The global laundry usage releases a whopping 14,000 tonnes of microfibres into the oceans each year. Also, it has been estimated that one-third of all plastic found in the ocean are microfibres from clothes. The global “green cleaning” market is all set to reach $11.6 billion (nearly £8.4 million) by 2029. With this increasing trend, several laundry tech startups are taking the sustainable path to save the environment.
Oxford-based Oxwash is a laundry tech startup, which uses technology to prevent viral transmission on textiles during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the UK-based startup backed by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone raised £2.08 million in a seed funding round, which is an extension to the seed investment of €1.6 million (nearly £1.4 million) it secured last year.
Accelerates cleanup of laundry industry
The investment came from the former Pinterest and Beyond Meat backers, Future Positive (NYC/SF); Clean Ventures (NYC), Conduit-Ascension EIS Impact Fund, Holly Branson, Chief Purpose & Vision Officer Virgin Group; Sam Branson, Filmmaker, Musician & Philanthropist; Pentland Group (Berghaus and Speedo), Leon Lewis (River Island) and founder of Indeed.com, Paul Forster.
Previously, Oxwash secured £2 million from a cohort of coveted investors including FMCG giant Reckitt, TrueSight Ventures, Founders Factory and Twitter’s Biz Stone. As part of the funding round, Oxwash took part in Collective Impact, and Virgin StartUp.
The funds will be used to expand the team and invest in its proprietary technology that will power the business’s logistics and cutting edge washing facilities, known as lagoons, to further improve services both for consumers and the environment. Also, it will accelerate the cleanup of the traditional and environmentally expensive washing and dry cleaning sector with its technology. Also, this investment will accelerate plans for national expansion.
Holly Branson said: “When I met Kyle and Tom, the founders of Oxwash, I knew immediately they were the type of purposeful leaders I love to work with; their passion, drive and enthusiasm for sustainable laundry was infectious. Through the Collective Impact programme I get to meet the most inspiring founders and am constantly blown away by their innovative, creative and commercial approach to sustainable business. Oxwash will turn the traditional laundry sector on its head, proving yet again that purposeful business is great business.”
“Oxwash is one of the most exciting businesses I’ve come across. I love the focus on sustainability, and it’s a scalable model so I’m expecting it to grow into a really big business.” added Paul Forster founder of Indeed.com.
Dr Kyle Grant, chief executive of Oxwash said, “We knew being just another laundry app wouldn’t cut it. Developing a model that was hyper local, carbon neutral and tech enabled – that reversed the sector’s adverse impact on the planet rather than adding to it was fundamental. Partnering with the likes of Reckitt and Founders Factory have given us access to some of the best minds in business which has undoubtedly been a leg-up for the business.”
“Our world is in unknown territory and people are turning to tech for options to improve their lives. Oxwash is using revolutionary technology that can be utilised to prevent viral transmission on textiles during this period and give people reassurance about their safety and those of their loved ones.” added investor and co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone.
Proprietary microfiber filtration tech!
Founded in 2018 by Dr Kyle Grant and Tom de Wilton, Oxwash uses water-saving ozone technology to sterilize fabrics at lower temperatures, thermal and biodegradable chemical processes. Eventually, it achieves higher than medical-grade disinfection, dissolvable laundry bags, along with electric cargo bikes for hyper-local pickups and deliveries.
Oxwash’s state-of-the-art washing technology, cleaning methods and door-to-door laundry service are driving towards net-zero carbon emissions, significantly reducing the environmental impact of existing laundry processes. Oxwash’s proprietary microfibre filtration technology removes more than 95 percent of fibres shed during washing and preventing plastic pollution from reaching waterways and drinking water.
The responsible laundry firm now has more than 8000 individual customers, alongside clients such as the Marriott Hotel Group, Hurr Collective and the NHS.
Oxwash kills bacteria through a three-stage approach including ozone disinfection, chemical sterilisation, and thermal decontamination. Its processes reduce 99.99999% of infections – 100 times better than the NHS standard. Also, Oxwash was chosen to sterilise items used during the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trial and support the NHS front line.
In April 2021, Reckitt announced a new strategic partnership between its heritage clothes care brand Vanish and Oxwash. It is powered by ‘Vanish’ partnership means Oxwash uses the new Vanish sustainable formula – Vanish 0% – in its cutting edge washing facilities to help give old clothes a new lease of life, thereby preventing tonnes of clothes from ending up in landfills.