The Closet

Rinse & Sustainable Clothing Brands
Written by

Rinse

Rinse is committed to doing what we can to help and reduce our environmental footprint.

We use highly-efficient washing machines, which compared to traditional washing machines found inside most homes and apartments, conserve significantly more water and can fit more laundry inside. Rinse has helped to save 10's of millions of gallons of water and counting!  

We’ll also collect any gently used clothing you wish to donate during any regular Rinse pickup or delivery to make it easier for our customers to recycle their unused clothing. By doing so, we help our customers reduce waste — decreasing the amount of clothing that ends up in the landfill and preventing the extra water usage required to make new clothing.

Since 2013, Rinse has helped to donate over 10 tons of clothing to local community members in need! We don’t just recycle clothing either, we also recycle hangers and plastic wrapping.

Additionally, we practice green dry cleaning. Meaning, our cleaning partners do not use any toxic or harmful cleaning solvents or detergents. At Rinse, we have a strict no perc policy so rest assured your dry cleaning is perc-free.

Not only are we consistently doing our part to help reduce our environmental footprint but we are also proud to be the leading national clothing care provider helping to care for some of the top brands in fashion, including those who share in our mission to reduce waste and build an environmentally sustainable business.

We’ve identified some of the top brands our customers wear and wanted to highlight what they are doing to promote sustainability.

Brands We Care For Who Share In Our Mission To Help The Environment

1. Banana Republic

Over the past year, Rinse has cleaned more Banana Republic garments than any other brand — our customers love Banana Republic! Turns out, we love them too because of their commitment to building a sustainable brand.

In September 2019, the brand laid out a plan to use more sustainable materials and reduce waste. By 2023, Banana Republic plans to source and use more sustainable cotton and fibers. And by 2025, the brand is aiming to save at least 20% of water during their manufacturing process and shift towards using “cleaner chemistry” throughout their supply chain.

Fun Fact: Since 2018, Rinse has cleaned more shirts from Banana Republic than any other brand.

2. J. Crew

The second most popular brand among our customer-base is J. Crew. Like Banana Republic, J. Crew has a number of initiatives and protocols in place to help limit their impact on the environment.

For example, the shopping bags at J. Crew are now made from 100% recycled paper. J. Crew is also now sourcing 97% of its paper used for catalogs from sources certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The company has outlined a new policy for sourcing high-quality, recycled paper from verified sources.

Furthermore, since 2002, J. Crew has focused on making all of its brick-and-mortar stores and offices energy efficient by installing energy management systems that allow each building to optimize the heating, cooling, and lighting systems.

Fun Fact: Rinse cleaned more scarves from J. Crew than any other brand between 2018 and 2019.

3. Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers is another top brand our customers seem to like. Rinse is proud to say that we share Brooks Brothers’ mission when it comes to helping local communities and providing clothing donations to those in need.

Since their inception nearly 200 years ago, Brooks Brothers has been investing in and helping local communities throughout the country. The company has partnered with several local and national non-profit organizations, including a 15-year partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital joining them in the fight against childhood cancer.

Fun Fact: Rinse has cleaned nearly 6x more Brooks Brothers shirts than pants over the last year.

 

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How To Get An Extra 2 Hours In A Day

You can easily find yourself busy at work and behind on your to do list at home. Unfortunately for most, there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. However, by closely examining your current schedule and your priorities, you can start to make changes to your routine in order to free up more time in your day.

Remove or Consolidate Activities That Take Up Most of Your Time 

Consider rethinking the way you approach to do’s or activities that take up a large part of your day. Some examples include: time spent on your phone or the Internet, watching TV, checking email, and completing household chores.

Social media and TV

Checking Instagram, watching Netflix, or surfing the Internet is subjective and personal in terms of the value it provides. But it’s safe to assume that most of us are guilty of vegging out from time to time. In an effort to avoid wasting time, consider cutting your Internet and entertainment time in half or eliminating certain things (such as TV) altogether. There are even helpful apps and site blockers to help you set limits and kick the habit! In addition to helping gain more hours in your day, saying sayonara to excessive social media or TV watching may even make you healthier.

Repetitive Work Tasks

It’s easy to get caught up with work-related tasks, especially email. By dedicating certain times of the day to clear your inbox and refraining from checking it on your phone every time you receive an email, you should start to notice that you are wasting less time. A good place to start? Clear your email once in the morning and once around 2pm so your colleagues have time to take action on your responses.

Chores and errands

Maintaining a clean and functional house or apartment isn’t easy. There are just some chores you cannot skip such as washing the dishes and doing your laundry. By outsourcing household chores you will easily start to find more time in your daily schedule. Luckily for you, Rinse has got your dry cleaning and laundry covered, Handy connects you with local housekeepers and Taskrabbit is there to help you with everything else. It’s up to you to decide how valuable your time is, but services like these can give you some (or a lot) of it back if you’re willing to pay for some help!

Start Using Your Spare Time More Wisely

When you start to breakdown your day you’ll begin to notice periods of time that are not being utilized properly. We suggest thinking of ways to fill your downtime with more important things you may not have time for right now. Some of our suggestions include reading, learning, creating.

Instead of scrolling through your newsfeeds keep a book (or Kindle book) with you at all times. Rather than reaching for your phone to kill time try and sneak in some reading time here and there.

During your daily commute start listening to an audiobook or podcast. It’s a great way to learn something new or enjoy a form of entertainment without having to sacrifice anything else on schedule. Fill otherwise useless time with something constructive.

Making fundamental changes to your schedule and lifestyle will not be easy but if you’re serious about getting an extra 2 hours back in your day we highly suggest examining ways you can change.

By far the easiest way to get started is by outsourcing smaller tasks such as laundry or house cleaning. Alleviating these tasks from your to do list will accumulate and you’ll start to notice the difference rather quickly. In order to sustain the change, you’ll need to be disciplined in creating consistency and evaluate making bigger changes to your schedule such as waking up earlier, cutting back on or eliminating non-essential forms of entertainment, and being proactive rather than reactive.

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Outsourcing Your Chores

What would make you happier: spending fifty dollars to buy yourself a couple hours of free time, or spending the same amount on a material good? According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and reported on by the New York Times, people who spend money to save time experience a boost in happiness that doesn’t occur by simply buying more stuff. So how can you save time and maximize happiness? Stop doing the chores you hate!

 

Five Chores to Outsource Right Now

1. Meal planning and preparation

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American woman spends 37 minutes per day on meal and drink preparation, while men average 17 minutes. The first takeaway is that men need to help more in the kitchen! The second is that both groups could benefit from ordering in. 

Unless cooking is genuinely enjoyable for you, consider spending a bit more money to buy yourself some time. Those same minutes that you spend in the kitchen could be spent exercising, pursuing a hobby, or playing with your kids. I would much rather watch my three-year-old ride his bike in circles on the driveway than stand at the counter chopping onions. While delivery from restaurants will save you the most time, it’s also the most expensive (and possibly least healthy) option.

Meal kits from companies like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh are a nice compromise—cheaper than take out, but more expensive than doing it on your own. These kits save you valuable planning, shopping, and prep time while still allowing you to serve up a home-cooked meal.

 

2. Laundry

Laundry is another top contender for most-time-consuming chore, costing the average American woman about two hours a week. Men spend, on average, about one fourth the amount of time, which leads me to believe that either women are doing their laundry or they are wearing dirty clothes. Assuming you are doing your own laundry and don’t particularly enjoy it, consider reclaiming that time.

In addition to the time you spend sorting, loading, folding, and (in my case) scrounging around for quarters, you may also find yourself waiting for the machines to finish or interrupting other activities to move the clothes along.

How nice would it be to forget all that and have your clean clothes delivered to your door? The cheapest way to live this dream is through a subscription laundry service like Rinse Repeat. Rinse Repeat lets you stuff your dirty clothes, towels, sheets, etc, into a bag that’s picked up and delivered to your door. While most laundry services cost upwards of $2 per pound, a Rinse Repeat subscription can cut that price in half.

 

3. Cleaning

How much time do you spend cleaning your home? Now, how much time do you spend thinking about cleaning your home or, perhaps, feeling guilty about the grime on the top of your microwave? Hiring a cleaning professional to clean your place once or twice a month is a worthwhile investment. 

First of all, you’re probably not that skilled at cleaning the grout in your shower, so why not outsource to somebody with specialized knowledge? Also, when you know that your place is in for a thorough cleaning, you can stop worrying about the dust on your bookshelves and enjoy the moment instead. 

 

4. Yard work and landscaping

I know a handful of people who get joy from tending their gardens and maintaining their yard—they are usually eager to tell me about their most recent blooms and overflowing crop of arugula. Are you one of these people? If not, it might make sense to hand your yard work over to a professional.

A weekly visit from a gardener will save you about two hours a week of yard work, and their expertise could leave your yard looking even better. With weeding and trimming out of your mind, you can enjoy your outdoor space rather than seeing it as a chore.

 

5. Furniture and other assembly

Maybe you grew up crushing lego kits in record time, but if you’re like me, and you break out in a cold sweat every time you see instructions written in 17 different languages, you need to hire a professional.

Fortunately, Amazon, IKEA, and others give customers the option to purchase assembly right in the checkout.  Alternatively, you can hire a tasker via Taskrabbit to complete the task.  Spend the time you saved doing something fun or just enjoying your magnificent new nightstand.

Pick you favorite (or rather, your least favorite) chores from the list above and outsource. Give yourself more time for the things you actually want to do!

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Rinse's Journey
Written by

Rinse

Years later, James and I met each other during undergrad at Dartmouth College.

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After graduating from business school and working for a couple of years, we reconnected and played around with a couple of business ideas. Ultimately we decided that we wanted to help people get back the time and energy they spend taking care of their clothes. Hence, Rinse was born during a meeting at Caffe Union in San Francisco (it was actually called RinseNow at that time).

We did it - we got our first customer! James and I decided to go for a run before getting ready to collect our first order. While we on our run, we got a message from our first customer letting us know they actually needed us to stop by now. We stopped mid-run and went straight to their apartment to collect their clothes.

Speaking of our first customer, here is she is: Ilana Stern. She’s still with us today!

As our customer list grew and my apartment began to overflow with bags of laundry and dry cleaning, we realized we needed to get an office, and decided on 2525 Van Ness. Not too long after, we outgrew this place. It was good problem to have.

As our customers list grew, our team had to keep up. We started off with just a couple of people on the team. This is our team today.

With the early success we saw in our first locale, San Francisco, we knew we wanted to take Rinse to cities across the nation. We’re now live in 5 cities, with more on the horizon.

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There’s so much more to come and we can’t wait to share with you. Stay tuned for the rest of Rinse’s story!

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