This is our story: It all started in 2004. My wife, Hélène and I decided to buy our local dry cleaner, where we had been customers for over 14 years. The owner was looking to sell the business and we were looking for a business opportunity. We thought, let’s be in charge of our own destiny and decided to take the plunge!
Established since 1985, this was a good dry cleaner with a neighborhood clientele. From the beginning, we knew that the lifespan of the equipment was reaching its end in about three years but that didn’t discourage us. We took the plunge and went for it. We learned the business together, husband and wife, working side by side.
You can say that one of us learned it the hard way. My wife had always been plagued by an array of allergies since early childhood; eczema was her biggest challenge but was well under control. Without knowing, this lifelong skin condition became the beginning of our green journey.
After working in the store for only three months, her skin problem deteriorated drastically. Her hands were literally raw, without skin, she had to wear cotton gloves to work. Shortly after, her eyes became permanently swollen, teary and itchy. What was going on?!
This is when we began to observe our everyday environment. Could it be caused by the chemical product used to “dry clean”? After all, there are numerous dry cleaners all over the world, all using the same solvent know as “perc” and doing just fine. So we started to research a bit more, educated ourselves and found out what we were dealing with. We discovered that “perc” was a highly toxic and carcinogenic product! What to do? What are the options when every other dry cleaner is using the same product?!
My wife had to stop working in the store and returned to the corporate world. She put her health first and started to travel all over the world. While in Germany on a business trip, she had to have some clothes cleaned and discovered there was light at the end of the tunnel!!! The technology the Germans were using was not only harmless but also green and earth friendly.
More research was done and we just knew what we had to do. By that time, we had reached the life expectancy of our dry cleaning equipment and had to invest in new machines. Timing was key and the choice was obvious to us. We were going green!!! This was a huge leap of faith, investing a significant amount of money in a not so well known technology in the North American market.
This is how we became the 52nd Canadian green cleaner and the first 100% green cleaner in Quebec. We didn’t know if it was going to pay off but we had the firm belief that we were doing the right thing. Our ecological cleaning method made sense in every way; clothes free of any chemicals, much better for everybody’s health, including all the staff working hard every day.
Smart wet cleaning spares the fibres of your clothes from harsh treatment and keeps them feeling fresh without altering the colours; it also leaves a fresh and pleasant smell as we only use citrus based natural soaps. Not only do your clothes smell good, but they no longer have the off-gassing odour from the chemical products. More importantly, it is much better for the environment. This is no small feat, as we strongly believe that the only way we can help the planet fight the global abuse it is under, is to make small differences in every way we can. Don’t dry clean – Eco Clean!
Michael Kutchuk, owner
Come and discover Nettoyeur Écologique Royal and help the planet, clean green!
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