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Wet Revival: Innovative process offers a sustainable alternative to dry cleaning

By Angela Casco

Dry cleaning has long been a popular choice for those who want to care for their clothes. Whether it’s the suit dad wears to the office or the velvet dress mom wears to special occasions, having the dry cleaner do the “dirty work” seems like the reliable option.

Its invention two centuries ago has provided an alternative to washing clothes with water.

“The problem is that there are garments which can’t be processed using water because it would shrink, stretch, or deform,” Charmaine Ang, managing director of textile care brand Reviva, tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “That’s why for special pieces of clothing, people turned to dry cleaning.”

CLEAN ADVOCATE Reviva managing director Charmaine Ang introduces the advantages of wet cleaning

CLEAN ADVOCATE Reviva managing director Charmaine Ang introduces the advantages of wet cleaning

This method, however, has its downside—the use of a chemical called perchloroethylene, or simply, perc.

“Perc is an enemy here,” Ang says. “[It] may be harmful to your health and the environment.”

A number of places abroad have already banned the use of perc, including France and California in the US. In the Philippines, however, there is no regulation in place for the said chemical.

Enter wet cleaning, an innovative cleaning process brought to the country by Reviva that’s giving dry cleaners a run for their money—or clothing.

“To explain it in the best and simplest way possible, wet cleaning is an alternative to dry cleaning,” Ang says. “It’s
serving the dry cleaning needs of people, except it uses water instead of a solvent like perc.”

PRECISE MEASURE Reviva uses Grandimpianti, a special Italian laundry equipment for the wet cleaning process

PRECISE MEASURE Reviva uses Grandimpianti, a special Italian laundry equipment for the wet cleaning process

A technology invented by Kreussler Textile Care of Germany, wet cleaning utilizes the cleaning power of water, lanadol—a cleaning agent that is 100 percent solvent-free and is a recipient of environment token, Blue Angel—and  a special equipment carrying out the process to rid clothes of dirt.

“Once a client comes in to Reviva for wet cleaning, they can hand in the clothes and we’ll carry out the nine-point inspection process,” Ang says. “We measure, check if there are any damages like watermarks, and then we start wet cleaning.”

The finishing touches like ironing come after processing, which takes about 25 minutes from start to finish.

Ang says choosing between dry cleaning and wet cleaning should be a no-brainer.

“I’d straight up tell them the fact that dry cleaners are still using perc,” she says. “You can smell the difference between perc and water because it’s like washing your clothes in gasoline.”

The co-founder, who is also part of the team that put together Suds’ Clothing Care, understands that introducing and getting people to try this alternative take time and information dissemination.

“It’s a big challenge for us wanting more people to understand what wet cleaning is. To do that, we’d have to be the
bad guy on the side of perc dry cleaners and say it’s bad and that it should not be used,” Ang says. “We’re keen on spreading the word that there is such a system called wet cleaning that is more sustainable and safer for the skin.”



Source: Manila Bulletin

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