£20,000 now raised for Scope!

Thanks to your generosity, we have now collected over 3,000 kg of donated clothing for our charity partner Scope since we started working together in 2012, raising almost £20,000 from sales in their charity shops. Amazing!

Scope uses this money to support disabled people and their families, providing residential care, supported independent living schemes, short breaks, and employment and training. You can find out more about our work with Scope on their website, here:


Wire hanger craft ideas

Recycling hangers and other plastic packaging has been one of the main features of our environmental policy since we started, and we’ve now collected, and re-used, thousands from our customers.

However, if you don’t want to re-use them for their original purpose there are some amazingly innovative ways to make them into fantastic craft designs. Here are some of the best ones I’ve found:

Paper towel hanger: what about turning your wire hanger into a practical paper towel hanger like the one our friends from Instructables created?

Paper towel hanger via Instructables

Christmas wreaths:  turn our wire hangers into Christmas wreaths for your front door – you can even reuse our pins and plastic packaging! (via Eddie Ross and Ruffled blog)

Christmas wreath eddie rossChristmas wreath1 ruffled

Magazine display: I love keeping good magazine articles, but they always end up in a pile on the coffee table. A Merry Mishap Blog showed us a beautiful way to store your magazines using hangers to display them on the wall!

Stylizimo_workspace magazine display

Accessories holder: another practical way to reuse our wire hanger is as a funky scarf holder like this one(via  Boxwood Clippings), or even to hold your necklaces!

hold scarves

Decoration: If you’re feeling really creative, use hangers to decorate your living room like this one (via Family Chic), or to make these fun animal creatures for your kids (via the Thrifty Crafter)

party-animals-1011 hangersart love hanger

Any more ideas? We’d love to hear them! Drop us a comment 🙂

Give your clothes a fresh starch!

Starching shirts and blouses helps them to last longer and gives them a nice, crisp finish. At LR, we apply a light starch to shirts as standard, but did you know that you can quickly and easily recreate this yourself by making your own spray starch at home?

Dissolve one tablespoon of cornstarch into a pint of cold water, stirring until it develops a milky colour. Put the solution into a clean spray bottle and label it clearly. Then shake well and spray onto your clothes before you iron them. You could even add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil to lightly fragrance your shirts at the same time!

£10,000 raised for Scope with our clothes recycling scheme

Thanks to your generosity, we have collected 1,700 tonnes of donated clothing for our charity partner Scope in 2012, raising nearly £10,000 from sales in their charity shops. Tom Hall, Director of Philanthropy and Partnerships at Scope, said: “LaundryRepublic’s innovative clothes donation scheme has been a tremendous success, making a real impact on the lives of disabled people across the UK”.

Scope supports disabled people and their families, providing residential care, supported independent living schemes, short breaks, and employment and training. You can find out more about our work with Scope on their website, here: http://www.scope.org.uk/how-you-can-help/corporate-partnerships/our-corporate-partners/laundryrepublic

Give a boost to your laundry with baking soda!

In previous posts we have talked about the natural cleaning qualities of lemon and vinegar, which help us take care of our laundry without harming the environment. Today we’ll talk about the special properties of baking soda – useful for more than just baking!

Thanks to its alkali qualities which raise the pH balance of water, adding 125 ml of baking soda to your washing machine’s rinse cycle will boost the detergent’s ingredients resulting in cleaner and whiter clothes.  It will also act as a a deodoriser to remove unpleasant odours, and as a natural fabric softener – ideal for those that are sensitive to chemicals. You can combine the baking powder with warm water to create a paste which will help to remove grease and heavy tea and coffee stains. Simply rub the paste onto the stain and let it sit for an hour before washing the garment as normal.

Switch to baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar for a greener way to do laundry!

Care for your clothes with lemon juice!

We’re always looking for eco-friendly alternatives for your laundry and today we’re going to discover how lemons can help to fight stains and whiten your clothes.

The citric acid in lemon juice can act as a natural stain remover, helping to break down stains such as fruit juice, rust and mildew. Simply pour some lemon juice onto the stain and rub with salt. Leave the garment in the sun to dry for a few hours and then wash as normal, preferably in hot water. You can also use lemon juice as an effective whitener, in place of chlorine bleach; just add half a pint of lemon juice to your cycle along with your usual detergent. If the garment is very dingy, you might want to soak it in a sink with some hot water and lemon slices and leave it overnight. Then wash as usual and allow it to air dry. Your whites will be brilliantly white and lemony fresh!

Vinegar, an eco-friendly laundry softener

Not only is it great with chips, white wine vinegar makes an excellent alternative to commercially available fabric softeners! Standard fabric softeners work by coating your clothes with a layer of chemicals to reduce static and increase the smoothness of the fabric, but you can use vinegar to achieve the same effect in a low-cost, eco-friendly way.

Adding about 100ml of white vinegar to the rinse cycle will soften your laundry and remove soap and detergent residues. It  also prevents yellowing on the clothes, attacks mildew and the acidity should help to reduce static on your clothes. The vinegar smell will disappear as the clothes go through rinse and drying cycle.

Give the scent you want to your laundry!

Harvey Nichols’ Knightsbridge store has been wrapped with a huge ball of wool yarn accompanied of knitting needles, to support this year’s Campaign for Wool. This innovative initiative has inspired us to look for ideas involving wool! While searching, I found a post at the household weblog “One Good Thing” by Jillee which suggests a very interesting use of wool yarns. Instead of using fabric softener, why not make wool balls and add some drops of essential oil to dry your laundry more efficiently, while giving the scent you want to your clothes.

How? It’s easy! Just wrap the wool yarn around your fingers around 20 times, remove quickly the strands off your fingers and wrap across the middle of those loops another 20 times. When it’s the size of a tennis ball, cut the yarn and tuck the end inside, making sure the ball won’t unravel! Put the ball inside a stocking, use a synthetic string to secure it and add the next balls. When ready, just wash them on high heat. Ready to give a fresh nice smell to your laundry?

Working hard to be environmentally friendly!

Inevitably, dry cleaning and laundry consumes some energy and involves the use of some chemicals. However, we make every possible effort to minimise our impact on our environment. To provide an environmentally friendly dry cleaning service, LaundryRepublic has developed a environmental policy alongside the Ecovate Team at the University of Middlesex. Our key objectives are:

– Minimising waste by encouraging reuse and recycling – within our business activities and amongst our suppliers and clients: we provide all customers with a re-usable laundry bag which helps us to reduce plastic packaging. We also aim to recycle all of our hangers.

– Minimising CO2 emmissions: we use dual-fuel LPG vans, reducing our carbon footprint and producing zero particulate emissions to keep London’s air clean

– Modern machinery and super-efficient filters mean we minimize the energy, water and chemicals

At LaundryRepublic we are committed to continually improving our environmental performance, periodically reviewing our environmental policy and setting targets for ongoing improvements. In the near future, we aim to be a carbon neutral dry cleaner, using an accredited program to offset the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our activities.

Our clothes recycling scheme collects over 1,000kg so far in 2012 for Scope!

Dry cleaning in the UK has a bad reputation when it comes to environmental and social responsibility, with some justification. At LR, we’ve been working with the Ecovate Team at the University of Middlesex to change this, and a core part of our programme is the clothes recycling service we offer on behalf of Scope, the UK’s leading disability charity for children and adults. We provide all of our customers with Scope’s clothes recycling bags, and collect any clothes they want to donate with their next order.

In 2012 alone we’ve already collected over 1,000 kg of donated clothing, keeping a huge volume of clothing out of landfill and raising thousands of pounds for Scope. Thanks to everyone for their generosity!

Scope supports disabled people and their families, providing residential care, supported independent living schemes, short breaks, and employment and training. And Scope’s award-winning venture philanthropy projects set them apart from other charities – instead of spending all funds raised directly on charitable projects, they invest some donations and donor loans in new Scope shops, which can then generate even greater sums for their good work with disabled people. The donations from our customers help to stock these shops!

You can find out more about Scope’s brilliant work here: www.scope.org.uk, and about their venture philanthropy project here: https://www.scope.org.uk/how-you-can-help/donate-scope/philanthropy/scope-venture-philanthropy-fund