Clean and Green

A dry cleaner is paving the way to greener pastures one shirt at a time.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the October 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Entrepreneurs: Rusty Perry, 35; Noel Bennett, 37; Steve Madsen, 46; and Dave Askman, 43, founders of Revolution Cleaners in Denver

Description: An environmentally friendly dry-cleaning business

Startup: $750,000 in August 2003

2005 projected sales: $900,000

Spin cycle: In the dry-cleaning business, clothing is the name of the game, but Rusty Perry, along with his fellow Revolution Cleaners co-founders, is putting a spin on things by caring as much for the environment as for the fabrics he cleans. According to Perry, Revolution Cleaners stands out as the only dry cleaner in Colorado to use liquid carbon dioxide, an alternative to perchloroethylene, the industry's standard yet potentially carcinogenic cleaning solvent. Taking it up a notch, they also fuel their delivery trucks with biodiesel made from farm-produced corn, canola and mustard seed; their laundry bags and staff uniforms are 100 percent hemp; and they use quickly renewable resources like bamboo and cork in the build-out of their stores.

Pressed to serve: The founders keep the details of their business spotless, including the way customers are treated. With backgrounds in law, insurance and real estate, they were once frequent dry-clean customers themselves and had all too often been on the receiving end of poor service. "We almost invariably came away feeling used and abused," says Perry. "We're hoping to build a substantially different dry-cleaning business."

Talking 'bout a revolution: The team is hip, trendy and ready to iron out some wrinkles in the industry. They've met with investors to discuss expanding beyond their four Colorado locations, and they've also met with local politicians to work at getting initiatives passed. "There's a chance to clean up a really dirty industry and do the right thing," says Perry. "And we think doing the right thing is good business."

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources
Entrepreneur Insider members enjoy exclusive access to business resources for just $5/mo:
  • Premium articles, videos, and webinars
  • An ad-free experience
  • A weekly newsletter
  • Bonus: A FREE 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription delivered directly to you
Make sure you’re covered for physical injuries or property damage at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business

Latest on Entrepreneur