Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hoteliers see green in 'green' tuxedos, tablecloths

As more U.S. hotels get out of recession-era cost cutting mode and into update mode, they appear to be more interested in "green" products - at least in one particular category.

Textile makers tell American Laundry News that as hotels get ready to buy new table linens and uniforms, they're seeking out green products that in some cases can trim their laundering bills.

"We believe there's a great deal of pent-up demand in the hotel industry," vendor W.H. Rogers, of hospitality textile maker Riegel, told the paper. "We're hoping that will be reflected in the new budgets for hotels in 2012.

Tuxedos: The hotel industry's first machine-washable tuxedo, presumably for banquet waiters, caught hoteliers' interest because it can save hotels dry cleaning costs. The tux - an innovation from Cintas with partner Boardroom Eco Apparel - is made off recycled polyester. Mills take discarded plastic bottles and transform them into recycled fibers. Cintas estimates that the machine-washable tuxedos can save hotels up to $1,000 per employee annually.

Bellman jackets: Cintas also found interest in its Eco Cobra Jacket, a green garment option for bellmen, doormen and other front-door staffers.

Tablecloths: Riegel drew interest from hoteliers with its RieNu line of recycled polyester tablecloths, which are made from recycled plastic bottles. The use of one RieNu table napkin is said to eliminate three plastic bottles from landfills. The story didn't say whether hotels would buy these because they're cheaper, because they'd save hotels money somehow in the long run or because they're pitching themselves as a "green" hotel.

American Laundry News based its story on interviews with vendors who in November exhibited their products at the 96th annual International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show in New York City.

Stay tuned for my own reports from the IHMRS as well as the adjoining hip-hotel-oriented Boutique Design New York in coming weeks.

In terms of hotels going for "green" products, well, it's a trend that's long been in the making. Over the years, hotels have gradually been moving towards "green" products throughout their buildings, from energy efficient light bulbs, to sustainable, organic ingredients in restaurant kitchens to recycled plastic water bottles such as the ones adopted by the Ritz-Carlton chain in 2010.

1 comment:

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