To the Barricades - - With Ogden?

You know the agitators in any revolution always put up posters and banners to make their point to the public (and to anger the authorities too, of course!). In a Los Angeles suburb last week a dry cleaner named Ogden struck just such a blow for corporate social responsibility - - and greater profits.

Ogden has been in the dry cleaning business for decades, using traditional chemical treatments to ply his trade. But a few days ago, some seditious anarchist (presumably one of his employees) posted a banner in the window that blared, in shiny green vinyl letters no less, “Gone Green - - non-toxic, no bad odor, non-allergenic”.

Now for all I know, Ogden is a card-carrying member of Greenpeace and converted his toxin-based business to one that is less polluting out of concern for whales and owls, but my guess is that he was trying to win back business that he had lost the growing number of “eco cleaners” in the area.

Not to be outdone, in the same week, another dry cleaner directly across the street from Ogden posted his own banner bearing roughly the same claims (and using the same bold green letters to be sure we got the message). Ogden’s competitor added another wrinkle though (OK, maybe “wrinkle” isn’t the right term for anything coming out of a dry cleaning shop) - - “easier on garments” his sign promised.

I don’t know how much business either dry cleaner was losing to the upstarts that were created to do the same thing with non-toxic substances in the first place, but if Ogden and his neighbor are both still in business by Thanksgiving, they may have their revolutionary banners, and the changes in their business model that the signage reflects, to thank. Odd that it took them so long to respond to the consumer preference that clothes avoid bad odors, toxins that spawn allergies, and excessive wear/tear.

But respond they did. The cleantech revolution - - in this case, quite literally “clean” tech - - will generate more profits and keep these two establishments in business. A better product and more profit? That’s a revolution worth starting!

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