of humour as a business tool must not be allowed to cloud judgments, or to distract the reader from grasping core subject issues.
1) Which? Consumer Magazine called it “A Dirty Business” in their April 2008 issue. How did they know that they are absolutely ‘spot on’? We have evidence to offer measured in nano metres for our proof. Do they have the same?
2) It is fortunate that I am given a clean slate to shed light on aspects of dry cleaning that have not been expressed by others in the past. Alternative views, and solutions based on them are beneficial to so many groups you will find hard to believe if I list them out. Also, in this recent and uncertain world of finance, investors will clearly see huge potentials to invest in a service sector that will produce huge dividends for them.
2a) Intellectual property contributes to UK economy in the tune of 10%. We have uncovered a wealth of these to develop. We need investors and partners to bring these to commercial realities and market them on a global scale. Below is a list of businesses and industries who will benefit:
3) They are a chain of businesses starting from sheep farmers of the world (wool production), producers of other natural fibres (2009, United Nations year of natural fibres) to yarn makers, dyers, knitters, weavers, textiles, tailors, fashion forecasters, fashion designers, fashion retailers, fashion academics, high street retailers, consumers (dry cleaning), dry cleaners, the dry cleaning industries of the world, the printed and electronic press and media (documentaries on after care, labelling, slow living/fashion) and life style. There may be others you can think of.
4) All of the those in 3) above depend for their growth, profitability and sustainability to a greater or lesser extent on dry cleaning, except the consumer who wishes to receive reliable, dependable, and consistent after care, similar to results obtained from cleaning with water (laundry). In the cash rich time poor world, consumers do not have time to wash wool. they are already fed up with washing their own cottons, as growth in coin op laundrette service washes, and woman with van ironing services would testify.
5) Not only has Which? clearly reported that dry cleaning is riddled with problems, but the continued downslide of the service over the last decade is especially alarming. Dry cleaning has produced a bottle neck to every one of the businesses and industries grouped in 3) above. The collective impact is enormous in financial terms. Global losses in revenue could be in hundreds of millions of £s if not billions. Fashion has done well to expand "accessories", but sorely face the suppressed demands for substantive and structured garments. This is due to the non existence of a reliable after care by dry cleaning as admitted to us by one London fashion academic.
6) Therefore, dry cleaning has become more than urgent an issue to sort out not only nationally but globally. A separate issue written by us earlier in 8 A4 sides will tell us that nearly 1 billion suit, skirt, and neck tie wearing humanity are deprived of a service that is let us say unfit for purpose. To unlock dry cleaning secrets and make it work will give birth to a huge size global business rich with intellectual property, manufacturing, sales and service.
7) Our 8 page thesis will be posted subsequent to posting this issue, and provides a fresh over view of the problem. It also offers 18 conundrums that open the way to seek solutions. A brief mention of a solution which is nearly investor – ready is also given.
8) Here, we tactfully approach this most sensitive of issues in a manner that will not point a finger of blame at any one actively involved in running the industry including those in research and development. Better suited solvents and technologies are continually sought before cleaning up dry cleaning by means of existing technologies at hand. Our earlier attempts to be included in dialogues with the industry spanning 2 decades have been abrasive, emotive and challenging to draw response. While this is deeply regretted, there was no other way.
9) The industry providing service and others supplying the market with garments preferred silence to getting involved. Their non involvement was for very justifiable reasons that we did not understand earlier, but do now. Hence this measured and responsible approach, using humour and with regards to corporate politics, even geopolitics, with religion simmering under the crust, but left there. Business and health must keep a safe distance and are, from these issues in order to make progress.
9a) We did not intend to force any one to join us in our exciting work laden with common sense. We appreciate that a major global industry is being shaken by us to make it fit for purpose. We have taken the brave step of putting at ease major forces at play that were nervous of our intentions. They will all be pleased that we have paved the ground for investors, fashion and industry to join forces with us now.
9b) For example, in the past, fashion houses and tailors could not join forces with us for the fear of alienating the current dry cleaning industry who provides any kind of service at all. How unfit it may have been for purpose was seen as immaterial, because our solutions of 20,000 successful production hours from high street outlets serving Jaeger customers and others did not make sufficient impact for fashion to take us seriously. We lacked sustainability in terms of capital, infrastructure and professional partnerships. We have overcome these now. However, our innovations are huge in scale and we need more Para Investors along side the main partner, Discovery Beach.
10) We did not prove sustainable on a large scale to meet the exponential demand for the services we offered, no matter how fit for purpose we may have been. We provided delight to homesteads and corporate clients to extents that we posted dry cleaned clothes to UK cities, Europe and on one occasion, a pure cashmere coat to San Francisco!
10a) 2 partners have also joined us to build brands, market effectively, and to help us on the technology front in manufacturing our future health - orientated machines to the world. We also seek partners in hygiene and public health, lawyers to legislate national and global environmental laws and local authority byelaws, fashion, natural fibres, textiles, press, and media – all among you readers. The new team will be full of vigour to keep our future brands alive and nourished for decades to come. Our brand potential was equated last March to those of Nike, Mars Confectioneries and Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffen) by Discovery Beach, believe it or not.
10b) Despite the negative press, we have full trust in Discovery Beach. We have turned ourselves to more than an entrepreneur and are not leaving things to investors to spearhead. We have been logically appointed as the "main decision makers" where we can keep eyes on the ball and give future Para Investors and partners touch stone guarantees of remaining the course and practising the highest grades in trust, diligence, loyalty, morals and ethics. Business is one thing. Serving the public health interests of 1 billion humans across all divides has become almost sacred. We will not sell public health at any price because the fore fathers Chadwick, Jenner, Snow, Bazelgette and others didn't.
10c) Understandably, the investor has taken the role of the "main influencer" to provide the needed financial back up. Discovery Beach is in the process of building a stronger UK team with our main partners Comms Unit. We have an informal agreement with the latter to continue associations in a 10 year phase to commercially roll out our innovations fully. Legally bound agreements with be put in place subsequent to opening our test bed and proof of concept. So, in effect, we have become partners with Discovery beach by association, if you like. These are our experiences and views derived in the last months as we have worked together. Those differing to our views will no doubt come forward and respond in the blog.
11) This is important to note for answering issues on stains as reported by Which?: Our postal service in the 90s clearly proved that we did not need not to know the origin/cause, and history of stains in order to remove them! Customers did not need to visit shops to explain stains to us, nor did we ask them to post a case history along with their garments. This aspect of our innovations alone changes a world industry in fundamental ways that will impress our Para – Investors and partners alike, merely through the use of very few environmentally safer stain removing chemicals. These will also reduce volumes of liquid waste to be treated and disposed of.
11a) If you want to change the world, and have no other deserved innovations to do it through, then you might as well join us. With your contributions, we could make the world look different for the better, be healthier, and even walk differently with colour in wool again exuding confidence, probity, honesty, rebellion (optional), passionate, brave, extrovert or not. Isn't that a lot, and aren't we your best bid to invest in? We are the least academically qualified among some of you, so you will be encouraged to join us with your MBAs, masters and PhDs. Believe us, we need the lot.
12) The industry couldn’t possibly join us earlier, because they saw our claims as utter dry cleaning blasphemy. How could have they believed an outsider stepping in and asking them to have a fresh look from outside the box?! They literally found our public announcement in an international gathering of the world’s dry cleaning captains absurd and ridiculous to believe.
12a) This was in a gathering in Manchester in November 1993 when the industry promoted Hydrocarbon technology. When I pointed out to Mr Deeks, textile technologist with Next and some captains of the industry that garments cleaned by the technology were not clean at all, I was surprised I was not forcefully thrown out of the hall.
12b) We also attended a symposium in Ramada Inn Hotel in March 1994, hosted by DEMOS of DTI (Messrs David Johnson and Harris) and Environmental Resources Management, ERM (Alistair Fulton). We (Nick Rae, my sales manager and I) announced our hassle - free Home Shopping thus: “Any of you can open your Yellow pages (South West, Central and North London) and place your orders by phone or fax until 10 pm”.
12c) Addison Lee was our transport contractors for the M25 belt. Mr Johnson drew us to the back of the hall and suggested if we could discuss issues later. He didn’t, and no one placed a single order either. Shortly after, we (Harvi – Nash of Wandsworth) were thrown out of FCRA and our membership terminated by phone. We do not blame any one for what happened. We were way ahead of our time, or Which? will not have had the need to launch their current investigation seeking clarifications. The industry and us would have had things sorted a decade and a half earlier. We lost nearly £1 million. The industry and the world lost billions in lost revenues.
13) I said I will not point an accusing finger at any one. I don’t. I have provided outlooks by observing dry cleaning from “outside the box” to prove that dry cleaning has not been understood by those who established commercial dry cleaning more than half a century ago. If the foundations were ill based, then any thing the industry built on them cannot and have not been stable or fit for purpose. Hydrocarbon technology of 1993 did not clean garments, among them a wool blend maroon single breast, 3 buttons winter jacket. Mr Deeks of Next and I certified it as “dirty”. The fabric was a mat and an ideal filter to trap residual dirt from the rinse solvent. It was amazing to note in broad daylight that samples cleaned to impress potential buyers of the technology were not clean!!
14) Let us pose a few more conundrums in addition to the 18 I related in bullet points in the posting to follow. First, I was shocked to my foundations when I became an industry - qualified dry cleaner and had my shop certified by FCRA for quality standards that we passed on second attempt (Roger Caywood 1992/3). We faced customers with renewed confidence, but received the same barrage of insults and abuses from customers we had received earlier. We had no answer to satisfy customers who called the service rubbish.
15) The industry’s answer to us was that dry cleaning customers are a fussy bunch and they were never satisfied no matter what we did. I had earlier said good bye to a successful public/environmental health engineering career (political forces ended career) when cities and towns were happy when I cleaned sewage for drinking water. Suddenly (1986) I had a family to feed through my new profession of dry cleaning. My business was going under because consumers rejected my industry training, qualification and quality assurance certificate that cost us £500.
16) The last straw was when I continued to talk rubbish about how and why I couldn’t remove strains. Each time customers left the shop with long faces, I went to the back of the shop and told my wife I talked more crap and I knew it. I didn’t make sense to myself, never mind customers. One day, a distinguished academic walked out of the shop after one of my 5 minutes elaborate expert deliberations on stains. He leaned against a lamp post totally confused and probably questioning his own sanity! He was in a daze because I had become so good in talking crap. I shot to back of the shop for half an hour in case he came back and sought clarification of whether he really was loosing his mind. Luckily for him, he never came back, because I would have confirmed his madness. Customer relations or what? I tell you. I lost another customer.
16a) Before I forget investors! Please invest like there was no tomorrow. We have a gold mine that spans the world. A retail sector with as much of a 1 billion customer base that we can develop for ourselves, with repeat business till the cows come home; after watching the sheep giving us their wool! Sheep farmers and wool producers can join us too instead of selling their wool cheaply for insulation and export to China. Harris Tweed, Pringle, Paul Smith and others need the wool right here to make amazing things.
17) You will have to excuse the humour. It was the most natural humour you could have, and I miss that part of dry cleaning sorely. The following conundrums will prove that dry cleaning is a subject as vast as an ocean and has been grossly misunderstood by the fore captains. Examples and analogies given will vindicate the industry and indeed the hard working and dedicated chains and independents of all blames I and others have labelled them with. In order for every one to get a better grasp of dry cleaning, let us escape from dry cleaning itself so that every one in the chain of businesses suffering the shock waves of the bottle neck mentioned, understand why dry cleaning doesn’t work:
17a) Let us follow the advice practised by professionals in the field of infection control. It is said that when all efforts fail to trace the source of cross infections and spread of pathogens (germs) in human environments, then look in the most unlikely places imaginable. This empowered me to apply the same to dry cleaning knowing full well that significant efforts by others did not succeed.
17b) For example, Professor Joseph De Simone of North Carolina State University developed Hydrocarbon technology in the early 90s, but did not impress consumers despite his winning a cash award of $5 million from President Clinton towards the Professor’s contributing to a healthier environment. Hydrocarbon was supposed to replace Perc. It didn’t and 90% of world cleaners still use Perc and will continue to do so for another 2 decades.
17c) Other technologies too are trying their best, with sketchy results at best. In our view, dry cleaning is indeed a dirty business. So, we have sat out to clean it first, and using Perc, before we seek alternative technologies. We have all been given a new lease of life of 20 years. We have put this to good use, and re engineered Perc technology. This way, we will save 90% of world cleaners to remain in business, become profitable, and amass capital so that they could invest in future technologies we will develop for them. Current businesses are loss making and cannot afford investment in other technologies no matter how good they are.
18) So, you might say that armed with my knowledge transfer from the field of infection control, I was “licensed” to look any where for solving dry cleaning mysteries whether infection related/specific or not. Why not apply business modelling of any type of human activity that has common parameters with dry cleaning. Why not the environment itself? Could dry cleaning be a human environment? I would very much like it to be, because water supply, sewerage, solid waste, sanitation such as domestic/industrial/nuclear waste, food sanitation, and air pollution are all human environments. I cleaned some of these successfully. They were all classified as human environments as taught to me at Imperial College and visiting lecturers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the early 70s.
19) Microsoft Thesaurus defines Environment as: Surroundings, situation, location, natural environment, natural world, and so forth. Even a slight similarity was all I needed between dry cleaning and the environment so that I could use knowledge transfer from my field of expertise to dry cleaning. I got more than I needed! Clothes and other fabrics ending up in dry cleaning shops make up a huge man made environment! Like raw water (rivers/lakes), sewage, and domestic waste, items in need of dry cleaning cover vast areas. In fact, this aspect of dry cleaning makes it the largest man made environment, second to air pollution due to the fast speed of jet travel, budget airlines and more cash to spend.
20) So far so good, and incidentally, NHS started using TOYOTA as a business model to improve NHS a good 15 years after I used man made environments as models to sort out dry cleaning. This may explain why the industry was at a complete loss as to what I was doing. They may still do, and cannot be blamed for reasons this thesis may provide, and partially has already.
21) Water supply works because it has strict national, European and International standards (ISO). Domestic waste works for similar reasons. It even works better since segregation (compartmentalisation) in to metals, glass, textiles, and paper was introduced. Do comparable standards and codes of practices exist for dry cleaning? Clearly not, or Which? magazine, TSA, Johnson Cleaners, Morrison, Persil and independents will have them at their disposal. They will have had them readily available to work from and compare the results on the 48 skirts.
22) TSA mentions the need for training of dry cleaning staff that clean fabrics. Is the existing level of training adequate in comparison to the curricula followed by water and sewerage operators? I was qualified to the teeth in dry cleaning technology, stain removing techniques, customer service, and finishing processes. I had a “Camera Ready” Service for celebrities, film and television who demanded as new look and feel, and by god, they got it (John F D Northover, The BBC and Carlton TV among them). I could only produce “Camera Ready” and put an end to customer complaints when I combined my skills of other man made environments to dry cleaning, not before, and not without them. It would be logically conceivable that items of expertise imported (knowledge transfer) made dry cleaning fit for purpose. Therefore, the industry needs to revise curricula by the weight of arguments here.
23) Our http://www.homeservedrycleaning.com/ is nearly investor ready and will be launched with 20,000 fit for purpose production hours solidly behind it, derived and practised based on environmental modelling. We proved above that dry cleaning is a man made environment complete with realistic implication and applications not thought of earlier. Opportunities for investors and partners of all sorts to join us are enormous. Imagine if solid waste was invented tomorrow. One will have to patent any thing from dust bins to waste collection lorries, kitchen bins, waste paper baskets, biodegradable liners, and many other items. Multiply quantities by the number of countries where the 1 billion end users live, and you will realise enormous wealth of intellectual properties to invest in.
24) Imagine too the public health aspects: Soiled suits and ties end up in dry cleaning shops from sewage works (cleaning tokens), old people and nursing homes (intestinal or gut bacteria due to incontinenance - induced by old age), hospitals, as well as offices, hotels and homes, along with your Sunday Bests, it must be added. Should cross infection be a cause for concern? Why not take preventive measures any way? This aspect will generate even more intellectual property to patents and sell.
25) Social responsibility: Imagine service to public health of 1 billion humans, the revitalising of sheep farming globally, and boosting of businesses such as Pringles, Harris Tweed Scottish Tartans and other exclusive English cloth. All have come to near grinding halt due to the bottle neck dry cleaning has imposed on them. Wouldn’t you say? Actually, you wouldn’t, or you would have shouted out loud long ago. We know that enormous corporate politics prevailed. These, and causing scare among the public stopped you from joining us earlier. Our approaches have been ingenious to get this far and pave the way for you all to join us now, without alienating establishments and rocking existing industries that experience downfalls any way.
25a) A political comedy sketch for Afghan TV in January will offer an otherwise unspeakable explanation: The 450 different Afghan mines cannot be exploited because the topography is infested with deadly Cobras. Engineers cannot risk lives and leave orphans behind by being bitten to death. The tragedy is that Afghans do not have their own snake charmers. They will have to be recruited from India. The Indian expatriates have been employed by Liberia who is extracting iron ore for export to the distant China who should have bought from neighbouring Afghanistan, really. Why not buy next door instead of going to Africa from Asia? The situation is as chaotic as the world of dry cleaning is.
25b) The humour is similar to that of our world wide efforts of developing dry cleaning over the decades. The whole world is in Afghanistan to sort things out. They made a complete cock up of the Afghan iron thing. Our making a mess of dry cleaning between us is small potato, if you ask me. And those Afghans with their beards long enough to hide the full length of their dry cleaned neck ties think they know more than every body else put together! And don't look at me! I only have designer stubbles. "If know it all" is directly proportional to the length of beards, then I should be as dumb as they come.
25c) The Afghan government and parliamentarians don't know that their ties could be a lot more cleaner, and so could their suits. They inherited dry cleaning from us. Do we in Europe and America know any better? What about the UN Gneral Assembley, and FAO who promoted the International Year of Natural Fibres? Are their suits any clener than the Afghans among you? Ask them. They will all read this and may question themselves what is the point of promoting natural fibers if you can't provide relaible after care for them?
25d) Cash poor and time rich world will not be affected by however much natural fibers are promoted. They have not stopped wearing wool for 6,000 years, and can still wear their coconut husk fibres and jute. Cash convertable fibres such as linen wool and silk are only needed for the cash rich world. Emaphasis should be placed for these for exports to the West.
25e) Similarly, cost benefit studies remain inconclusive on the use of bio fuels versus the impact on the world's food supplies. As we speak, our Prime Minister, The Honourable Gordon Brown, MP, is getting ready to debate related issues with the EU, based on findings from his advisors. We could further muddy waters for the FAO by posing another cost benefit study: White meat (poultry) will soon cost about £10 per kilogramme meat produced. This is due to high cost of grains needed. Grains may be diverted for bio fuels, further psushing up white meat prices.
25f) Assuming sheep need lesser grain for feeding and can be fed mostly through grazing, then research may be justified to explore this hypothesis. Pastures are watered by rain. Sheep farming may reduce demand for dwindling fresh water supplies too that are needed for irrigating crops for bio fuels. A glance at the world atlas indicates masses of pasture land. Surely, not all is utilised for sheep farming and the lush grass may be going to waste already watered and ready to eat for free.
25g) Was I simpilstic in my analysis in 25c) to 25f) above? Do the General Assembly and FAO contribute to blogs? At any rate, it is time to clean you up. You have been wearing dirty suits, assuming they were clean. You reslolute for the world. Why should we trust you if you remained unaware of your immediate surrounds (suits and skirts) for decades? This unawareness could indicate you are ill informed to decide for the rest of us. Let us clean you up to instill confidences in you all, to make informed judgements. We don't know where you've been, because your dry cleaners in New York and Rome don't! If they did, like we do, they will also clean jackets and skirts 5,000 times better (residual particulate matter).
26) We could Revitalise businesses that attended The International Wool Trading Organisation’s IWT07 Congress from 13 to 16 May 2007 in Edinburgh. Among them were The Scottish Enterprise, President Michael Lempriere, Ian McLachlan, AWI Chairman, Gunnar Frank of Trendscout Netherland, Dr Peter Bartsch, Head of Global Technical Marketing Textile Fibres, Lenzing AG, Austria, and numerous other dignitaries. They called wool as the fibre of gods, but they know that there is no hope on earth for increasing their wool sales unless reliable dry cleaning is found quickly. Wool is sold at knocked down prices. Some sheep farmers are reduced to living on state benefit.
26a) HELP US HELP THEM!
27) No need for world class businesses from here to Australia to India to America to suffer depressed sales any longer provided our technologies are put to severe and critical tests when we launch our test bed in a few months. The consistent and dependable after care will free them to sell in bulk and save them precious research funds in “quick dry wool”, the need to use silver in fabrics for infection control purposes and other innovative projects that are necessitated as a result of dry cleaning placing bottle neck in promoting wool sales across the globe. Our segregated dry cleaning has unlocked bottle necks freeing all related chains to benefit from. It answers infection issues too without the use of silver. Join us.
28) To further open up dry cleaning for scrutiny, let us look at some other parallels. The motor car industry is selected to high light broken links between the fashion industry and dry cleaning industry.
29) Has it occurred to any one that whether Gama Romeo, or Yugo 95.5 not having any thing to do with servicing their cars themselves? Or not to provide full spec for authorised non - manufacturer service outlets to service their cars? Should garages question service intervals of whether 5,000 mile or 10? They don’t, and just get on with the job. Dry cleaners question care labels, and blame fashion designers and tailors when things go wrong at the dry cleaners. A little work is needed here on labelling by the industry. In the absence of clear guidelines, we have devised our own and had no problems with care labels. We have compiled a list of those who label adequately, and there are 90 of them on our data base. We will reject fakes, cheap copies and things bought at market stalls.
29a) We will have effective policing on label related issues. Specialist investment and partnerships in this sector will be developed with Fashion and others in good time. Our commercial dry cleaning processes are designed to function under laboratory conditions every hour of every day, or the service will fail. 20,000 hours ensured it didn’t. Our service was care label friendly to the number of labels mentioned. This should be tremendous news to fashion houses and Saville Row.
30) Tailors and fashion designers test their gear mostly in Perchloroethelene these days. Hence, the after care label P inside a circle and under lined denoting special care. Do fashion houses have the lion’s share of the say in resolving the mind boggling label issues? We feel they should, exactly the same as car manufacturers giving spec to garages for servicing procedures.
31) Testing in Perc means cleaning in Perc of whole garments, I presume. Has any one checked that dry cleaners carry out the precise same processes tailors and fashion do in test processes? Solvent quality is the suspect here. You have about100,000 (world shops) different quality solvents in terms of suspended solids, dissolved solids, turbidity and colour in machine ‘working’ tanks (they store the rinse solvent that was used in rinsing the immediate previous work load). This incredible solvent quality is continually changing in every shop every hour.
31a) The cumulative variation in solvent quality can be calculated only by using a sophisticated computer programme. Do any of these quality parameter(ed) solvents match that of the solvent (Perc) the tailor tested the virgin garments in, before the appropriate care label is sewn on? I am making allowances for the possibility of fabrics only being tested, just in case that is the practice. The argument would still be fairly valid.
32) Is that why matching pieces should be cleaned together to avoid differentials in colours in each piece? This is another of our innovative “trump cards” or USPs we will beat the competition with upon the launches of our commercial outlets. We will not encourage the practice but could clean a 3 piece matching suit by cleaning the trousers in London, jacket in New York, and waist coat in our Tokyo shop! Results will be matching. Who can do that?
32a) Jaeger’s Karen Gray (ex customer relations chief) will confirm that once we (Harvi- Nash Home Shopping) cleaned a straw silk dress for a home in Sloane Square in the early 90s. The customer had the dress shortened. Neither Karen nor I knew that. The customer wanted Karen to have the cut hem piece dry cleaned weeks later and insisted colours should match. The customer wanted a belt made for the dress out of the cutting. Karen posted the piece to us. We cleaned it and produced identical colour with the dress, weeks later as mentioned, and while the customer retained the dress. We had no idea what colour we produced until the customer confirmed colours were matching!
32b) We could only do that because even our Wandsworth prototype worked under laboratory conditions in the early 90s. We have come a long way since. We have added extra crease resistance to wool, and colour care for the same between 1997 and 2000 in Egham. Sadly, we withdrew colour care from the range of our services because customers took advantage and accused us of changing the colour of their garments. We didn’t change colours at all. In both cases we won, and customers were too embarrassed to remain customers. We lost them to others. We couldn’t afford further losses of customers because of being unbelievably good, and were forced to withdraw colour care for wool!
32c) One was an Armani steel gray super 100 pure new wool at £700. The customer claimed it was Aubergine when he brought it in. I said it wasn’t. He said it was. I said, oh no it wasn’t. His wife laughed, but she demanded £700 too for our ruining the suit. I suggested they left the suit for further investigations (as we dry cleaners do). I asked Armani to post me a sample of the fabric after giving them all the catalogue/batch numbers, whatever. I received the sample in the post. It did match the steel gray suit perfectly. I phoned the customer who compared the sample with his suit and apologised for the “inconvenience”. We called the whole thing off, and invited him to remain a customer now that he knew how good we were. Sadly, we never saw him again.
32d) Were we too good for our own good? My assigning a corner of a coin op laundrette to produce the best dry cleaning in the world didn’t have the image and prestige to go with it. It will be different this time around.
33) Traditional and the best professional Hoffman presser is analogous to a panel beater smoothening accident damage to fine Italian cars that are collectable works of art and of fine engineering mater pieces, with a sledge hammer. Heavy pressing an elastic (interlined, bouncy) Karen Millen’s outer upper garment will take the life out of it. It needs a hover iron that is not invented yet. Boy, can Karen cut to shape, or what? So can Bruce Oldfield, Rifat Ozbek, and Katherine Hamnett, not to forget Dame Vivienne Westwood, Dame Patricia Lester (silks of Abergavernie) and the late Jean Muir (Alex Tom ex? Jaeger of Kings Road, Chelsea shop, a religious wearer).
34) Oh, so can the whole of Saville Row. You many have endless fashion critics, but you have none among dry cleaning Hoffman pressers such as I. They need courses in fashion appreciation, because the industry’s training bases emphasis on pressing heavily structured bespoke and military gear. In my being a fly on the wall in 25 shops in London, I never saw a presser do the “handkerchief test” for ensuring the right pressure is applied when the top buck is locked on delicate garments (it shouldn’t be at all!).
34a) Items that needed mild steam application only, got the full 5 tons per square inch (exaggeration) pressure that removed that elasticity for ever! It’s a bit like taking your lap dog for grooming, and you are given back a dead dog, neck hanging to one side and smelling to high heaven because you didn’t collect it in 2 hours.
End of car analogy.
35) Now odour: An oriental tailor providing bespoke tailoring to elite London clientele has added to his skills advice to customers on how to air their suits after dry cleaning to deodorise it! Why not invent the technology to produce odour free dry cleaning?
36) It might be mentioned in the 8 page follow up (next posting) that a global hygiene giant who has also marketed one of the latest dry cleaning technologies, has invented an aerosol spray to deodorise curtains and cushion covers that have just been freshly dry cleaned! The situation is analogous to having a picnic on top of a heap of raw animal manure and deodorise the air by spraying the surrounds with air fresheners! Why not move away to a park designed and maintained for recreation (new machines for segregated dry leaning)?
37) Should we question the practice of the same machine cleaning suits from managers of sewage works (cleaning tokens), greasy overalls, some health sectors (nursing homes) and your Sunday Bests, or should we design machines for segregated work to reduce risks of odour, dull colours, harder/harsher feel and touch? Don’t we conveniently name these poor quality traits re texturing?
37a) We may have actually charged them in decades past for impurities left on their clothes? It must be emphasised that this was not defrauding the customer at all. Instead, and believe it or not, it was the sheer ingenuity of the fore captains to have convenient dry cleaning service at all in high streets. Expanded explanation is avoided here, or I will have to add another page or 2 to this already detailed analysis. Just ask your dry cleaner what re texturing is as a matter of interest and post your answers for us all to read.
37b) you can never have a mature, scientific and common sense dialogue with the industry on these issues, because you would be singing from different hymn sheets. It does not require much to prove that there is no common sense in dry cleaning, just as there is not in understanding Quantum Mechanics, reportedly as developed by Professor Stephen Hawkins. Even physicists working on the theory don’t understand it, so they claim themselves. Perhaps there are parallels. You will detect a note of humility here…
37c) Humour: The Portuguese love to eat the little sparrows as a delicacy. They shoot them with air rifles, by spotting them first by the sound of their singing (hidden among leaves in trees). Over the years, the poor things have learnt that they would live longer if they shut up. Riflemen can’t find them with ease since sparrows have shut up. Most live longer and ensure survival of their species. It is as though the birds saying to hunters: “Me No Sing, You No Shoot. Portuguese only understand pigeon, sorry sparrow English, you see!
37d) I used to sing a lot, but no more. I know nothing, nothing, I know nothing (Manuel Faulty from Barcelona who left his 3 mothers, 16 fathers and god knows who else to come to Torquay and work for that nut case Basil). Half a million of us have gone to Spain now. They know nothing either, don’t integrate, don’t learn the language, eat fish and chips and beef drippings on toast. Sounds familiar?
38) I truly hope that we have been helpful in providing Which?, the industry and indeed fashion extra dimensions to demystify dry leaning between them. We are possibly 10,000 man hours of research ahead of every one else. Our joining forces with them at stages they are, will hugely harm our business goals. Therefore, we will carry on speedily to lay foundations for removing the multi billion £ bottle necks cruelly placed in our way of progress.
39) No one is at fault for being where we are. The late President Ronald Regan described the Great Wall of China as “One Of Those Walls” to White House Staffers. Its one of the best descriptions I have heard. Only he could say that. He also addressed the late Princess David in Camp Diana on her State visit with Prince Chuck (I made up the last bit) sitting down at dinner looking extremely bewildered. His dilemma was if he had been addressing his wife with the wrong name, all of their married life! Regan sounded as confident and convincing as had been, describing the Great Wall. The historic lesson for us is to call dry cleaning as “One Of Those Businesses”, and get on with the job.
40) You will have noted that I ventured wildly from a subject to another. The reason is that steering committees for dry cleaning of the future require an appreciation of art, culture, demography, anthropology, science, technology, the environment, politics of the corporate and geo types, history, fashion, humour, public health and other fields of human activities. In depth knowledge in all of these will be mandatory for keeping our brands alive and nourished. Brands are similar to indoor pot plants. Regular feeding and watering are needed if they are not to die on you.
40a) I may have appeared demeaning to debate, blog readers and myself by wildly meandering the way I did. I hope not. On the contrary, mine was a poor attempt to communicate to you all that I will get along fine with any investor and partner whatever your back grounds. We also have our branding and publicity partners who will compliment me in cultural defficencies that may crop up despite my genuine efforts to integrate in my host society. At any rate, I regret if I have injured any one’s sensitivities in whatever way at all.
41) Blog http://kazinegham.blogspot.ocm/ is updated now, and will house these proceedings, and more. Our e – mail list is curtailed to include serious audiences in investment, professional partnerships with Discovery Beach, Comms Unit, fashion, press, media, and wool producers. Apologies are offered to our mayor and other Runnymede dignitaries for leaving them out. Our local campaigns are now complete. One or two on the list may pass them our blog address for keeping abreast of developments.
Mohammad (also known as Kaz in the blog)