Spring Cleaning at Parkers

30 Mar

Fresh air, fresh start — that’s what spring is all about, a new beginning. I’m sure you’ve been eagerly awaiting the start of real spring weather so you can start doing what you’ve been planning all winter. We’re no different. We’ve spent the winter planning out some new ideas with some new partners to provide even more value to our great customers (hint: that’s you).

To that end, today we’re announcing our partnership with GATA, a Toronto based company that offers concierge services through their smartphone app (iOS and Android). Parkers Pick up and Delivery service is now available on the GATA network, where you’ll be able to enjoy the same great pick up and delivery service from Parkers and conveniently pay through the GATA secure smartphone app. GATA will be expanding its services over the next few months and we’re excited to see what’s on the horizon.

Get the app on Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and get $20 off your first order!

 

Why did we do this?

Looking at our website traffic, a lot of you visit the site on your smartphones — of course you do! Our mobile site helps to make online pick up and delivery scheduling easier, but we were missing the convenience of direct payment features. We won’t bore you too much with data, but mobile use on our own site has grown 22% year over year. We felt compelled to make things a wee bit easier for you. This is why we’re so excited about GATA. Not only will you get the same great service from Parkers, you’ll also get the convenience of direct payment through the app and access to your order history, all in one place.

Remember to get the app through the App Store or Google Play and create an account. You’ll get $20 off on your first order! If you like the app, let us know! If you have feedback, we’d love to hear that too.

If you have any questions about how to get started, drop us a line – we’d be happy to help.

Learn more about GATA by visiting gatalabs.com

 

Spring Cleaning Service Feature: Rug cleaning

19 Mar

Sitting down to write this week’s highlight, there was only one thing on my mind: how dirty my floors were. I tried to ignore them, I really did, but it was no use. So, I got up from the computer and got to work cleaning, only to find that what I assumed would be an easy, five-minute job took me nearly an hour!

In our home, like many others these days, we have a combination of laminate, tiles and rugs underneath our feet. The laminate and the tiles? No problem! A quick sweep and a mop and they look as good as new. The rugs, however? Those are a different story. Somehow, no matter how much they get vacuumed, and regardless of which attachment I use (does anybody else just try all of them until something works?), there is still always something stubbornly left in the pile that I just can’t get.

Source

Even with the recommended vacuuming twice a week, a couple times each year, your rugs likely need something a bit more thorough to get them truly clean and ready for spring. In the old days, people used to take their rugs outside and beat them to get all the dirt out; however, if you’re living in an condo in the middle of the city,  this is a bit of a difficult technique to pull off these days!

Thank goodness there is someone you can call to come and clean your rugs for you! Have you heard about the partnership Parkers has with Yorkville Carpet Care? Not only do we offer you pick-up and delivery for those awfully heavy area rugs you don’t particularly want to pack into your car – or worse yet, onto the subway – but now with Yorkville, we can come and take care of your flooring right then and there! With over 15 years in the carpet care business, Yorkville is well known for its superior service and eco-friendly solutions.

We don’t stop at floors, either. Rugs, drapery, blinds and carpets are all covered within these special home services. So, if you’re anything like I was today and just can’t stop thinking about how dirty your home can get over a few (ok, quite a few) wintery months, give us a call. We’ll set up a time to come to you, bringing the best and most convenient in-home care services!

Inspired by: Spring Break

12 Mar

You know you’re from Toronto when a promise of warmer weather coming means it will be just a little above freezing. Don’t get us wrong! We are very grateful for every degree the temperature goes up; we are just looking forward to the day we get to shed our jacket for good. Mother Nature seems to be a little fickle for now, so we have decided to make our own head start on things and are inviting you to take a little getaway with us – even if only for a few minutes!

It might not be exactly what Albert Camus meant when he said, “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer,” but in lieu of a real vacation this week, we are taking a bit of an imaginative one. Inspired by spring break, we are letting our minds relax and dream of warm, sandy beaches, exotic locales and beautiful, breezy vacation wear! We have rounded up some of our very favourite warm weather looks, from leisurely to totally luxe, and are certain you’ll find a little breath of fresh air in there somewhere.

Come over, sit down for a few minutes, take a deep breath and let the inspiration warm you right up:

Lace and Locks

Sincerely Jules

Columbine Smille

 

Karla’s Closet

Sincerely Jules

 

Chronicles of Him & Her

 

The Scout Guide

 

Danny Rose Fashion

Ahhhh…don’t you feel a little warmer already?

Or, maybe you are one of the lucky ones who got to make a true getaway this winter, jetting off somewhere truly warm. If so, well done, you! Of course you know that if your vacation wear came home looking a little more tired than relaxed, we offer specialty garment cleaning and can even come pick it up for you – meaning you can avoid the cold for a little while longer!

Ecouterre Spotlight: A better use for waste

10 Mar

Ecouterre

Of course you already know how much we like hearing about all of the interesting new ways that people are producing, using, and reusing textiles. One of our favourite places to keep up to date on eco-friendly fashion news is Ecouterre, a fantastic online resource for anyone interested in the worlds of environmentalism and of fashion. Well, once again, they did not disappoint us!

Quite often we come across profiles on the Ecouterre website of designers who are innovating ways to reduce textile waste or reuse it by transforming the scraps into something functional, yet beautiful. It’s not quite as often that we come across articles such as this one by Helen Morgan, describing one of the coolest, and perhaps most functional, uses for textile waste that we have ever heard of.

“Textile waste,” Morgan offers, “may have many cool possibilities, but most of them revolve around turning old garments into new.”

However, a civil engineer from California State University has a much different idea about how to use textile waste. He thinks it can actually be used to retrofit buildings prone to earthquakes.

Wait! What was that?

“With the world’s supply of timber, reinforced concrete, and steel diminishing every year, Yu-Fu Ko, a professor at the school’s department of civil engineering and construction engineering management, suggests turning an eye to alternative materials. Textile waste, in addition to its abundance, also has the advantage of being less toxic than typical reinforcements.”

Currently, a carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer composite material is used when retrofitting buildings and bridges. However, making these fibers is a hazardous practice, dangerous to the workers’ health, and not to mention, quite expensive. Ko suggests that mixing textile waste with a bio-derived resin “could deliver the strength of CFRPs with a reduced environmental impact.”

What a fantastic way to approach not just one, but two problems we are being faced with as a global community! We love the way Yu-Fu Ko is thinking outside the box to take something most people wouldn’t think twice about and doing something great with it.

Have you heard of any interesting, innovative or eco-friendly ways people are approaching fashion? We are always on the lookout for new ideas and stories worth sharing and we would love to hear from you! Tweet us @ParkersCleaners and share the ways in which you are reducing, reusing and reimagining the textile world.

If you’re interest in the eco-friendly way we approach dry cleaning and custom clothing care at Parkers, check out Eco-friendly Cleaning Explained.

Men’s Boots: What’s keeping us warm (and dry)?

2 Mar

There are a few different survival skills you pick up living in Toronto through the winter. While we are avid fans of spending the night curled up in a warm blanket with a great book, we also don’t think a silly thing like winter weather should stand in the way of you and your plans to go out! That’s why we believe in mastering the art of dressing to stay dry and warm so that you can spend more time outside of your home, truly enjoying our wonderful northern winters!

A key part of surviving a winter like the ones we get up here is proper attire: if you don’t dress the part, you’re not gonna make it in these parts! They say that we humans gain/lose most of our body heat through our extremities – that is, our heads, hands, and feet – so, keeping those parts warm is rule number one for making the most of these cold months!

We’ve shared some of our favourite outerwear looks for men before, so today we’re adding to the list some wise and wonderful footwear choices for snowy, wet northern winters.

1. Sorels

Sorel is a no-brainer in the winter footwear world. Built for a range of temperatures and in lots of different styles, chances are there is a Sorel that will fit your lifestyle perfectly. We like the classic, rugged look as much as we like the waterproof construction.

 

 

2. Tretorn Abisko

Tretorn has been making great boots inspired by the Swedish climate and landscape since 1891. From sneakers to rain boots to waterproof leather winter boots, they have produced a wonderful marriage of practicality and design.

 

3. The North Face Ballard 6”

You might know North Face more for their waterproof rain or winter jackets, but don’t doubt that their shoes are just as winter-ready as their outerwear. The Ballard 6” Camel Browns are some of the nicest waterproof, but not-your-typical-snow-boot boots we’ve come across this year!

 

 

4. Blundstones

This Australian brand has been around a long time – since 1870, to be exact. So, there must be something pretty durable about them, right? Glance around the streets of Toronto and you’ll see plenty of Blundstones, especially now that they have a boot fit for our winters. “The Winter” is a classic Blundstone boot with a northern twist and its sheepskin sole makes it oh so cozy.

There you have it! Our four top picks for staying active and staying outdoors during the cold seasons we spend a lot of time in, here in the Greater Toronto Area! We hope it inspires you to make the most of what remains of winter, even as much as we are looking forward to spring.

Hey, Torontonians! If you got a little ambitious and tried to wear your Uggs out in the snow, we can clean your Uggs and get them ready for those cold, but dry, days!