Yoon family goes ‘green’ with new dry-cleaning business

By Gary Massaro
This story originally appeared in
The Villager in November 2009

LITTLETON – Evan Yoon swore he’d never get back into the laundry business after he got out of it once.

So what does he do? He gets back in.

And not only is he back in, he decides to modernize, joining the clean-industry wave but doing his part to help the environment.

Now, his business has a new technique and new name to illustrate his commitment to clean industry.

Yoon and his wife, Minja, own Green Care Cleaners in Littleton.

“Dry Cleaning” Isn’t Dry

It used to be Fashion Care Cleaners.

That’s when the couple used chemicals in their dry-cleaning business.

Friend Jerry Brown noted that “dry cleaning” is a misnomer because it isn’t dry. The chemicals used are liquid, Yoon said.

The dry in the names of such businesses is used to differentiate from laundries, which use soap and water.

And that’s the basis of the Yoon’s new take. Their dry-cleaners use water and special soap to clean garments – wool, too. They said their process is safe for wedding dresses as well.

Environmentally-Safe and Cutting-Edge Cleaning

It’s all computerized. They put soiled clothes in a $50,000 machine and program the computer module for time and temperature. The machine regulates how much water to add, too.

It’s more labor intensive on the finishing end. The clothes come out more wrinkled. So there’s a line of irons and fitters so the finishers can get wrinkles out and creases back in line, Yoon said. It’s worth it, Yoon said.

“We don’t have to worry about toxic waste,” he said. “There are no toxic residues on clothes. It cleans better. The true color of the fabrics comes out better. And the clothes smell fresher.”

Yoon has a lot less paperwork to file with the Environmental Protection Agency.

That’s a boon for Yoon, who struggled so badly with English when he came to the U.S. from his native Korea that he dropped out of a course he was taking at Red Rocks Community College.

He went to work for a brother who had a shoe repair shop, and then followed his big brother into dry cleaning. Yoon bought his own shop and then sold it, vowing he was through with dry cleaning.

In one sense, he is with his new process. After he married Minja and needed to work, he was back in a family dry-cleaning business before buying his own.

The whole change from chemicals to soap and water started when Yoon read a book on the earth’s environment and what people could and should do to preserve it for future generations. So he investigated the process before he switched. Going green has taken hold in the Yoon household as well.

“We recycle at home,” he said.

Want to know how Green Care Cleaners is different from other cleaners? Visit the Green Care Difference Page!