The decisions we make when caring for our garments have a huge impact on our planet. It is estimated that every time we do our laundry an average of 9 million microfibres are released into wastewater treatment plants that cannot filter them, which in turn seep into natural ecosystems and food supplies. At the same time, a whopping 35% of primary microplastics in the ocean come solely from the laundry of synthetic textiles! Tackling this gargantuan issue is the world’s first truly sustainable laundry and dry-cleaning platform: Oxwash.
Founded in 2018, by ex-NASA scientist Dr Kyle Grant and Tom de Wilton, the company began by collecting and washing clothes for fellow students who were frustrated with the broken washing machines on campus and the inefficiencies of the whole laundry process. Although its business model is relatively simple – where customers place an online order, choose a collection, drop off time and location, and Oxwash collects, washes and delivers, all in house – the company is built upon sustainable practices.
For example, while a typical wash cycle uses around 10 litres of water per kg washed, Oxwash can reduce this by saving up to 32 litres on a standard 8 kg wash through their water filtration and reclamation techniques. The company’s proprietary microfibre filtration technology is able to remove more than 95 percent of fibres shed during the washing process, thus preventing plastic pollution from reaching waterways and drinking water. That means the company is saving over 1 million plastic microfibres from entering our water systems per each kilogram washed. Additionally, by washing clothes at cooler temperatures and using ozone disinfection to remove microorganisms by oxidation rather than using heat, Oxwash is reducing carbon emissions by 45%. Carbon emissions are also saved with their fleet of electric bikes en route for laundry collection and drop off. Also, biodegradable detergents and emulsifiers are automatically dosed depending on the weight of the wash, preventing up to 25% excess chemicals being used in each load.
Not only is the Oxwash process sustainable, but it is deeply sanitary – the process kills bacteria through a three stage cycle (ozone disinfection, chemical sterilisation and thermal decontamination) reducing 99% of infections.
Oxwash is operating in Oxford, Cambridge and London with plans to expand around the UK this upcoming year.
To learn more, listen to our recent Instagram Live with Penn Frank, Oxwash’s fashion lead and business development associate.