All material is copyright of CleanestClean Clothes Care (CCCC) Intrnational limited and group of companies. Egham, England, March 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)