Consumer buying behaviour has changed in the new normal. Today, health and safety come first for everyone, and retailers realise the need of the hour. In such a scenario, garment trying and resale need some major changes, as it involves contact with the human body the most. The e-commerce is also prone to high return rates, and immediate reselling of items is not suitable in such a vulnerable environment. Another concern is for the rental business, which is gaining huge acceptance among the customers due to the rising awareness for the need of sustainability.
How do the retailers take a responsible step in ensuring the safety of its customers?
A lot of retailers are not allowing the use of fitting rooms; the step might seem okay for today, but could lead to customer disappointment in the long run. Therefore, it’s necessary to take steps that would not only solve today’s problems, but will also be beneficial for future. One effective solution in this regard is the disinfecting cabinets that are being used to sanitise garments using UV rays and ozone gas.
Though many are relying on quarantining the garment for 72 hours before putting them back on the shelves, it is a time-consuming process that holds the product for quite some time before selling them again. To overcome such challenges, technologies can help the retailers in making the garment safe and virus-free, thus making them quickly available on the retail shelves of the stores and for shipping to customers.
Ozone gas for sanitising the garments
Ozone is considered as a harmless disinfectant, and when used in high concentration, it is effective in eliminating most of the pathogens and viruses. It is a well-known powerful oxidiser capable of killing micro-organisms effectively. In addition, it is also known for its strong oxidising power allowing it to reach every corner of the room. This is an unstable gas comprising three atoms of oxygen that readily degrades back to its stable state. The free oxygen atoms or radicals are highly reactive and they will oxidise anything (including viruses, bacteria, organic and inorganic compounds).
Tonello, an international leader in garment finishing technology, has unveiled a solution to encounter the challenge with the launch of SaniCare, a static cabinet for disinfecting garments, footwear, accessories, protective devices and also for air treatment using ozone gas. “SaniCare can help retailers to increase the trust of citizens in such a critical time, and also to make them feel safer,” said Alberto Lucchin, Marketing Executive, Tonello.
This is a standalone machine that can be easily installed in a retail store with just a power connection. The sanitising process of garment takes about 20 minutes which otherwise takes nearly 72 hours without using a machine. The cabinet has touch panels on the door that allow the retailers to easily operate the machine. It is available in different sizes – Small (S), Medium (M) and Large (L) – to meet the need of different sizes. The small size meets the requirement of a boutique or a small store, while the sizes M and L can be used by large stores and the textile industry.
This cabinet can also be used for disinfecting the entire store by leaving the machine door open overnight when no one is in the store. “The technology is specifically designed for stores, from its appealing design to its features. It is user-friendly, easy to understand and to communicate to the citizens. It’s also flexible because it allows for the sanitisation and disinfection of the environment as well,” mentioned Alberto.
The retailers can either purchase the machine or can even rent it. The small sized machine has one rod and two perforated shelves that be used to sanitise bags, footwear, etc. – allowing sanitising around 7 to 10 garments and some footwear. While the industrial sized SaniCare shelves can take around 40 garments on the clothes racks. Moreover, the technology can be installed in all Tonello’s dyeing and washing machines with software upgradation. This upgrade in the software will allow the conversion of ozone technologies, already in use, to allow sanitising and disinfecting. The machine has a capacity of disinfecting around 100 kg of garments and more.
UV and C-light eliminate viruses’ ability to multiply and spread the disease
Another similar technology has been rolled out by Ramsons, a provider of garment finishing equipment. The technology uses UV and C-light to successfully eliminate various pathogens including bacteria, germs and viruses.
When pathogens are exposed to the germicidal wavelength of UV light, they kill the virus’s ability to multiply and spread diseases. For the retailers and manufacturers, the company has rolled out STERIRAM UV, an ultraviolet sterilisation cabinet for various uses in retail outlets, stores, hotels, salons, etc.
The single door portable device with ozone and UV-C lamp is ideal for small scale sterilisation. Users can simply place the item in the cabinet and press the start button which then exposes the item to UV-C light, thus eliminating the pathogens. A seven-minute disinfection cycle is recommended for the process to be effective and safe. Moreover, the interlocking safety door system shuts off UV-C light automatically when opening the door to eliminate direct exposure from skin and eyes.
The effectiveness of UV-C disinfections depends on the time of exposure and UV-C radiance intensity. The technology has been tested by nationally recognised laboratory specialising in anti-microbial, biocide and viricidal effectiveness. The technology promises to eliminate almost 99.99 per cent of common viruses and bacteria.
The ozone penetrates all the area of the chamber while also ensuring proper coverage of the shaded area of the UV light for fast and effective sterilisation. For making the technology suitable for various kinds of use, the company offers the cabinet in three various sizes – UVCS for small, UVCM for medium and UVCL large. Each of them has volume of 140 litres, 320 litres and 535 litres, and weights of 15 kg, 48 kg and 60 kg, respectively.
Furthermore, for ensuring a safe entry into the stores, the company has rolled out disinfecting chambers that can be used at the entrance of the stores. The RAM 007 (KAVACCHA) is a disinfecting chamber with a perforated platform and a tubular frame for sterilising the human body from germs, viruses and bacteria. Equipped with nano particulate spray – Nozzle, an antiseptic spray for disinfecting – it helps in disinfecting the human body freeing it from any pathogens. This ensures a safe entry into the store, manufacturing unit, etc.
The advantage of investing in the machine
The time taken by this machine is one of the main advantages for using it. Customer expectations and experiences are among the two most important qualities that the retailers should look out for. Unavailability of the products leads to disappointment. The use of technology will also give assurance to the shoppers, as they would be able to see the garment being sanitised, therefore increasing the confidence for shopping in-store. Moreover, the online retailers can now use the cabinet for sanitising the returns and making them quickly available for the customers, therefore not compromising on the sales and product variety being offered to the customers.