Advertising Feature: Offering everything from bespoke cleaning to seamstress services, Lisa de Silva has been to meet Sarah Lacey as she celebrates her 15th anniversary in the family business that’s been running since Victorian times
The Lacey family have been laundering and cleaning the clothes of Mid-Sussex since the mid-1800s. With 30 years in the business, Sarah is the 4th generation of her family to continue this tradition and has just celebrated the 15th anniversary of her shop in Haywards Heath.
It’s a heritage that Sarah is proud of, and the business has an unrivalled reputation for expertise, and excellence. Whether you’re looking for dry cleaning, laundry or clothing alterations, the firm offers a high-quality personal service.
Along with regular dry cleaning, the firm specialises in the cleaning of wedding dresses and christening gowns, which Sarah does herself, by hand. This bespoke service extends to vintage and high-end designer clothing, which many dry cleaners will not undertake. Yet Sarah’s experience and expertise mean that people can trust her with their most precious garments knowing they are in the very best of hands.
Another speciality is the laundering of bedding, including duvets and pillows, and clothing. Not only will everything come back freshly washed and pressed but any missing shirt buttons will also be replaced. In fact, alterations are another service offered by Sarah and her team.
“I love sewing and do most of the alterations myself,” confided Sarah. “I’ve also noticed a real ‘Make do and Mend,’ trend recently and to reflect this, we’ve really expanded our haberdashery range. We also have a good range of dyes and anti-moth products, so people can prolong the life of their clothes, fabrics, and carpets.” Over the past 150 years, the business has continually adapted to reflect the times. This ability to evolve has been essential during the past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As an essential services provider, we were allowed to stay open,” Sarah told me. “Some of our customers rely on us for their laundry, so it was good to be able to keep them going with clean sheets and bedding. Locals also appreciated our ever-changing window displays of vintage clothing during lockdown periods.”
Sarah also kept herself busy making face masks, sales of which raised an impressive £3,000 for St Peter & St James Hospice.
The business is also responding to environmental concerns: plastic bags have been replaced by paper bags; garments are wrapped in biodegradable plastic; foam shirt protectors have been replaced by cardboard ones; hangers are recycled; solvent emissions are regularly monitored to comply with current legislation and the machine dosages are automatically controlled by computers to avoid overdosing.
A skilled and passionate seamstress, Sarah also enjoys making Victorian clothing from original sewing patterns. As part of a Victorian re-enactment group, she not only gets to make the most incredible outfits, she also gets to enjoy wearing them.
Sarah Lacey Dry Cleaning
Address: 1 College Road, Haywards Heath RH16 1QN
Telephone: 01444 416644