Indie Oxford Interview: OXWASH
Today on the blog we catch up with Kyle and the team at OXWASH to find out how they have gone from college laundry scheme to supporting the NHS in the fight against coronavirus. >>
Tell us how OXWASH started.
OXWASH was founded in 2017 by Dr Kyle Grant, born out of frustration from the perpetually broken washing machines in his college laundry. Armed with just a bike and a backpack, Kyle started collecting and washing clothes for fellow students, this quickly snowballed into a growing on demand laundry business as interest grew.
How does OXWASH work & what services do you offer?
We are an on demand eco laundry as well as dry cleaning that doesn’t cost the Earth. We collect, wash, and then return your items at a time of your choice, to the location of your choice. All with zero net carbon emissions for a happier planet.
Tell us how OXWASH maintains a sustainable and eco-friendly approach to laundry.
Laundry is one of the most wasteful and polluting activities but using innovative technology we save 25 litres of water per wash and prevent 100 million plastic microfibers from going out into our oceans. We also use eCargo bikes for collection and deliveries, and solar panels to power our processes.
How can you help individuals and businesses tackle COVID-19?
Due to the current circumstances we believe that if you are able to do your own laundry then please do. This is in order to limit contact and reduce the spread of COVID-19. At an appropriate time we will be offering businesses that have been financially hit by the pandemic a tailored discount in order to help them regain momentum.
What other services are you offering to help communities in Oxford during the crisis?
We are currently working on a joint project with the Saïd Business School to offer free laundry for the elderly. This is still in the works but is an incredibly important campaign in order to look after those most vulnerable in our community. We are also incredibly proud to be supporting the NHS. We are piloting a project to wash the scrubs of the NHS heroes who are on the front line in the fight against COVID-19.
Beyond the current crisis, what are your plans for the business this year?
We have launched Cambridge in its beta stage, and hope to launch in London soon. Due to the current circumstances we are constantly reviewing and adapting.
Kyle you’ve just been selected for Forbes 30 Under 30, what are your tips for starting a business?
My main tip would be to make sure the first 10 people you hire are absolute rock stars and add new and fresh ideas into your culture. After that let the team grow organically with the firm and fun culture baked in from the start.
Lastly, what are your favourite independent businesses in Oxford?
Our favourite independent business on a walk around Oxford would be: JCT for coffee, Barefoot Bakery for cake, and Common Ground for a chat!
OXWASH are a great example of a business that has quickly adapted to the current crisis, working with the NHS to help stop the spread of coronavirus as well as reaching out to other local businesses to offer support and a sense of community, which is much needed at this time.