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The Oxwash Story

December 1, 2020
Penn Frank
Rewind the clocks to 2013.

Oxwash founder, Dr. Kyle Grant, was working at NASA (SpaceX) as a Space Engineer. Unable to extend his visa, Kyle returned to the UK and pursued a PhD at the University of Oxford, studying synthetic biology whilst self-schooling on entrepreneurship, inspired by the guidance of Elon Musk.

Kyle joined the University rugby club and was delegated the task of washing the team kit, which immediately exposed him to the faults and fractures of laundry - perpetually broken washing machines, inflexible scheduling and unreliable deliveries to name a few. It was through these frustrations that Oxwash was born.

Wadham College Rugby Team - Our First Customer (2017).  

Kyle started the business with an old bicycle, google forms and a spray painted Deliveroo backpack, initially washing friends and students laundry at home and then upgrading to a shipping container and an e-cargo bike.

The original setup in a shipping container (2017)

Having seen the e-cargo bike around town, Kyle enjoyed organic traction from local businesses, which prompted him to dig a little deeper into commercial laundry. It quickly become apparent that the entire industry seemed old, impersonal and ludicrously polluting. From what started as a side hustle quickly snowballed into an opportunity with serious promise.

The penny dropped once businesses starting to get in touch. Kyle’s passion for the planet inspired his decision to build a business that was not only ultra-flexible but also spearheaded sustainability. By vertically integrating the model, meaning we own and control the entire cycle, Kyle and Tom (retrospective co-founder) were able to build sustainability into every facet of the business and truly achieve carbon neutrality.

Founders, Kyle and Tom enjoying a cold one after building the Oxford lagoon (2019)

The bikes most visibly reflect how we're sustainable. But it's the ozone that's the special sauce, which Kyle came across at SpaceX/NASA as ozone is used to deodorize and disinfect spaceships. I won't bore you with the science, not that I fully understand it anyway, but essentially ozone is an O3 molecule converted from Oxygen in the atmosphere that allows us to wash effectively at low temperatures whilst obviating the need for harsh, polluting chemicals. So when we say we're space-age, we mean it.

And unsurprisingly, an eco-friendly wash is simply more effective given low temperatures maintain the integrity of items and eco-label chemistry lacks the odour of toxic chemicals and delivers a much softer, brighter finish.

Fast forward 3 years.

After months of refinement, the model has now evolved into what we believe is the world’s most simple, seamless and sustainable washing service. A model fit for the 21st century for individuals and businesses of all variety. The Cambridge and London lagoons are now up-and-running and we're now embarking on a hyper-growth trajectory.

Next stop? Mars.

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Together we can wash our way to a cleaner, eco-friendly future.