About the Garment & Textile Care Project
DfE worked in partnership with the drycleaning industry. With more than 30,000 commercial shops in neighborhoods and malls across the country, drycleaners are one of the largest group of chemical users that come into direct contact with the public. Because of the potential health and environmental concerns associated with perchloroethylene, or "perc," a chemical solvent used by most drycleaners, EPA and stakeholders from the drycleaning industry and public interest groups worked together to evaluate other cleaning process controls and technologies.
The project partnership was established to encourage the development and incorporation of environmentally preferable cleaning methods that professional cleaners can offer to their customers while maintaining or increasing economic viability. Initial efforts focused on the development and evaluation of new cleaning methods, the development of training materials, and the publication of helpful information for the shop.
In 1998, the partnership expanded to explore how decisions made by other industries such as textile manufacturers, textile and garment designers, retailers, and consumers affect the incorporation of environmentally preferable methods into professional cleaning operations. These issues have resulted in the GTCP incorporating a life-cycle approach, emphasizing the importance of upstream industrial decisions and trends that impact garment care process choices.
The Garment and Textile Care Partnership worked with partners on gathering, generating, and analyzing technical data; promoted the implementation of cleaner technologies information through education and assistance; and communicated project information though outreach activities. The GTCP encouraged new technologies and explored related industries that might have provided opportunities to expand on the successes of the drycleaning industry partnership.