Representatives of textile and apparel manufacturers, the dry cleaning industry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), international standards organizations, and others gathered in Washington, DC on September 9-10, 1996, for 'Apparel Care and the Environment: Alternative Technologies and Labeling.' 'Apparel Care and the Environment' brought together key stakeholders to learn about developments in alternative technologies and care labeling, and to discuss the focus of future efforts.Participants shared a common goal: to reduce the impact of apparel care on the environment. Although most dry cleaners currently use the toxic chemical perchloroethylene to clean garments, alternative technologies such as wet cleaning are emerging and becoming commercially viable. Wet cleaning is a professional garment cleaning process that uses the controlled application of soap and water. One barrier to the expansion of alternative technologies is current garment care labeling practices which specify dry clean only for most garments requiring professional cleaning.