MIAMI — When Jason Loeb, owner of the South Florida-based Sudsies Garment Care, decided that his business would start offering cleaning services for high-end couture clothing, he knew that his team would need training and special equipment. Delicate pieces that can cost thousands of dollars, after all, demand a different level of care.
In Part 1 of this series, we took a look at what puts clothing at the “couture” level, and the training it takes to tend to this type of garment. Today, we’ll conclude by examining the equipment Loeb has entrusted to do this delicate work, as well as the ways he and his team try to limit the environmental impact of the process.
Tools of the Trade
The other side of the couture cleaning equation is the equipment necessary to treat delicate fabrics and materials gently so they can stand up to the process and emerge refreshed.
In 2018, Sudsies turned to laundry equipment manufacturer Miele to see what the European brand’s products could provide. Loeb purchased the company’s PW 6321 75-pound washing machine. Within weeks, Sudsies added 16 more Miele machines to its roster.
As much as he values communicating with his customers, he appreciated the company’s willingness to communicate with him.
“Miele takes their sales a step further and really educates their customers on the equipment and on the benefits of wet cleaning,” he says. “Miele prioritizes educating others on the process and its history, as well as debunking myths.”
While Sudsies exclusively uses Miele washers, Loeb understands that wet cleaning is more than just the equipment. His business also uses products from soap and detergent manufacturer Kreussler, who partnered with Miele in developing its wetcleaning process.
“(Successful wet cleaning is) a partnership of the right equipment, soaps and softeners, and training, allowing us to clean high-end textiles in a gentle way that protects and prolongs the life of the material.”
In the process, Sudsies also focuses on operational sustainability and its impact on the community by using eco-friendly methods of cleaning.
Loeb says Sudsies is the only cleaner in the country to have received a five-star rating from the Green Cleaners Council, a national organization that provides cleaners and consumers with a defined environmental sustainability benchmark. This rating comes from an evaluation of a business’ practices and operations.
“Sustainability is important,” he says, “and I’m happy that Sudsies is doing its part to care for customers and the community. But to make a meaningful impact, we need everyone to participate and play a role.”
Loeb believes that it is important to continuously be on the search for new processes, machinery, and techniques to serve his customers, whether they are bringing in haute couture or daily wear. Adding equipment such as Miele wetcleaning machines, he says, has served him well in achieving the goals he’s set out to accomplish.
“Wet cleaning is an enhancement for typical dry cleaners and is an opportunity for them to become garment cleaning professionals,” he says. “It steps up the quality of our work tremendously.”
Watching all steps of the cleaning process, from determining the customer’s desires at intake to handing them back their garments in a way they’ll appreciate, is something Loeb says he takes very seriously — and makes sure his staff does, as well.
“If it doesn’t start out right, it doesn’t end right,” he says. “I’m a firm believer of that, and it’s very important to teach that.”
For Part 1 of this series, click HERE.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].