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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – More than a year since the first COVID-19 cases appeared in the U.S., people are still working from home and many social events are halted.

That means people aren’t dressing up as much as usual and they’re wearing less nice clothes. For many dry cleaning business, this means business is down.

“People aren’t dressing up, they’re not going anywhere and staying home and wearing their lounge clothes, and we’re impacted major by that,” said Owner of Carriage Cleaners, Cindy Kelley.

Lounge clothes, pajamas, and sweats; a clothing trend no one thought would hold for more than a few months.

“We never thought it would last this long,” said Kelley.

Pre-pandemic, Carriage Cleaners dry-cleaned around 500 shirts a day – now they do less than half of that.

“We really don’t have a lot of work for our employees, so we can’t really offer 40 hours to anyone right now,” said Kelley.

They’ve had to cut the amount of staff they hire significantly since the pandemic began.

“We’ve always known in the past that we’ve been affected by schools closed, churches are not in, and of course the [Redstone] Arsenal in our area is a big impact for us,” she said.

For those who still dress up and still need their services, the business offers a drive-thru service.

“Pull up, you can just stay in your car, we take the clothes out for you, we put them back in for you and less contact as possible.”

Kelley said there are still ways that you can help local dry cleaners stay in business.

“If you’ve got clothes just sitting there waiting, just bring them on in, we’d be glad to do what we can to help you out,” she said.

Kelley added that her customers are loyal and that she is hopeful that when offices and events start to ramp up again, so will business.