Home Sustainability Regal inspires you to be 'Kind to your Clothes. Kind to your Planet.'

Regal inspires you to be ‘Kind to your Clothes. Kind to your Planet.’

As we roll through another week of lockdown, and the end of what would have otherwise been New Zealand Fashion Week 2021, we reflect on one of the most popular product items donated to Dove Hospice… clothing. As you may already know, our generous and supportive local community donates their preloved, used, and in some cases new, items.  These items are then sorted and distributed out to one of our 8 retail shops, Dove Hospice Online or our Trade Me store to raise funds for our organisation. 

Dove Hospice, as a not-for-profit organisation, supporting and empowering people to navigate holistically through the process of living with, and dying from, life threatening illness.  Unlike a more tradition hospice, Dove Hospice does not receive any direct government funding to support our organisation, so we do rely dearly on the support from our community to fundraise… and we are very grateful for all the amazing donations that get passed in to Dove and clothing being a predominate category.

Regal Drycleaners

As we roll through yet another week of lockdown, we reflect on one of the most popular product items donated to DOVE HOSPICE…… clothing.   We thank our generous, supportive local communities for their preloved and in some cases new,  clothing items.  These items are sorted and distributed as appropriate amongst our seven retail shops, and/or our Dove Hospice Online and Trade Me stores to raise funds for our organisation. 

DOVE HOSPICE, as a not-for-profit organisation, supports and empowers people to navigate holistically through the process of living with or dying from, a life threatening illness.  Unlike traditional hospices, DOVE does not receive direct government funding so we rely dearly on support from our communities to fundraise.   To this end, we gratefully acknowledge receipt of some amazing donations that allow us to help those facing difficult times.

This month we chat to Kate Mitchell, General Manager at Regal Drycleaners to understand their Kind to your Clothes, Kind to your Planet ethos.  Regal Drycleaners and Dove Hospice have partnered for several years now, with Regal providing sustainable garment cleaning and restoration solutions, as their part in minimizing the amount of clothing heading for landfill.  Their preference is … to someone’s wardrobe.

When visiting your local Regal Drycleaner to take your besties for cleaning or repair, you are welcome to also leave clothing items you no longer require and our team will collect these items as directed.

Regal Drycleaners also supported the Dove Hospice x Karen Walker collab by dry-cleaning all the preloved knitwear items for the pop up shop.  They also dry-clean donated luxury fashion items for DOVE, ensuring we receive the most affordable price for each item. 

We are extremely appreciative of the support we receive from Regal and their business and clothing conscious initiatives are worth the read….

Q.  Can you please brief us on Regal’s history and its pathway to the present? 

Regal Drycleaners Newmarket started out in the early 1990’s.   One of our current owners purchased the business in 2001 and opened Regal’s second store shortly thereafter in the Eastridge Shopping Centre.   The two Regal stores in Newmarket and Eastridge operated for over 15 years when it was decided to expand our presence across Auckland. We opened our 3rd store in Ponsonby in 2017, our 4th in Takapuna in 2019, and our 5th in St Heliers this year.    We now have 5 beautiful conveniently located stores, with parking for our customers.

Our 6th “store” is our on-demand pickup and delivery channel.   This was very innovative back in the early 2000’, being the first on-demand online dry-cleaning service.   In response to customer demand, this service has developed tremendously and in 2017 we rebranded the service Regal Direct.    We have our own drivers rather than using a courier company enabling us to guarantee the Regal service and we extended our hours to accommodate offices and homes and provide the ultimate convenience.

Q.  Your website states ‘We believe that confidence begins with being proud of your appearance and we want you to leave that to us, so you can get back to the things you love.’  In your experience, how has clothing ‘care’ changed since Regal started business  and how do you see clothing care looking in the future?

Clothing ‘care’ is now so much more than traditional dry-cleaning. Originally the most of our dry-cleaning business was caring for formal wear (suits and gowns).   Things have changed rapidly and are continuously changing, and Regal is determined to stay at the forefront of modern garment care. 

One of the big changes in garment care is the development of wet cleaning.  This is a technology that provides more sustainable cleaning with improved results on certain stains.    We are also committed to a wide range of garment restoration services including restoring colours, textures and even shrunken garments!    Our care extends to a wide range of textiles, traditional corporate/formal wear, wedding gowns, curtains, shoes, designer T-shirts, saris and bedding;  the list is endless.  

We embrace the evolution of fashion and the innovation and evolution of cleaning and restoration services and techniques we can offer to keep it looking amazing!

Q.  It is no secret that the international fashion industry is responsible for a significant amount of pollution, from overflowing landfills to polluting waterways.   Can you tell us about your eco-friendly initiatives at Regal, and how you differ from other dry-cleaning businesses?

We contribute to sustainability through our cleaning processes and services.   We focus on eco-friendly cleaning methods, for example, advanced wet cleaning whenever possible which is the most sustainable way to clean.

Our dry-cleaning method excludes the use of perchloroethylene which many other drycleaners use.  It is a toxic environment pollutant and is harsher on garments. Instead, we use a hydrocarbon solution, a biodegradable solution gentler on garments as well as the environment.

We focus on sustainability processes where possible and have recently gone packaging-free in all our stores!  When packaging is required for certain items or deliveries, we only use bio-degradable film, and are proud of the fact that we haven’t used plastic packaging for over 10 years.

We reuse our hangers, often multiple times, and encourage customers to return them to avoid waste.    We encourage the reduction of fashion turnover in wardrobes by using our clothing restoration services to bring old and worn items back to life.   Stain removal and gentle cleaning extends the lifespan of garments, and we aim to reduce the need to dispose of garments unwittingly in an attempt to slow down the pace at which fashion is consumed.

For those garments that are destined for disposal, we have partnered with yourselves to make sure those items get a second chance.

Q.  We are very thankful for your partnership and see that you also have endorsements from leading New Zealand designers.  What role does Regal play in the Auckland, or New Zealand, fashion industry and why you have received these endorsements?

We consider there are very aligned interests between fashion designers and Regal.

We both want our shared customers to be happy with their garments, for as long as possible.  If you’ve just created and sold a beautiful fashion piece of fashion, I am sure it would be devastating for the garment to be ruined after its first outing from improper cleaning care.

We are the ‘after care provider’ for fashion, and our role in the fashion industry is to step in after the piece has been sold and ensure it looks as good as it did on day one, throughout its lifetime.    We work with many designers to ensure the best service can be provided for their garments, including testing fabrics and working collaboratively when garment challenges arise.    We want the NZ designers to have the confidence to send their customers to us, knowing that their garments will be properly cared for.

Q.  Finally, what are your three top tips to looking after and caring for a garment?

  1. Always clean things after you wear them, even if they don’t look dirty. Invisible stains such as perspiration, perfume and other sneaky things can appear over time if left in the wardrobe uncleaned, and usually turn yellow eventually which is much harder to remove (but never impossible 😉)
  2. If you do get a stain on something that has a bright colour or is a delicate fabric, it is best to avoid dabbing/rubbing at it yourself.    The rubbing can remove colour and so when it is brought to us for stain removal, while the stain comes out successfully, the item ends up with a faded/streaky colour where the original rubbing took place.
  3. Before you give up on something, bring it to us first! We have seen the worst of the worst from crazy impossible stains and tricky complicated fabrics/designs. Don’t give up hope when something seems ruined or hasn’t been successful at home or at other drycleaners.   It isn’t hopeless until Regal says its hopeless.

***Present the code ‘DOVENZFASHION21’ to your local Regal Drycleaners to receive $5 OFF any service***

***Offer is for $5 off a service for one item only. No minimum spend required. One certificate per customer per year***

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