An Eco-Friendly Gift Guide to Share

12 Dec

With the holidays right around the corner, we’ve had our eyes wide open looking for the perfect gifts to spoil our loved ones with. As lovers of great apparel and of the environment, we were thrilled to see that our friends over at Ecouterre had put together an eco-friendly knitted gift guide. Because you know as well as we do that combining eco-friendly and knits creates our kryptonite.

How could we possibly keep this to ourselves when we know that you love this stuff just as much as we do?

The way Ecouterre introduced the items was so perfect, so we had to share that too:

“Share the warmth this holiday with an eco-friendly knit gift that will bring comfort and joy to hearts, hands, and Mother Earth alike. Keep someone’s noggin warm with a handcrafted—and vegan-friendly—beanie. Or ward off the winter chill with a chic cowl derived from organic cotton, wool, and up-cycled leather.”

Take a look at their eco-friendly gift guide to find some cozy and timely inspiration for your holiday shopping!

Our favourites include:

Treeline Up-Cycled Boot Cuffs

Myrrhia Pyramid Beret

Kordal Horizon Scarf

And for anyone feeling like they want to try their hand at a DIY stocking stuffer, these slippers are super simple while still warranting an, “I can’t believe you made those!”

Now, not only do we get to experience the excitement of giving a gift we just know our loved ones will enjoy, but we get to do so knowing that what they are unwrapping is good for the planet as well!

What about you? What gifts are on your list this year, both to give and to receive? What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? Tweet us @ParkersCleaners, and let us know what you’re most excited about!

If you liked this post, you might also like Inspired by: Knits!

Laundry Symbols: Wash and Dry

4 Dec

We thought that the best way to finish off our mini series on laundry symbols would be with some of the most common symbols you’re going to come across on a day-to-day basis. We mean, of course, the symbols for washing and drying.

If you’re curious about our last laundry symbol post, check out “What is wet cleaning?

Every week, most Torontonians haul their laundry out of hampers and into laundry rooms or laundromats all over the city where they then, hopefully, sort them into colours and whites. This is a great place to start, but how often do you pay attention to the more specific washing and drying instructions given on that tiny clothing care tag?  Even if the item doesn’t require extra special attention, such as dry-cleaning or wet cleaning, there’s a chance it still needs a little bit of TLC.

Let’s take a look at some of these cryptic messages that stand between you and proper clothing care.

symbols.jpg

Do any of these symbols look familiar? We’d bet that almost every piece of clothing in your closet has at least one or two of these symbols sewn into the tag. And while you’ve probably figured out the difference between the regular “wash” symbol and the “handwash” one, much in the same way that you know what the big “X” through the dryer symbols means, did you know that all of those dots and lines actually mean something important?

They do – and they are actually incredibly simple to figure out! Here are two tips to help you learn what your clothes need in order to stay in their tip-top shape:

  1. Dots refer to temperature; the more dots you see, the higher the temperature can be. As you can see in the chart for dryer symbols below, no dots means that any temperature will be fine – what an accommodating piece of clothing you have! Just one huge black dot means that no heat should be used.
  2. Lines refer to strength; the more lines you see, the more delicate of a cycle you should use. This is applicable for both the washer and the dryer.

Note: Often people wonder whether the hand wash recommendation really means business. Do you have to wash those items in the sink with your own two hands or can you actually put them in the machine? Well, hand wash means wash as delicately and gently as possible, so if you want to, you can wash that item in the sink or if you have a newer machine, there may even be a selection on there for hand washing. It would be the slowest cycle possible, alternating between agitating the clothes and letting them rest every few minutes.

Here are those rules in a truly easy-to-understand format!

You should be well on your way towards taking great care of your clothes, but if you still have questions or prefer to leave these things up to professionals, come see us! We’re clothing care specialists in the GTA dedicated to giving your clothes the best treatment possible. We also do our best to make life as easy as possible for you, which is why we offer clothing pick up and delivery at no extra charge!

Inspired by: Big, comfy, oversized scarves

2 Dec

This autumn, we have been completely taken by one of this cooler season’s biggest trends: the oversized scarf! While there are many different types of scarves filling boxes in our closets and hanging on hooks behind our doors, the blanket scarf is by and large our new favourite.

Ever since we saw those beautiful Burberry Prorsum scarves draped so casually, but oh-so-perfectly, over the shoulders of each model in the A/W ’14 runway show, we could not wait for the cold to settle in.  And even though you may not be able to snag one of their wonderfully printed scarves for yourself, there are still so many incarnations out there to fall in love with.

What do we love the most? We love that you can belt it into something more sweater-like than scarf-like, that you can wear it like a cape draped over your shoulders, that you can wrap yourself up in it, and that it looks fantastic each and every time!

Who knew that one single (large) scarf could do so much?

 

  
Urban Outfitters, Urban Outfitters

If you ask us, there is nothing else we would rather wrap ourselves in for a lazy Sunday morning or a night out watching a great movie with friends.


Vogue Germany

As an added bonus, when you get caught on a rainy or snowy day and don’t have an umbrella or hat, don’t you worry! Your blanket scarf is suddenly a hood to keep you warm, dry, and fashionable.

  
Humanoid, Stockholm Street Style

A good scarf will make sure you never have to be left out in the cold again this winter; wrap it up tight or toss it loosely over your shoulders and you’re good to go. Well all know the value of this during our Toronto winters!

In fact, we’re convinced there’s no wrong way to wear the blanket scarf.

  
The Weekender Travel, Imagine the Swallows

  
ASOS

Your scarves don’t just work hard to keep you looking good; they also work incredibly hard to keep you protected in harsher elements. Quite often, people forget that this piece of clothing needs just as much TLC as any other piece of outerwear does – especially considering how close it is to your mouth and nose.

To ensure the best care, bring your scarves (and any other pieces of outerwear you may not have had cleaned in a while) to us this winter. We offer safe, eco-friendly clothing care and know how to work with both natural and synthetic fibres.

How to care for a duvet

20 Nov

Considering our current temperature in Toronto, it’s probably safe to say that you’ve been snuggling underneath a warm duvet in bed at night (and sometimes on the couch while watching a movie) ever since the first leaves in High Park turned red. Maybe you’ve even had yours out all summer and just kicked it to the end of the bed when the evening was too hot.

Either way, is there any greater feeling than slipping into freshly washed bedding at night? As clothing and home textile care experts, we may have a small bias, but this simple luxury definitely sits at the top of our list of at-home comforts.

Whether you’ve just pulled your duvet out of storage for the cold months ahead or you keep it out year-round, here are some simple tips for keeping it at its best:

  1. Use a good duvet cover. Those duvet covers most of us use on a daily basis aren’t just for decoration. While they definitely do add to the aesthetic of a room, they also help protect your duvet from oils that can eventually break the fabric down and let filling escape.
  2. Clean regularly. Duvet covers handle the brunt of the dirty work and should be cleaned weekly if you don’t use a top sheet; they should go into the wash monthly if you do. As for the actual duvet, we recommend cleaning at least a couple of times a year. Your duvet can last a long time if you’re cleaning it regularly and properly. We suggest enlisting the help of a pro for this. *Ahem* We know someone!
  3. Dry properly. There are many people who launder their duvets at home and while this isn’t always bad, if your machines aren’t heavy duty enough, you might not be getting your items fully clean or, more importantly, fully dry. Just think about heading to bed with your comforter to find that some of the down is bunched in a corner and still damp! We have industrial-sized dryers to make sure that all of your bedding comes home as clean, dry, and fluffy as the day you bought it.
  4. Replace when needed. As long as you keep it clean, aired, and stored properly, your duvet or comforter should last you many years. Once you start noticing that you are losing stuffing regularly (down duvets, just like pillows, do tend to lose feathers with regular use, but you will notice a significant loss as the piece ages) and the cover gets flat, it may be time to consider investing in a new one.

We are, of course, strong advocates for getting your duvets, comforters, and quilts professionally cleaned. Our industrial-sized machines ensure that your bedding comes home to you perfectly cleaned, dried and ready to be snuggled up underneath for months to come!

As a side note: If you have summer duvets you’ll be storing during the winter, we suggest bringing them in to be cleaned before you do to keep them in good condition and help them last longer. We’ll even pack them in breathable storage bags for you to take home! Schedule a pick up here.

Sakiori Reduces, Re-uses and Recycles

14 Nov

We are pretty passionate here at Parkers about being eco-friendly clothing care specialists. We don’t think that taking care of your clothing and home textiles should mean you have to compromise your beliefs about taking care of the environment and are always on the lookout for other companies that share this belief.

When it comes to eco-fashion news, one of our favourite stops is www.ecouterre.com, which is where we first heard of Hana Mitsui.

The Royal College of Art student has come up with a way to transform waste materials and fabric scraps, of which Mitsui’s website states there is a “huge amount of,” into something truly remarkable. Mitsui bases the construction of her garments on the traditional Japanese method of rag-weaving known as sakiori. Japanese peasants used this method starting in the mid-18th century when resources were hard to come by and the need for conservation was great. Like these traditional artisans did, Mitsui shreds pieces of waste material into strips and then weaves them into entirely new pieces of fabric. Unlike her predecessors who used this method to create durable work-wear, Mitsui creates fantastic high-fashion garments.

“I innovated the way to utilize the waste materials and created original yarns out of waste,” she says. “These yarns can be used for both industrial-weaving loom and hand-weaving loom. Beautiful ikat patterns from waste textiles are born again as completely new and beautiful materials.” – Hana Mitsui

We love how Hana is inspired by the idea of reducing waste and reusing material to create something beautiful –  as well as responsible! Isn’t that piece in the photo up top just fantastic?! Check out the full article, by Jasmin Malik Chua over on Ecouterre.

Tell us what you think about Hana’s sustainable method of creating garments! Tweet us your thoughts: @ParkersCleaners.