Each year, an estimated 300 million pounds of single-use dry cleaning plastic enter US waterways and landfill, threatening marine and wildlife, and creating a whole lot of trash.
That’s why The Green Garmento, a Los Angeles-based, woman-owned company, is working to decrease the amount of waste generated from dry cleaning bags with their “as seen on Shark Tank” all-in-one, reusable garment bags. The Green Garmento launched in 2008 and has recently joined Green Business Bureau out of a belief that the two companies’ share a common goal in green education and creating change.
The Green Garmento can now be found in 27 countries and has kept an estimated three million pounds of single-use plastic from entering the ecosystem. In addition to sending a positive green message to their community, the dry cleaners that offer The Green Garmento bags also benefit from increased brand integrity, customer loyalty, enhanced customer experience and money savings on plastic that can in turn generate more revenue.
The Green Garmento’s original reusable garment bag functions as a hanging hamper at home, duffel bag for clothing transport and hanging garment bag for dry cleaning pick up. Today, the company has also added to their “Clean Closets, Clean Planet” mantra, by also offering a deluxe version with hanger recycle pouch and has grown the line to include reusable bags for laundered shirts, wash and fold, grocery, organization and travel. The Green Garmento’s line of sustainable products has helped to replace a myriad of single-use packaging at home, school, office and beyond.
The Green Garmento is not just a partner of GBB, but also a member, committed to running a green B2B, B2C and eCommerce business. Their membership demonstrates their commitment to be a sustainability leader and sets an example for not only dry cleaning and laundry professionals across the globe, but all small businesses.
“It doesn’t matter what part of the country you live in, what political party you vote for, what God you pray to, what person you love or even what food you eat,” said Jennie Nigrosh, The Green Garmento founder and CEO. “We all have one planet to protect. What a beautiful world this could be if we can all do it together.”
The company’s commitment to sustainability is evident in the long list of GBB recommended green initiatives already successfully completed. The eco-friendly business practices already in place include:
- Using plug-in hybrid Ford Fusions for company cars
- Ensuring office and home office lighting is LED;
- Focusing on having garbage sorted and recycled;
- Offering a take-back program for bags that can’t be recycled or upcycled;
- Donating misprints and seconds to shelters and “Trash for Teachers”;
- Using domestic shops to fix bags so they don’t go into landfills; and
- Having an eco-friendly office that is also fun – The Green Garmento has two rescue dogs!
The Green Garmento is currently working on a carbon offset program. In the future, customers can also expect to see a direct donate button to environmental causes on the company website that will allow a portion of every purchase to go to a good cause.
The Green Garmento has a simple mission, help dry cleaners eliminate plastic and become greener businesses. With any mission that changes the status quo come challenges. In this case, the challenge is to educate dry cleaner owners on the pros and cons of the various green initiatives and bagging options available. Most owners realize sustainability matters to their customers and employees, but many don’t understand all their options, and many end up taking short cuts or moving to poor solutions that are not truly green.
Although the Green Garmento is leading the way in truly eliminating plastic in the dry-cleaning space, some dry cleaners choose other solutions. One is a machine called the Automatic Bagger – a robotic machine designed to eliminate human labor, while “cutting down” on plastic. These machines may streamline operations, but they are very expensive. The plastic savings are also not significant and labor costs still exist, as workers are needed to change the rolls of poly. Once baggers are operational, there are also challenges to then implement reusable bags.
Another solution used by dry cleaners are “biodegradable” poly bags. The marketing of these bags has helped assuage the eco-guilt associated with using single-use poly. However, studies have shown them to be more expensive than a typical poly bag, and once they are thrown out, not all of them actually biodegrade. This has led them to begin to be outlawed in certain municipalities.
Despite these challenges, the Green Garmento is focused on their mission of protecting the environment and lowering the global carbon footprint by offering affordable, innovative, sustainable products to corporations, small businesses and consumers. The Green Garmento is a great reminder that green business is good business, and that most companies committed to sustainability are also committed to superior quality, attention to detail and dedicated customer service. Their customers’ success is their success. Working together, they can help save this fantastic planet.
Learn more about The Green Garmento