Oxford laundry innovator OxWash partners with company behind brands Vanish, Dettol & Durex

OxWash

Space-age laundry and dry-cleaning startup Oxwash, which is based in Oxford, has teamed up with Reckitt, the company behind some of the world’s biggest hygiene, health and nutrition brands.

Read our interview with Oxwash founder Kyle Grant in the latest (March 2021) issue of Business & Innovation Magazine.

OxWash has set up a strategic partnership with Reckitt’s London-based purpose-led venture arm, heritage clothes care brand Vanish.

The ‘Oxwash, powered by Vanish’ partnership will see Oxwash use the new Vanish sustainable formula – Vanish 0% – in its new London washing facilities, also known as lagoons, to help give old clothes a new life, preventing tonnes of clothes from ending up in landfill.

Nine out of ten pieces of clothing end up in landfill long before they should and up to 70 per cent of clothing waste could have been prevented with better care habits. Both Vanish and Oxwash want to help clothes live longer by ending irresponsible washing for good and encouraging a circular economy.

In the UK, we buy more clothes per person than any other country in Europe, with a million tonnes of textiles discarded every year. Each week, Oxwash aims to save 600kg clothes from landfill, 12t of CO2 and 3200L of water by re-engineering the laundry process from the ground up*.

Oxwash’s washing technology, cleaning methods and door-to-door laundry service are all driving towards net zero carbon emissions, significantly reducing the environmental impact of traditional laundry processes – from the collection of garments on electric-cargo bikes to their final door delivery. The eco-chemistry of the Vanish 0% formula assures stain removal, colour brightness and whiter whites from the first wash, by using only the essential ingredients – it contains zero fragrance, zero dyes, zero phosphates and zero optical brighteners reducing the impact it has on the environment.

Paola Arbelaez, Global Category Director at Vanish, said: “Our mission is to extend the lifespan of clothes and prevent them from ending up in landfill before their time. By teaming up with the amazing minds behind Oxwash, we’ve been able to take this up a notch by helping our customers give their clothes new lives while washing responsibly too. It’s become obvious that the current consumer wave of conscious and responsible washing of clothing is here to stay and growing incredibly quickly. Through this partnership, we hope to enhance the Oxwash model and continue sharing our deep expertise in cleaning science, consumer understanding and sustainability to further impact the laundry and circular fashion space.”

Oxwash was launched in 2017 by ex-NASA scientist and Forbes Europe’s 30 under 30 alumni, Dr Kyle Grant and Oxford engineer Tom De Wilton. With no-contact delivery, and scientifically proven high level of disinfection, Oxwash was chosen to sterilise items used during the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trial, as well as supporting the NHS frontline.

Kyle Grant, CEO said: “Ever since we started working with Reckitt, we wanted to partner with Vanish. We’re on a mission to become the first truly sustainable, net-zero impact washing company in the world and what better partners to help us scale and achieve this goal than the global leaders in fabric care. Cleaning clothes sustainably is incredibly hard, as the cheap and easy fix is always ‘more chemicals’. Reckitt’s commitment to investing in better solutions helps make a different reality possible and we’re already dreaming up more big ideas with Vanish that could change the whole game.”

Oxwash is currently expanding its partnerships within the fashion community, recently becoming the official laundry partner of fashion rental platforms Hurr, Thrift+ and ByRotation, as well as Save Your Wardrobe – the digital platform promoting a sustainable fashion future.

Reckitt first partnered with Oxwash in 2020 when the startup entered its accelerator programme powered by Founders Factory. The backing from Reckitt has provided Oxwash with access to its research & development, consumer insights and marketing expertise, helping to accelerate the startup as the new leader in sustainable laundry. Mentorship has been provided to help the company set and achieve its sustainability and growth goals with Reckitt’s EVP of Group Marketing Excellence and Category Development Organisation Hygiene, Fabrice Beaulieu, joining the Oxwash board.

Oxwash has raised a total of £1.75 million in seed funding from Reckitt and other investors to support its launch in London and beyond. Oxwash is investing further into its proprietary technology platform that powers its logistics and ‘lagoons’ – its state-of-the-art washing facilities – as well as to cement the startup’s plans to expand internationally in the next 12-18 months.