Thursday, December 17, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Switching out some surprisingly toxic household products for cleaner, greener alternatives can help save your health, money and the planet.
By Leah Koenig
Remember the 1980s? Sure you do — it was the decade of big hair, metal bands and acid-wash jeans. 1985 was also the public debut of the hole in the ozone layer. Scientists warned that the layer was being weakened by, among other things, the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) found in aerosol cans like the ones used to style the aforementioned big hair. As public pressure to save the ozone mounted over the latter half of the decade, consumers looked to non-aerosol and non-CFC hair products to keep their bangs looking rad without the environmental baggage.
All you need to do is open a bottle of traditional bleach and catch a nose-hair-burning whiff to understand why conventional cleaners are often deadly for humans and the environment. Many of these products contain ammonia, chlorine and petrochemicals, making them, ironically, some of the least "clean" substances on the planet.
Some eco-enthusiasts swear by the powers of vinegar and baking soda. From clogged drains to dirty clothes, these two natural cleansers are said to do it all, and for a fraction of the cost of regular cleaning supplies. A number of companies like Method, Dr. Bronner's, Seventh Generation and even Green Works, which was (somewhat suspiciously) developed by Clorox, also specialize in Earth-friendly cleaning supplies. They cost a bit more than a bottle of white wine vinegar, but are formulated to be powerful on dust and dirt and soft on the Earth. Learn more here.
Despite their innocuous name, foam packing peanuts are an environmental hazard. The non-biodegradable peanuts often wind up in landfills or in rivers, lakes, streams and oceans, choking aquatic life. They're also made from polystyrene, which is a known neurotoxin for humans and a carcinogen for some animals. Don't sound so fluffy and fun anymore, do they?
Eschew the Styrofoam mess by wrapping your airmail items snugly and securely with old T-shirts or towels before packing them into boxes. Or purchase biodegradable packing peanuts, which break down when they come in contact with water.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of a well-intentioned gift filled with Styrofoam, contact your local UPS or consult with Earth911 about donating your stash for reuse.
The soft, cushy carpeting that covers floors in 60 percent of American households is filled with volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde, styrene and other chemicals that are included on the EPA's Extremely Hazardous Substances list. These chemical fumes can waft into the air, causing indoor air pollution.
Avoid wall-to-wall carpet in favor of nontoxic area rugs made out of bamboo, recycled cotton or wool and organic fibers.
Conventional detergents used in dishwashers often contain phosphorus. After the detergents get washed down the drain, they can end up in local waterways, causing excessive algae growth that competes with other aquatic life for oxygen. Some states, like Washington, have actually banned phosphorus-containing detergents from the shelves.
Try making your own detergent out of the 100 percent vegetable-oil-based castile soap, which can be purchased in bulk relatively cheaply. Store-bought alternative brands like Ecover, Dishmate and Mrs. Meyers work well, too, but often cost more than their petroleum-based counterparts.
It can take 500 years for a disposable diaper to biodegrade in a landfill. Multiply that number by the number of diapers a baby goes through every day and you have a big, stinking problem.
Cloth diapers, largely regarded as the most eco-friendly option, recently got a makeover of their own. Many of today's cloth diapers are designed to fit snugly, and services like Eco Baby take the inconvenience out of rinsing, washing and drying diaper after diaper at home. Alternatively, some parents keep their babies dry in biodegradable flushable diapers.
In our rushed, hectic society, the occasional plastic take-out container can provide a moment of convenience and relief. But according to Ecoagents' Eco-to-Go website, Americans toss out enough paper and plastic cups and flatware to circle the equator 300 times. Additionally, almost a third of the total waste generated in the United States comes from packaging and plastics that take 1,000 years to decompose.
Like avoiding plastic bags, eliminating take-out containers from your life takes a little bit of simple planning. Toss a clean Tupperware container into your backpack or tote to use as a doggy bag and, whenever possible, seek out restaurants that use eco-friendly to-go containers made out of recycled cardboard, or plant-based plastics.
Candles add warm light to our homes, but they can also add air pollution like soot and other carcinogens. Many candles' are made from nonrenewable petroleum and have wicks that contain harmful toxins like lead or zinc.
Stick to candles made from bees' wax and soy or other vegetable oils that use lead-free wicks. Or, play your DIY card and make your own natural candles or making soy candles.
Like many conventional paper products, paper towels are usually made from virgin wood pulp, which means more trees need to be cut down for each roll. They're also often bleached with chemicals to achieve the clean, white color that Americans have grown to associate with cleanliness.
The best spill-sopping muscle may be found in reusable cloth towels. Whether you purchase new hand towels made of bamboo, or favor torn-up T-shirts, eliminating paper towels from your waste stream is easy. If you prefer to keep a roll around for good measure, try Seventh Generation's 100 percent recycled, unbleached variety.
The chemicals found in most hair dyes can stress out your hair with regular use, so imagine what they must do to your health and the environment. Many of the (sometimes unregulated) chemicals used in these dyes have been linked to cancer and birth defects.
The cheapest and most Earth-friendly option is to decide to rock your grays! If you do want to cover them, try non- (or at least less) toxic hair dyes and hennas made from plant sources like HerbaTint, Rainbow Research or Lush.
For full article, please visit this site.
I can't stand pilling, or discoloration, or that god awful moment when a garment comes out of the dryer shapeless and deformed. *rawr*.
I hand wash everything I can without soap and try to avoid the dryer; but iiieeeee my clothes are in ruins. I feel mortified going out in public with damaged clothes.
Today I think I discovered the solution to my problems. The Laundress NY I intend to spend a good chunk of my christmas money on detergent and stain remover. Oh and my sweaters are callling out for this: http://store.thelaundress.com/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=TL&Category_Code=STONE-ACC
Check out Sugar & Spice's blog here: http://sugerandspiceandevthnc.blogspot.com/2009/12/laundress-new-york.html
My Beautiful Laundress
Posted by Nikki Cho Russo
Finding a perfect pair of denim jeans is like finding that perfect soul mate. It takes a lot of invested time, money and whole lot of trying on. So, once you’ve found “the one” that fits you like a glove, Denim Therapy has found the perfect denim wash to make that love last. The Laundress Denim Wash.
The Laundress has developed The Laundress Denim Wash in a classic scent. Non-toxic, biodegradable and allergen free, this exclusive product blends detergent and fabric softener to clean and soften, giving denim that perfect worn in feeling. And, of course, when the love starts to unravel, Denim Therapy is here to help patch things up. All it takes is a little therapy.
To see more, visit: http://blog.denimtherapy.com/2009/12/my-beautiful-laundress/
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Do you only serve white wine in fear of your guests spilling? Seriously…Anyone in the know of The Laundress by now would be pouring the Pinot Noir!
Follow our “pit” stain recipe. You can even watch us doing it. This also remedies stains from coffee, chocolate, etc...
Do you have your beautiful antique linens in the drawer because you don’t know how to care for them? Get over it! IF they are antique, they are washable as an antique is PRE-synthetic fabric. Cotton, linen, or silk.
Just make sure to treat as a delicate. Use our Mesh Washing Bags, hand wash or delicate cycle and wash accordingly.
Remember - Wash & Stain Bars are perfect for targeting stains in nook and crannies like lace.
FYI-IF you are guilty of the above and chose dark synthetic linens instead because it is “safer” you will end up with a bigger mess. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester love oil (like dressing) and will be very stubborn to release such stains in the wash.
Do you have a cornucopia instead of your candlesticks in fear of wax dripping? It isn’t that bad. Light up. To remove wax, let it dry and harden. If you are anxious freeze it with ice or in the freezer. Scrape away as much of the hard wax as possible. Use a hot iron with a clean rag in between and soak up the excess wax, swiping the area always with a clean surface of the rag. Finish with some stain solution on the area and launder as normal.
Did you discover your perfectly cleaned and pressed white linens have mystery yellow spots?
We can’t stand this either…Why? We just learned that one of the pesky culprits is storing with starch!
So, to remove - soak well with our Stain Solution on the spots and a little kick of our All-Purpose Bleach Alternative then launder and press. To avoid in future - do not starch when in between using/storing. If you are keeping in a wooden drawer be careful as wood finishes can discolor the fabric as well. Use acid free tissue, acid free boxes, or a cotton protective bag.
The doorbell is ringing, the oven buzzer is going off, and everyone in the house is watching football… AND your tablecloth is a mess just pulled out of the drawer? Well, you’re lucky, even Lindsey’s 4 year old nephew can “operate” the Crease Release. Spray and hang!
You love your in-laws but...your house stinks from the family’s famous recipe! Just grab the Fabric Fresh and spray!
You pulled it all off….you are ready to serve your prize holiday meal - rip off the apron and your dress is now stuck between your legs! Don’t drop your dish, just put it down. Take Static Solution and spray a few mists in between you & the fabric.
Happy Holidays from The Laundress!
We are eating out!
For more, visit here.
Monday, November 23, 2009
The Wash and Stain Bar is fantastic for all around stain removal, we find it is also a great way to keep white shirts white.
The Wool and Cashmere shampoo will keep your woolens soft, and smelling of cedar.
Remove pilling and keep your sweaters looking like new with the Sweater Stone.
For our current range of The Laundress products available online click here.
For a much wider range please visit us in person. New items will be posted online shortly, if you can't wait feel free to send us an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Gwen & Lindsey with Lori Hirshleifer
Q: "Hi there! I am so excited to have found your products through JCrew. I buy all my work clothes from them because I only wear natural fibers – silk, cotton, wool, leather, linen. I have some pretty pricey suits from their collection and want to take great care of them but HATE the dry cleaning expense. I already hand wash my own sweaters but I am wondering if I can use your shampoo and hand wash my wool gabardine suits, press with care, and not compromise the structural integrity of the items. Thoughts?" -Thanks! Amanda
A: "Hi Amanda, yes...you totally can. Lindsey and I actually wash all our blazers in the machine. Delicate/wool cycle/in our mesh bag with the Wool & Cashmere Shampoo. Obviously if this is too much you can hand wash. Hang to dry and steam well. The steamer makes it all come together.
Happy Laundering!" -Gwen
If you have a laundry-related question, "Ask The Experts Gwen & Lindsey" on our website.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Plus, everything is non toxic, biodegradable and allergen free — so you don’t have to worry about harming your baby’s skin.
The collection includes a stain-fighting detergent made with optical brighteners and color guard, a softening fabric conditioner, recyclable dryer sheets free of the carcinogenic ingredients found in other brands and a anti-bacterial fabric spray formulated to remove odors.
The line ranges from $16 to $19.50. It’s definitely pricier than store bought brands but aren’t your little ones worth it.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Facts you should know about our All-Purpose Bleach Alternative:
-Non-toxic, non-abrasive, environmentally-friendly household cleaner
-100 percent Sodium Percarbonate -- 2X concentrated
-Non-Toxic, Chlorine Bleach Free and Degradable
-Can be used to pre-soak clothing or added to the laundry cycle for added cleaning power
-Effective in all water temperatures and systems
-VOC, Phosphate, Phthalate and Dye-Free
To order, click here.
** Don't forget, enter "realsimple" at check-out to save 20% on our entire until November 7th!
Monday, October 26, 2009
THE BIG NEWS IN IRONING IS IRONY.
A TALKING HEAD LETS OFF STEAM.
BY S.S. FAIR
The Samurai Shopper is harboring a wee crush on Robert Pattinson, teen-throb star of ‘‘Twilight’’ and ‘‘New Moon.’’ True, Pattinson’s less a menacing vampire than a really hot Boy Scout in need of a bath, and nowhere near as frightening as Joan Allen’s zombie mom in ‘‘Pleasantville.’’ A perfectly coiffed paradigm of the Ike-and-Mamie era, Allen’s fashion-plate lady kept house like no flesh-and-blood woman I ever knew. That demure domesticity prompted many boomer babes to vault the white picket fences and escape similar, Betty Crockered fates. Cooking and cleaning were heinous enough, but ironing clothes? The worst. The Samurai Shopper was one among many yearning to sink her teeth into meatier challenges.
Ironing symbolized dead-end drudgery for me until ‘‘Hairspray’’ came out, wherein Ricki Lake got her hair ironed directly on the ironing board. That looked like fun. Even though my hair needed no ironing, my clothes were a mess. Having sold out to steady paychecks, I was still bankbooks away from having Mme. Paulette service a single garment. That required disposable income and more numbing chores, this time in an office where crisp shirts were de rigueur. To break free of housewifey bondage called for housewifey measures. But pumping iron proved immensely satisfying once I got over the male/female, upstairs/downstairs stigma. All that intense hand-eye coordination and blinkered focus cleared my mind of niggling minutiae. And what’s better than putting on a freshly ironed, still-warm shirt? Besides almond croissants? Even now, especially now, ironing dissipates lots of stress. Chew on this: we’re stoked by achievement and glittering prizes, by the prospects of handing over our dirty laundry to others. So we iron to economize and discover a peculiar refuge from the lacerating effects of overweening ambition. Thus irony — and Zen — infuse our lives with risible absurdities.
But which irons? You’d think we’d be spoiled for choice, but selections in the U.S. disappoint. Sleek, ultramodern-looking irons with all the bells and whistles are common in Europe. Here, most irons would be easily recognized by Dagwood and Blondie, with a few improved safety features added. There’s automatic shut-off, tempered soleplates, easier maneuverability. But an iron with all of the above and futuristic good looks is perhaps asking too much. Panasonic’s 360 Degree Quick comes close. It’s a silver Jet Ski with a titanium-covered soleplate that puts some glide in the ride. Ample steam holes minimize do-overs, and Panasonic’s transparent body reveals water levels clearly, to better avert scorching or running on empty. It’s self-cleaning with an anti-calcium system, so nothing stands between you and your Calvins.
Oliso’s Smart Iron boasts an auto-lift system that kicks in with every stop and go. No need to set the iron on its heel; placed face down, one automotive grunt drops miniature stilts that prop the iron up till you’re ready to roll. Grab the iron and the guards disappear. Steam horizontally, vertically and continuously; once you syncopate the stop/go and steam release, feel free to whistle while you work. One act of dithering, though, and the Oliso mutinies, dropping its guards at the slightest brush. So get a grip and tell it who’s boss. The filling spout is awkwardly placed under the handle and the Extreme Steam guzzles water madly, but experience will teach you when to tank up. Oliso hates distilled water, so try sprinkling some sniffy ironing elixir from thelaundress.com.
DeLonghi’s Pro300 sits on a capacious steamer that exerts tremendous pressure when green-lit. Steam holes only dot the iron’s prow, but the staccato bursts are very effective, easily aimed and fired. For delicate items, hold things up and steam through without elbow grease. The cork handle is a huge plus: the lack of water gauge, a huge minus. Though its diagrams and instructions are puzzling, press on. Just don’t store until the unit’s well cooled.
The baddest boy on the block is Rowenta’s Pressure Iron and Steamer, the Hummer of all irons, dedicated to serious wrinkle demolition. Though it takes time to crank up, 1,750 watts of power go full tilt after that. There’s a well-angled rest atop the steam tank. Alas, no water gauge, so fill to the max and be prepared to quit when the well runs dry. Rowenta plays its own oceanic symphony too, but it’s the reassuring sound of force gathering momentum. It’s Iron Man! And me without my little French maid’s outfit.
Finally, Brookstone’s Steam Bug, a mini-iron in a pouch with a teeny filler cup, is irresistible, a press to impress. It works, it’s travel friendly, cuter than a teenage vampire, and it lacks the stately solidity of professional appliances. I plan to take it everywhere I go, just as soon as I bust out of my apron, hairnet, rubber gloves and saddle shoes.
To view original article, click here.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Most of you by now that we teamed up with Le Labo Fragrances to create our Rose 31 Signature Detergent:
Here we are with Fabrice at our launch party:
I was excited when Gwen and Lindsey came to us last year to explore the idea of perfuming their detergent.
We are always interested by getting out of the traditional "spray" gesture to use perfumes...perfuming a detergent was a stretch we were excited to try.
After the first formulation and our own experimentation with the Signature/Rose 31, the results we so stunning that we were afraid our clients would stop buying our perfumes and only take showers with the Laundress detergent to perfume themselves...
No, not really... but the success of the product, in difficult economic times, still surprised us and we learned a lot from this experience. Mainly that people respond very well to creativity, especially when they need to be more careful: they are willing to buy less, but to buy better...
And they also value these special initiatives that the "big brands" can't propose to them because if they are not too big to fail like some, they are often too big to be creative...
Like Le Labo, The Laundress has decided to be great instead of big...
That's why the sweet smell of their success is even more agreeable to our nostrils !
Keep on washing girls !!!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Steps to Green Clean and Organize Your Closet by Julie Naylon of No Wire Hangers
Fall is in the air and there is no better time then now to revamp your closet. Whether you live in New York or Los Angeles a change of seasons means a rotation in the closet. The truth is that we only wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. The rest hangs there taking up valuable space and clogging up your closet. Here are some steps to help you get organized greenly.
1. Sort and Categorize - Take everything out and sort clothes according to type. Sweaters, jeans, short sleeve and so on. Also while you are at it if you have any wire hangers jabbing at you pull those out and recycle them.
2. Wear it or Share It - Once everything is separated its time to purge. Start with one category at a time. I highly recommend you try everything on. Clothes hang completely different on you than on the hanger. Look for anything that needs mending or items that could be altered. And don’t forget your shoes! See if they could use a shine and check the soles for wear. Everything in your closet should be ready to be worn so make sure everything is clean.
3. Align and Redesign - Now its time to reassemble your closet. Look for what I call prime real estate, the easiest and most accessible sections of your closet. This area should contain the items that you wear the most. Everything else should fall into place according to what works for you. You can hang clothes by type or by color. The most important thing is to make it work for you. That way it will be easier for you to keep it organized.
Once your clothes are put away all that’s left is your unwanted clothes. If you need the cash you could sell them or just make a donation for a tax write off. Here are some options for you but its best to see what’s available in your area by doing a quick internet search for resale clothing. Or check out http://www.earth911.org/ for where to donate.
Buffalo Exchange http://www.buffaloexchange.com/
Cross Roads Trading http://www.crossroadstrading.com/
Dress For Success http://www.dressforsuccess.org/
The Glass Slipper Project http://www.glassslipperproject.org/
Good Will http://www.goodwill.org/ or The Salvation Army http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/
We're so excited to have been a part of the first issue - did you see our ad? There's an exclusive coupon for Lonny readers so be sure to check it out.
A huge congrats to our friend Michelle and her partner-in-crime Patrick for creating such a fantastic online magazine!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
HOW IT WORKS:
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Did you know how long it can take textiles to degrade if they are thrown away?
Luckily, there are better solutions than just tossing out your old clothes...
Gwen went to the Green Market at Union Square and discovered the company Wearable Collections that recycles your unwanted clothing in the NYC area and donates to charity:
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW:
For where and when to recycle your textiles, click here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: Why a textile recycling program?
Q: What items are accepted?
A: Our collections accept clean clothing, shoes, bedding, linens, hats, handbags, belts and other textiles.
Q: What happens to materials donated?
Q: Is my donation tax deductible?
A: Yes! Your contribution to the program directly benefits Council on the Environment, Inc.
Q: What if I can't make it to these collections?
Q: Can my business bring items to the drop-off sites?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Where: Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris
Tue-Fri 11 am - 6 pm (until 9 pm Thu)
Sat & Sun 10 am - 6 pm
Lindsey went last week and loved it...
"She is considered an artist of the fashion industry. The best dressmaker of her time, using only wooden mannequins and drapping the fabric - no buttons, zippers or corsets. Madeline is to dressmaking as Picasso is to art. The styles are so feminine and stylish still today."
The Laundress products are great. The scents are amazing, especially Classic and Cedar. I have allergies and don’t like overly strong scents, so these scents are perfect because they are light and fresh smelling. It’s just the right touch of fragrance to my laundry and is SOO much better than Tide smell and gets the job done. I recommend everyone try this product!!!
The Laundress signature detergent makes doing the chore of laundry more fun. The scent is incredible and my fiance also noticed the new scent in my clothes. I can’t wait to wash my clothes again!
Great product and a good scent. If someone doesn’t like the scent, that is certainly his or her opinion, but smelling like Tide or a dryer sheet doesn’t really do it for me. Above and beyond that however, the product really works well. This product is now a staple in my laundry room.
Outstanding product. No residue with a clean fresh scent. I recommend this product above all laundry detergents. I will use no other!
I absolutely love the smell of this product. The only reason I’m not giving it five stars is because of the price. For a large load, you have to use more than they say in the directions (1/3-1/2 a cup, rather than 1/4 cup), so the bottle really does not go very far. But if you can afford this, it is a fantastic luxury
This detergent has changed my life. My clothes smell amazing and actually look clean. I can’t believe I’ve ever done laundry before The Laundress. I’ve never written a review before, but I just had to for this product. The Laundress is a must buy
Mmm- It’s fresh, clean, and delightful. The other upscale laundry brands can’t even compare; I’ve tried every one! Laundry is a chore, but The Laundress makes my clothes clean and sweet. I’m hooked!