Business of the week: What actually is ‘organic dry cleaning’ – and is it peak Islington?

Yani Zertalis with the organic dry cleaning machine at Universal Dry Cleaners in Brecknock Road. Pic

Yani Zertalis with the organic dry cleaning machine at Universal Dry Cleaners in Brecknock Road. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

In a weekly feature, we profile a fascinating company doing business here in Islington. This week, we hear from Universal, a family-run laundry shop in Brecknock Road now offering “organic” dry cleaning.

Yani Zertalis with the organic dry cleaning machine at Universal Dry Cleaners in Brecknock Road. Pic

Yani Zertalis with the organic dry cleaning machine at Universal Dry Cleaners in Brecknock Road. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Just when you think you know what “peak Islington” means, along comes organic dry cleaning.

Universal Dry Cleaners and Laundry, in Brecknock Road, has made the bulk of its operation organic.

But what does that mean? Yani Zertalis, general manager of the shop, explained: “It’s like the normal dry cleaning process, only you use organic, biodegradable solvent rather than ‘perc’ – the chemical that is used by most dry cleaners.

“We are the first in Islington and Camden [the shop lies on the border] to go organic.”


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There are clear benefits, added Yani: “Organic dry cleaning is more environmentally friendly, but it also leaves the clothes softer and you see the difference with how the colour comes out.”

He concluded: “We took the decision all this is worth the investment.”

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Universal is a family-run business – it was founded by Yani’s grandfather 65 years ago.

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