Saturday, 25 October 2008

Networking

Post number 14

Networking

There is good progress being made on some fronts in terms of increasing customer choice of what to wear. Some researchers have perfected ways to hand wash cashmere. Cardigans and sweaters are sold at affordable prices. We mentioned Australian wool innovations (Cool Marino) shower suit earlier.

Marks and Spencer’s efforts with Oxfam is commendable in trying to have an impact on the reduction of 1 million tonnes of clothing that end up in the already scarce UK land fill sites annually. Oxfam may have already opened 3 boutiques in London last summer in (Westbourne Grove, Shawfield Street Chelsea, and Chiswick High Road). Visit www.fashionunited.co.uk.

One would wish to do away with dry cleaning altogether. For one thing, nothing beats washing with water. But in the real time poor world, avoiding dry cleaning is not easy. Dry cleaning fit for purpose also gives fashion forecasters and designers a wider selection of fabrics to work with. Some fabrics such as those made of merino, cashmere, alpaca, mohair, camel, angora, pashmina, and silk are at best impractical to wash and care for at home. Dry cleaning when it was fairly good and acceptable gave designers and tailors a free hand to work with these fabrics and produced ‘Loved for Longer’ items that became wardrobe collectables.

No doubt, work goes on round the clock to provide a maximum of choice to the consumer. We feel that our efforts if combined, will cut the cost of expensive research and avoid duplication of work. We need to have a centralised station who keeps every one informed of what is happening. Why not this blog and the list of people and organisations that we have either met with, spoken to on the phone or have written to in the past 20 years?

They are academics, environmentalists (e.g. our own Runnymede Borough Council’s Environmental Health Offices), captains of the dry cleaning industry here, Europe and Canada, sheep famers, producers of natural fibres, textiles businesses, press and the media (good scope for a magazine already Denise and Mildred), fashion, tailors, researchers, a youth group, consumers and their groups e.g. Which? Magazine. We have listed you all under the profile section of our Facebook entry.

Here are a couple of cases where ‘consultations fatigue’ may be at work, or some questions need answering:

Mr Graham Burden of Marks and Spencer attended the IWTO Congress of 2007 and contributed on the topic of Organic apparel, its role in the market, and M & S programme in this area. In the same Congress, wool was named as the ‘fibre of the gods’ where delegates vowed to work on revitalising their countries wool industries (www.iwto.org). UK wool market suffers, where sheep farmers loose 30 pence per fleece in sheering their animals to keep their skins healthy (www.bbc.co.uk/radio4).

The United Nations (FAO) has named 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibres. Let’s work and celebrate it together with dry cleaning using Perchloroethelne at least for another 2 decades. Ask UK government’s DEFRA and your local authorities who strictly monitor dry cleaners in their areas.

Our wool is mainly used for carpets and building insulation. A lot is exported to china where it is not converted to wool jumpers and fine fabrics. We insulate our homes with wool but not our bodies to wrap up warm in cold winters. If we wore wool, then it would be a bit like carrying our warm houses with us everywhere, won’t it? There has been no break in the 6,000 year history of humans wearing wool non stop in the third world (time rich and can hand wash and drip dry). We in the industrialised world have nearly stopped wearing wool. Our pensioners will pay high energy prices this winter to keep warm. Cuddly and fluffy Wool jumpers could save them so much.

Obviously, there is no reliable and consistent after care for wool, i.e. dry cleaning that does not smell, and does not make colours dull. CCCC Limited has unlocked these obstacles. Soon, business sectors mentioned will experience increased productions for the first time since the 1980s when the going was good and before every one could buy a shop and stat dry cleaning.

We have concentrated our efforts in this post on wool because wool when dry cleaned properly, will always look and feel like brand new. That is why it was so ward robe collectable. If you still have kept your cherished items and cannot part with them, then don’t. Soon, you will be able have them cleaned like they’ve never been.

The second case is that some researchers are trying to develop substitutes for polyester. First, we hope they succeed because polyester is washable and as said, nothing beats washing. Second, why not wool super 120 and 130? It’s funny to think back when polyester may have been invented as a substitute for wool. Oh, those dry cleaners! If they only predict today's pressures of lack of business in which only the fittest for purpose will survive.

And those unfortunate environmental campaigners. If they could indeed tell that their baseless campaigns will bring down the sheep farmers to their knees and cause the near demise of Harris Tweed, Scottish Tartans and the excellent English wool cloth that the world sorely misses. Thank goodness, they have not done an hour of campaiging against Perc since July 2001. They have realised their ill advised practises of scaring the public to donate larger amounts for their for their compaigns; most of which are indeed excellent campaigns and we wish them continued success towards a better and cleaner environment.

We hope that over a 100 of you in our Facebook profile section become Facebook Friends like one or two have already. Our prize for them is a copy of our business plan that they can collect from our agents, and become partners and investors. Become a Friend, sign an NDA with our agent, and get your own copy. We will email you with our agents' details to contact.

Mohammad

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