Slow Factory: Star struck scarves

17 Sep

As we start looking forward to bundling ourselves up to embrace the crisp days of autumn, leave it to our friends at Ecouterre to offer up some beautiful and ethical inspiration. We aren’t in the least bit discouraged about cooler weather if it means wearing something as gorgeous as what we’re sharing with you today!

Jasmin Chou, of Ecouterre, recently showcased designer and founder of Slow Factory, Celine Semaan Vernon’s newest collection of celestial-inspired scarves – and, at the risk of sounding cheesy, we were star-struck. Vernon’s newest collection draws directly from the public-domain imagery of Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center, using satellite and telescope images to colour these beautiful, ethically sourced silk and modal scarves.

Based in New York, Slow Factory is a marriage of science and art, bringing what is light years away intimately close to those of us still grounded on earth. Sourcing their materials from Italy and India, and employing local craftspeople, Slow Factory is connecting threads globally and working towards a much more attractive, sustainable future for fashion. The results of their work are absolutely stunning!


“We build sustainable essentials that are built to last. We believe in creating timeless pieces with the world in mind. Our sustainable essentials are handcrafted and consciously made with craftspeople all around the world. Slow Factory is the link between our world and galaxies whose distance reaches places beyond our imagination. Today, we are here, and we are all inherently connected. We are the cosmos. We are Slow Factory.” (“Our Story”, as told on Slow Factory)



It was incredibly difficult to pick and choose which images to share here, so we encourage you to head over to their website and see the entire collection for yourself – not to mention their previous designs!

We believe in and support ideas like Slow Factory’s at Parkers because as we’ve said in many posts before, we want to see more and more people taking responsibility for the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. This is why we offer multiple green clothing care options for our customers. Please take a minute and familiarize yourself with these eco-friendly dry cleaning options for the next time you need something cleaned.

All images from the Slow Factory website.

Looking Forward to Autumn Fashion!

8 Sep

As you well know by now, from all our waxing on about long summer evenings, dinner parties with loved ones, and all of the fantastic summer fashion we have been taking full advantage of for the past couple of months, we truly love summer. We do. But when you live in the True North (strong and free), you have to learn to appreciate every season for what it offers – and it’s really easy to do so when the sun is shining. However, may we suggest that the beautiful province of Ontario is perhaps at its best in early autumn, when the maples explode into fiery brilliance and the air turns a little crisp? And having said that…WE CANNOT WAIT FOR AUTUMN!

Oh, think of all of the scarves, the boots, the bundled up sweaters, the jackets and the hats! We can’t wait for the layering of warm clothing to start again, to wrap ourselves up in colourful fabric as we walk through the leaves scattered on the ground or take a weekend drive around the lake. Dressed up, dressed down, running errands or out with friends for lunch, here are some of the things we are most excited for this autumn:


A slight excess of denim


Honestly WTF, Madewell

So, we know not everyone will be on board with this trend –  and you don’t have to sport a Canadian tuxedo to get the denim point across – but we can’t wait to wear denim on a more frequent basis once again.  During summer, we felt a bit relegated to cut-offs and are looking forward to jeans, chambray shirts, and denim jackets.


Sweater weather


P8 Fashion, Instant Vintage, What I wore

Long sweaters, mohair sweaters, sweaters over buttoned shirts, sweaters over jeans, and sweaters over leggings. We want sweaters in any variation you can throw at us. Because what is better than a warm sweater on a cool, fall day?


The Mop Top 


Boots, scarves and coats

Some of our favourite accessories are best worn come the fall. Yes, you can throw a scarf on in the summer or put on a pair of boots, but we all know they look best (and serve their best purposes) as the days get a little cooler.


Harpers, Madewell


One of our priorities every year living here in Toronto is to find outerwear that is both warm and beautiful. Fabrics like tweed and wool are some of our favourites and we are getting really excited to find new ways to bundle up in the next couple of months!


Jack Willis, The Woven Nest



Madewell, Vogue

What are some of the trends you are most excited about seeing come back into rotation this autumn? Tweet us your favourite looks at @ParkersCleaners.


Inspired by: Short Wedding Dresses

29 Aug

It has been a little while since we’ve shared an inspiration post with all of you. This month, while we were discussing what to share as our current inspiration, we realized that we have written about about all sorts of things, from sheepskin, to hats, to even seasons, but we haven’t talked about one of our biggest inspirations of all: weddings!

Lately, we’ve been noticing the rise of the cocktail/reception dress trend as more and more brides choose to change into another fabulous dress during the reception and wow their guests. Whether for dancing, to highlight the bride’s cultural background, or to whisk away in at the end of the night, often these dresses have a bit more colour to them, are a little more casual (though not always!), and, to go back to what’s inspiring us today, short!

But, we say, don’t stop at the reception! Short wedding dresses used to be the norm years ago (look at your grandma’s vintage wedding photos and see how elegant she looked in her tea-length dress) and it seems that they’re making a bit of a comeback. We like that they’re a bit different, that their looks range from casual to still-so-glamorous, and that they don’t play it safe.  There’s an aura of confidence that always seems to radiate from a bride in a shorter dress. This bride knows her unique style and is confident enough to express who she is.

It’s not as if we needed any more convincing, but we did a bit more research on the subject anyways. Here are the top ten reasons we are totally sold on short dresses, whether for a ceremony or a reception, this year:
1. This little number. The way the plunging neckline mirrors the open back…sigh.

2. This sweetheart neckline, these lace sleeves, the swing of this skirt.


3. This peek-a-boo gold hemline – enough said.

Blush Magazine

4. The tulle overlay covering this textured bodycon, making this dress perfectly ballerina-like.


5. & 6. These two crocheted and appliquéd dresses – both perfect for the ceremony and the reception!


7. The pouf of this skirt, plus that lace back and we are in cream-coloured heaven.

Vintage dress on Bridal Musings


8. The delicate draping on this one-shouldered dress that makes us go, “wow!”


9. The lace perfection that is this dress.

Lovely Lunga Weddings


10. The way the cap-sleeves and high-neck of this dress compliment the high-low hemline in just the right way.

Rivini (The Knot)


If you think a shorter dress is going to be finding its way into your wedding plans anytime soon, may we remind you that we specialize in wedding gown care. No matter the shape, size or length of your gown, we will carefully clean and preserve it so that you can enjoy it for many years to come.

Are you all about the short wedding gown? Check out last summer’s post about what to consider if choosing a short wedding gown.


Love summer, but hate grass stains?

25 Aug

kids clothes.jpg

What is it about summer days that bring on a sense of relaxation and carry with them a more laidback nature than all of the other days of the year? Even when we’re not technically on vacation, we all seem to make the most of the breaks we do have in our day-to-day routines. Maybe we all just slow down a little bit more in the heat or maybe the impending knowledge of what fall and winter can be like for us out here in Eastern Canada boosts our appreciation for our summers!

Lately, we’ve been finding ourselves outdoors as much as possible, hiking, barbecuing, swimming, or just finding a good patio to sit on. We’ve been taking advantage of summer and we hope that you have been able to as well. While we will never complain about it, this has meant having to deal with some, or all, of the following: pollen, grass stains, ketchup, mustard, and some spilled sugary drinks. Unfortunately, stains don’t take a summer vacation along with the rest of us. In fact, at times it seems like they are working even harder to inconvenience you, doesn’t it?

But this should really be the least of your worries while you are on vacation or while you are busy working and trying to enjoy as much of the summer as your can on your days off. We know that the last thing you want to do on your Sunday afternoon is spot treat a mustard stain from yesterday’s picnic.

However, the truth is that when we enjoy all that summer has to offer, we are probably going to run into a few stain hiccups. Eating outside, while amazing, also causes some of the most notorious summer specific stains; ketchup and mustard seem to settle into clothing immediately while grease stains from the barbecue are probably ruining someone’s crisp white shirt as we speak. And let’s not even talk about the state of your kids’ clothes from those relay races.

There’s hope!

As dry cleaners and clothing care specialists in the GTA, let us take care of your stains so you can enjoy the remainder of the summer. We are experts in treating summer specific stains in all the delicate fabrics you may not know how to treat yourself. Rather than spending hours trying to scrub ketchup out of your linens or spot treat spilled champagne on your bridesmaids dresses, bring them to us. Remember, if you are running short on time, we pick up as well!

Most importantly with all of these stains, don’t wait too long. The longer sugars, pollens, and food stains sit, the harder they are to get out. We know you would rather not spend your holiday soaking and scrubbing, so we are happy to do it for you. There are only a few more summer days left, so let us be the busy ones so that you can squeeze out the last few moments of sunshine.

The adorable photo at the top of this post is by photographer Kelli Murray.


Eco-news flash: ColorDry Dyeing and Bio-based Lycra

13 Aug

It’s exciting to see the fashion industry constantly making changes towards being more eco-conscious. Our eyes are always open to see who is doing what, in regards to making more sustainable choices, especially when it comes to fabric. As clothing care specialists, we pay attention to innovative changes in the actual production of textiles or in how textiles are dyed because well, because we spend a lot of time with fabric!

As a company involved in the dry cleaning area of the fashion industry, we believe in minimizing our dependency on chemicals and fossil fuels, as well as excess water waste, so we just had to share these two pieces of news. Thanks to Ecouterre, as always, for keeping us in the eco-friendly loop!


ColorDry Cuts Down on Waste


“ColorDry” technology is ready for its close up. The waterless fabric-dyeing innovation, a collaboration between the sportswear giant [Nike] and the Netherland’s DyeCoo Textile Systems, is available to consumers for the first time as a line of vibrantly hued polo shirts. It takes 30 liters of water to dye a T-shirt using conventional means, according to Nike. ColorDry, which uses a pressurized form of carbon dioxide to saturate textile fibers with color, cuts the wet stuff from the process entirely, saving energy and eliminating the need for extra chemical agents.” – Jasmin Malik Chua, Ecouterre


Invista: Bio-based Lycra Eliminating Fossil Fuel Reliance


“Developed by Invista, [bio-based Lycra is] a version of Lycra composed of at least 70 percent corn-derived dextrose. [It’s] the only plant-based spandex commercially available for use in apparel fabrics and garments, including: jeans, swimwear, lingerie, pantyhose, and leggings. [Bio-based Lycra] generates fewer greenhouse gases because it replaces petroleum-based materials with a renewable feedstock. [It is a] part of Invista’s sustainability program, known as “Planet Agenda,” to reduce its environmental footprint by conserving resources, reducing emissions, and eliminating waste at its manufacturing plants. [Bio-based lycra is] otherwise indistinguishable from conventionally manufactured Lycra, which means existing finishing processes can remain unchanged. [It will be] rolling out in commercial quantities in time for the Fall/Winter 2015 and Spring/Summer 2016 collections.” – Lea Stewart, Ecouterre

Have you had a chance to take a look at all of the ways that we practice eco-friendly dry cleaning and clothing care in Toronto? From our use of the Solvair cleaning system, which uses a biodegradable detergent and no heat, to Green Earth, an eco-friendly and gentle dry cleaning process, we’re committed to sustainability in every part of the textile industry.

As a side note, if you’re bringing in a unique fabric to be cleaned, it’s always a good idea to talk to your clothing care specialist about what it is and how it should be cleaned.

Images from Ecouterre