Unit 10, Ronald Rolph Court, Cambridge, CB5 8PX
Cambridge folk are setting aside a centuries-old rivalry to invite Oxwash – a sustainable washing company from ‘The Other Place’ – to do their dirty laundry! Such is the appetite for the sustainable service, which sees friendly riders zipping around Cambridge on electric cargo bikes, collecting and delivering laundry, that thousands of individual items are being cleaned every week.
Founder Dr Kyle Grant jokes he is ‘proud to be serving the UK’s second-best university city’, but says he is impressed at how Cambridge’s ‘conscious consumers’ have embraced Oxwash. A former NASA engineer, Kyle launched his start-up in 2017, whilst studying in Oxford. Tasked with washing his rugby team’s kit, the PhD student became frustrated at the perpetually broken washing machines at his college. So, spray-painting a Deliveroo backpack, he cycled around collecting washing, which he initially laundered at home.
As demand grew, Kyle visited a commercial laundry but was shocked by the harsh chemicals, pollution, and water waste. Recognising an industry ripe for innovation, he utilised space-age technology to re-engineer the laundry process, creating his first water-efficient laundry or ‘lagoon’ in Oxford. Expanding to Cambridge in 2020, Oxwash set up a lagoon in Barnwell, using fourth-generation wet cleaning, which swaps traditional carcinogenic dry-cleaning solvents for biodegradable detergents and weighs items, using an algorithm to calculate the exact amount of water needed to remove stains and restore brightness.
Still busy in Cambridge with repeat orders from colleges, businesses and individuals, the response has been ‘incredibly heart-warming’ says Kyle, and in Spring 2022 Oxwash achieved their goal of bringing sustainable garment cleaning to the rest of the UK through their postal service, Oxwash Refresh. Oxwash will continue to deliver laundry by bike in central Cambridge but are thrilled to be able to expand to the surrounding towns using a fleet of zero-emission DPD vehicles. To order, just visit order.oxwash.com