The alarm is set for 6:30, but the phone has already been steadily pinging since the small hours, as the pickups and deliveries booked by our customers are assigned to riders by the insomniac logistician Joe. In the gloom of his houseboat, the screen mirrored in his glasses hints at the moving map of the city that he holds behind his eyes as he plans the day’s riding with clockwork precision; all the time, the waves lap gently against the hull.
Sore legs twitch against their will as the minds of the riders re-run and recast the endless pedal strokes, dodging potholes and feeling each extra mile of road that the pings foretell as they puncture that deepest of sleeps that only comes from a day in the saddle.
And all the while, the hulking roller press keeps watch in the darkened hub, its blinking lights and gentle hum the only sign that while the Oxwashers sleep, it knows that its work is never done.
Kyle needs no alarm; at 5 on the dot he is lifted out of bed by the sheer thrust of his ideas, which have by this point slept long enough. Oxwash's founder sits down to a zero-carbon breakfast of locally-sourced seasonal fruits and Huel (other nutritional supplements are available) which he does not chew, in order to allow as much energy as possible for pure thought. With Oxwash always striving for excellence on so many fronts, Kyle knows that today he will carry the flag for environmentalism in the laundry industry, play a leading role in the global green urban transport revolution, and maintain the impeccable standards that Oxwash's valued customers deserve. As he leaves for the office, the legs that carried the operation through its first cold winter greet the hum of his pedigree aluminium racing bike like an old friend.
At the hub, all is hustle and bustle; the Oxwashers swarm between shelves and machines carrying hamper and bags like ants their grains of sugar, as the calming melodies of Classic FM set the tone for the day; striving for the highest standards both environmentally and musically. As the riders check their cargo bikes and file out for the morning’s deliveries, Zara the Operations manager keeps an iron gaze on the incomings and outgoings; always in control, Zara is the brains behind the daily operation and is in constant liaison with our customers and business partners. Zara knows that the measure of a successful startup is not whether things always go to plan, but that when they don’t, we can adapt and meet our challenges head-on.
The front-end process never varies – Oxwash have pioneered direct-to-customer laundry delivery, the only service in Oxford which will deliver your laundry flexibly to wherever you choose, whenever you want. For the Oxwashers, this means loading up with clean laundry as they plan out their routes, navigating the city’s winding streets and shooting down its major thoroughfares, making sure that they alert customers as they near their destinations. Our riders love talking to our friendly customers and are always welcomed with a smile and sometimes a cup of tea. When they come back in with their bikes full of the dirties they’ve picked up, they feed into the back-end process. Zara and Benjamin keep our count sheets in immaculate order and all of our customers up-to-date as the items are cleaned with biodegradable products, at low temperatures, and, most importantly, with the love and care they deserve.
When all of the afternoon’s deliveries are done, the Oxwashers file back to their homes to eat their organic single-origin dinners (Kyle has optimized the recovery regimes of all riders), meditate on the day’s successes and points for improvement. Another day done for Oxwash: one small step for eco-friendly laundry, one giant leap for mankind.