The judges at the Cinet Global Best Practices Awards GBAP) 2020 recognised the impressive contribution of UK startup laundry disruptor Oxwash to the industry. The ‘space-age’ company, which actually wouldn’t give rocket fuel the time of day as it uses electrically powered vehicles for pick -up and delivery and is on a mission to be ultra-sustainable and super environmentally friendly, won the 'Retail Textile Cleaning Big' category in the third occasion of the awards programme.
Founded in 2017, Oxwash began with a mission to disrupt the laundry industry. With the traditional operating models of competitors causing irreparable damage to the environment, CEO and ex-NASA scientist Dr Kyle Grant created what he claims to be the world’s first sustainable laundry company, recognised by industry experts CINET who have awarded Oxwash with the Global Best Practice Award 2020.
Oxwash says it is re-engineering the laundry process from the ground up; the aim is for clinically-clean, net zero carbon emissions for the whole process, from collection, through washing, and back to deliver using the wetcleaning technique, augmented by its operating platform.
“Unlike some of our competitors, we own the entire process from end to end, resulting in a fully integrated and efficient service for our customers. Our focus is on building the technology and software to manage a dynamic and growing service. By building the tools to run the entire process, we’re able to provide a cheaper, cost effective and quality service to our customers,” explained Grant, although Oxwash is far from a tech-enabled traditional model. The company’s environmental credentials span its process end-to-end, ensuring it is doing the most it can for the planet at every stage.
Now recognised as an industry leader, Oxwash is keen to help raise awareness of best environmental practices across a polluting industry. “We are harnessing the power of science to overhaul the industry. Traditional methods can only go so far, and have taken their toll on the planet. The main difference from other laundries is that we wash with cold water at a maximum of 20°C. This means the energy required to heat vast amounts of water is reduced dramatically. We can therefore run our ‘Lagoon’ on solar energy and over the course of a year we are a net producer of energy with our 28 kW solar array on each ‘Lagoon’.
“For our logistics we exclusively use electric cargo bikes, which combat CO2 emissions and local road congestions in the cities we operate. This allows us to be flexible and on time, every time rather than contributing to road traffic and being late.”
Compared to traditional commercial laundry services, Oxwash operates a completely new hyper-local business model. Their ‘Lagoons’ are placed close to their customers, unlike the traditional model where vans and lorries collect vast quantities of laundry before driving it hundreds of miles to be processed.
Having proven the business model in its pilot city of Oxford, Oxwash has this year expanded operations to include Cambridge and London. During the pandemic Oxwash has been able to continue operating as an essential service, and offer NHS and research facilities with medical-grade cleaning using ozone technology.
“Using ozone generation as part of our washing process allows us to maintain the integrity of the items we receive by washing at low temperatures, but also disinfects to a clinical level, destroying bacteria, viruses and allergens.” Nominated alongside the startup were American Dry Cleaning Company, Washmen, Jeeves, and more.
You can view the awards on YouTube.