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"I Thought We Are Talking About Gender Equality, Why It Costs More To Dry Clean My Wife’s Blous

Most people know that dry cleaners will charge more to clean women’s clothing than men’s. Some dry cleaning shops are charging women’s shirts twice as much as men’s, on average. For decades, people have fought this subject, calling for gender equality and equal pricing. They asked, “I thought we are talking about gender equality, why it costs more to dry clean women’s blouse than men’s shirt?”

So why does this happen? And more importantly, will it ever change?

To truly understand the subject, we must first take a hard look at the reality of gender bias in the clothing care industry.

Gender bias in dry cleaning – reality or truth?

In contrast to some mainstream thoughts, gender bias in the dry cleaning business is not an intentional creation. It is not about the “pink tax” like women’s shampoo will always be more expensive than men’s shampoo or a pink color razor is always more expensive than a blue one (which may be intentionally marketed to women at inflated prices).

In dry cleaning, women are charged more for a blouse than a men’s shirt because in fact, the infrastructure surrounding dry cleaning practices make it costs more to clean a women’s blouse.

To be precise, the real issue is because of the pressing process, but not the cleaning process.

Let’s take a closer look at the pressing process:

1. The machine used to press button down shirts do not accommodate the form of a women’s blouse.

A standard pressing machine can press up to 60 shirts per hour. This machine is typically sized to fit men’s shirts to hold the standard shape but not a women’s blouse because for obvious reason, a women’s blouse is more shaped. In fact, women’s blouse will not fit on most pressing machines used in Singapore today. As a result, they need to be treated separately, using hand-pressed method.

As most dry cleaners have not invested in unisex pressing machines or a machine customized for women’s blouse because they are very expensive, it becomes more expensive to press a women’s blouse.

2. Women’s clothing is more dedicated and too detailed to allow for machine pressing.

Women’s clothing is typically more dedicated than men’s clothing. The delicate fabrics, hand-sewn embellishments, high-low shirttail hem, relaxed silhouette, special cutting, the list would go on. Clothes like this require dry cleaners to pay extra addition to process the laundry. In fact, even if it is a simple cotton button-down shirt, some places will insist on hand-pressing for all women’s shirts.

As a result, dry cleaners who charge the same for men’s and women’s button down shirts may actually operate at a loss to provide the service.

How do other dry cleaners overcome the challenge?

The answer is straight forward for many. MANY dry cleaners inflate the price for dry cleaning and laundry for men’s shirts so that they can charge the same price for processing a men’s shirt and women’s blouse. As men tend to dry clean shirts more often than women, these dry cleaners are able to generate a sizeable profit because of the increase in margin. Ultimately, customers suffer because they end up to pay more.

A few will charge a lower price for women’s shirt hoping that their customers will bring in other garments for laundry and dry clean regularly so they would be able to generate a large volume in order to compensate the loss in profit for one or two particular items. However, when they don’t have enough volume or they fail to project an actual business scenario accurately, you will see that some of them go burst, run away, gone missing and never return your clothes. This is exactly what happen to some of the laundry service providers these days. And again, customers suffer.

What about My Locker Laundry?

At My Locker Laundry, we don’t think overcharging men’s shirts or intentionally making a loss when we process a job can create a win-win or is a sustainable long term solution. We turned ourselves into redesigning work flow by adopting technology and co-creating innovations with you and our commercial partners. We are able to save rental and manpower costs and pass on the savings to you.

Using technology and breakthrough ideas from the industries, we manage to lower down our overheads significantly. By locking your laundry in my locker laundry at your apartment and text us your order, not only you save your time, but you will save up to 75% when you dry clean your shirt at my locker laundry compare to places like Presto, Whitewash and Just Relax Laundry. Try our service today.

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