spoiler: it’s toxic. it’s expensive. and it’s annoying.
“Instead of water, professional cleaning processes use a liquid solvent to dissolve stains on garments. This typically involves a chemical known as perc that, while highly effective at getting scuff marks out of clothing, is also a known health and environmental hazard. Health organizations have classified perc as a toxin, but it’s still widely used across the industry. In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency classified perc as a “likely human carcinogen”, meaning that prolonged exposure to the chemical has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.” The Guardian
*art by Eglė Plytnikaitė
Americans spend over three billion dollars ($3,029,470,494, to be exact) each year on dry cleaning, according to the 2018 Global Dry Cleaning Index. we are just going to leave that one right there.
we’ve all been there: at dinner, wearing that black cashmere sweater, laughing, drinking wine and generally loving life until — blast! — some guacamole falls off that chip and onto your sweater. a sweater that you now can no longer wear until you find the time to bring it to a dry cleaner and wait the requisite however-many days before picking it up again — before then inevitably spilling a bit of ice cream on that same sweater a few days later and having to repeat the whole process. good times.
this one is too timely not to include. women are being taken to the cleaners at the cleaners, according to several articles we’ve come across — including this gem of a study done awhile back: “In 1991, the Massachusetts attorney general's office conducted an experiment where a woman and a man brought the same pink cotton blouse to a number of dry cleaners. The woman — Barbara Anthony, chief of the Public Protection Bureau in the attorney general's office — was charged $3 compared to the $1.50 that her male colleague was charged.” The Christian Science Monitor via Marketplace
can you believe we spend so much time and money on something so inconvenient and toxic? there has to be a better way, right? this was our line of thinking when creating époque évolution. we hope to solve for some of these unpleasant truths by making clothes that are machine washable yet sustainably made, versatile and durable yet beautiful. we’re not claiming to have solved any great big problem (yet!), but we do believe that if we each do our small part as consumers, as business owners and as humans, we will start to see a change. don’t you?