Radio Interview Transcript


ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the Wedding Details Radio brought to you by Now here’s your host, Damien Allen.  DAMIEN: Good morning and welcome to Wedding Details Radio. My name is Damien Allen, and joining me today on the phone is Sally Conant of Wedding Gown Specialists. Good afternoon and welcome to the program, Sally. 
SALLY: Thank you for having me.
DAMIEN: IT is a pleasure to have you with us today. Today we are talking about going green. Is it possible to go green with wedding gown preservation? Is there something that’s carbon neutral? What are some of the things we have to deal with here?
SALLY: Well one aspect of going green in terms of gown preservation is to think about what solvent is going to be used to clean your gown. Some solvents in dry cleaning machines are more environmentally friendly than others, but the EPA has not declared any of them particularly green. The other thing you might think automatically is that, oh water would be green if you could just wash my gown in water that would be great, but unfortunately there are two things wrong with that. One is that water and silk don’t mix so if you let someone wash your silk gown in water, I think you would cry afterwards, because it really dissolves the things that make the silk shine and it also ends up causing a lot of crinkles that look like wrinkles after it is finished and it’s just not pretty. We get calls from brides across the country calling us and saying they took it to someone who washed it in a machine with water and then crying because that was not the right thing to do for their dress. So that’s one aspect of it. The problem with water as a green solvent is that it is not recycled and so while you might think automatically that anything in the dry cleaning machine would be less environmentally friendly than water, it really isn’t because the solvent in the dry cleaning machine is recycled and again you can ask your cleaner what solvent he has in the machine. Some of them are a little more friendly as I said than others. There’s one called Carbon Dioxide which doesn’t damage the environment quite as much as Percothyline and there is another one called Silican Dioxide and that one is fairly environmentally friendly too, but as I said the Environmental Protection Agency has not blessed any of these.  So in the scheme of things you‘re not going to be able to find a completely green solvent with which your dress can be cleaned.
DAMIEN: Is there any way to get green gown preservation?
SALLY: Well there is another aspect besides the solvent and that is there are people who offer carbon neutral gown preservations, and by that I mean you can buy carbon offsets that will offset the carbon dioxide emissions that are caused during the process of cleaning and preserving your gown. All of the members of the association of wedding gown specialists offer what we call zero carbon gown preservations, and by that I mean that we have calculated all of the carbon emissions that go on from the time you drive your dress to the cleaner, through the process itself of cleaning it, the chemicals, the carbon emissions generated when the wedding chest is being manufactured, everything throughout the whole process including driving back to your home after you have picked up your gown, and then we added a few more counts of carbon emission just to make sure we were covering everything and hadn’t forgotten anything, and we make a donation to to offset the carbon emissions that were generated during the gown preservation. So it is truly a carbon neutral gown preservation. You can go to as a matter of fact and see their little calculator about carbon emissions generated during your wedding. The biggest, obviously, factor in carbon emissions that are generated during a wedding have to do with your honeymoon transportation, but you can also calculate some of the other things. We’re very proud of this program of
DAMIEN: Besides wedding gowns, we see you also do preservations for quinceaneras dresses. Because of the fabrics and colors in these types of gowns and dresses, are there any tips for preserving these types of gowns?
SALLY: Well I think it’s even more important than with a white wedding gown to take your quinceneras dress immediately to be cleaned. Color, believe it or not, is harder to clean than white, because some of the chemicals that we use to dissolve the stains in dresses can do what we call pull the color and that means you get the stain out, the food or whatever else you’ve spilled on the dress goes away, but afterward you have a white spot where the chemical has pulled the color. So I think it’s more important than ever to take a quinceneras dress into your cleaner right away after the event. Other than that it’s pretty much the same kind of factor that you would want to consider when you’re doing wedding gowns. That is to say the cleaner should use completely acid free tissue to stuff your gown and to protect it, the chest into which the cleaner puts your quinceneras dress should also be completely acid free and the same kinds of other factors that go into cleaning your gown would be exactly the same as they would be with the wedding gown.
DAMIEN: Now, Sally, you have six bridal gown cleaning and care tips. Would you kindly share them with the audience?
SALLY: Well one thing that is really important and I can’t tell you how often I see people doing the wrong thing, including bridal shops. There are straps inside your gown that are attached to the side seams. You should always hang the dress by those straps and not by any other part of the dress, because it will cause it to stretch and sometimes it will even break the fibers. Those straps inside your dress that are attached to the side seams are designed to take the weight of the dress. A second thing is, and this is terribly important, because people do it all the time and don’t think twice about it, never ever store your dress in a plastic bag whether it is the plastic bag that comes from the dry cleaners after it’s been cleaned or whether it is one of those garment bags with zippers that you get from the bridal store or from the place where you got your quinceneras dress. Those plastic bags emit fumes that actually discolor your gown and they can also trap moisture that will mildew your gown. Plastic is never a good environment for the dress. The other thing you should do is ask the cleaner that is going to clean your gown what precautions they are going to take. In other words, ask that man or woman at the counter in the dry cleaners, what they are going to do to protect the beads and to protect any kind of fragile fabric that is on your dress. If you don’t get a good answer when you ask the question, then I would quickly take your dress somewhere else. Another thing to do would be to ask to inspect the wedding gown or the quinceneras dress after it has been cleaned, before it’s been put into the container. That way you’ll know that everything is in good order before you have it packed away and you won’t be unhappily surprised years later when you open it up and find that oh the cleaner didn’t really clean it perfectly and you want to know that before it is packed. Then the other thing is you should always avoid storing your fabrics in the attic or in the basement. Attics are too hot and basements are too damp and if a pipe breaks it’s a law that the water will find your dress. In general, you should always be very careful to choose someone who will personally process your gown, personally clean it and care for it and never someone who is going send your quinceneras dress or your bridal gown away to someone else. You want to deal directly with the person who has responsibility for your dress.
DAMIEN: Well thank you very much for joining us today, Sally.
SALLY: You’re welcome.
DAMIEN: We are please to announce that Sally Conant is one of our resident experts for and you can go there and link into Sally Lorenson Conant’s site and listen to her common-sense advise. Please visit the Association's website for special tips to keep your gown looking great throughout the years at You can also send Sally your gown questions to: info@weddinggownspecialists.comYou have been listening to Wedding Details Radio. My name is Damien Allen. Everybody have a great afternoon.
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