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Uniting for a Sustainable Future: How B Corps in Fashion Collaborate for Positive Change

March 28, 2023
Maria Jelenska

Uniting for a Sustainable Future: How B Corps in Fashion Collaborate for Positive Change

In today's fashion industry, where environmental and social issues are pressing concerns, B Corps are playing a significant role in driving positive change and creating a more regenerative future. B Corps, or Certified B Corporations, are businesses that have passed rigorous assessments evaluating their social and environmental impact, earning a globally recognised certification as leaders in the movement towards a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable economy. Unlike other certifications, B Lab evaluates the overall impact of the company, recognising not just a quality product, but a business that is holistically good and actively working towards a positive change. 

As we come to the end of B Corp month 2023, it's a perfect time to reflect on the enormous social and environmental impact that businesses are able to achieve, when coming together. Collaboration between sustainable fashion companies creates scale, which is powerful to gradually create a more clean and equitable world. 

Power of B Corps coming together: HURR and Oxwash

Oxwash as a B Corp Certified laundry service provider has established itself as a key partner of fashion rental and resale brands in the UK. At Oxwash, we embrace suppliers and partners that have a similar vision to ours, one of them being B Corp certified fashion rental platform, HURR.

HURR is revolutionising the landscape of sustainable fashion with the support of our integrated sustainable garment cleaning. Oxwash and HURR are two B Corps working towards a common goal of powering a circular fashion movement, one wash and one rental at a time. Having localised (and soon also centralised) operations makes it easier for our businesses to integrate operations and provide a service that’s not only sustainable from the ground up but also incredibly efficient. By working together, Oxwash and HURR are able to provide a sustainable solution to the fashion industry's large scale textile waste problem.

fashion rental cleaning

Sustainable garment cleaning - a backbone of circular fashion

Garment cleaning is essential to circular models like fashion rental or resale. Oxwash's quick, efficient and hygienic cleaning process allows HURR to provide a premium rental experience to their community. Furthermore, extending the lifespan of each garment is critical to HURR's mission, and Oxwash's innovative technology allows them to achieve this. This also contributes to the wider objective of the circular fashion movement: to keep clothes in the loop for longer. 

Oxwash is a pioneer in sustainable garment cleaning by vastly reducing water usage and energy consumption. Being the world’s first carbon-neutral and B Corp-certified laundry service, we promote transparency by sharing our impact in our annual sustainability report.  HURR, a fashion rental platform, is on a mission to reduce waste in the fashion industry by promoting a circular rental model that extends the lifespan of clothing. By partnering with Oxwash, HURR is able to provide a truly sustainable fashion rental service to its customers, with every garment cleaned and sanitised to the highest standard, and with the least environmental impact possible. 

Partnerships like this are not only beneficial to the companies involved but also for the wider fashion industry as a whole by formulating a more sustainable way of doing business. Through our collaboration, Oxwash and HURR are able to set an example for other companies to follow, demonstrating that sustainable practices can be the standard and can have a significant competitive advantage in the industry. 

How does garment cleaning work in practice? 

Oxwash offers a fully integrated solution for fashion brands, retailers, and other businesses. The process consists of:

1. Collection

The first stage is the collection of garments from the rental or resale partner, which can be done through a scheduled pick-up or on-demand service. Our friendly bike riders or electric van drivers are always on time and happy to assist.

2. Sorting

After arriving in our lagoon, garments are sorted according to their individual requirements

fashion rental fulfillment

3. Pre-treating tough stains

Stains are pre-treated by our specialist with gentle products.

4. Wet cleaning or/and ozone

Items are cleaned using gentle detergents with our bespoke sustainable dry cleaning alternative process: wet cleaning. For tough smells and specific materials such as sequins, the ozone process is used to sanitise the clothes.

fashion rental cleaning

5. Drying

Items are dried in our state-of-the-art machines that detect the level of humidity and treat each item up to its unique needs. Leaving just the right amount of moisture in the garment allows it to be in a perfect state for the finish and pressing stage.

6. Finish and individual inspection

Our Team uses bespoke pressing boards and machines to finish up the garments and individually inspect each item before it’s ready to go.

7. Delivery back to the client

Deliveries are flexible according to client needs. Oxwash makes sure all your items are back at your door where you need them and when you need them via e-cargo bikes or electric vans.

fashion rental cleaning

Overall, Oxwash provides a complete end-to-end solution for businesses that want to provide rental and resale services whilst prioritising the environment. Our cleaning and fulfilment processes allow HURR to provide the rental garment to the next customer in pristine condition, promoting the idea of renting instead of buying new and reducing waste in the fashion industry.

Challenges and Opportunities

The truth is that sustainability issues are intricate and cannot be effectively tackled alone. Sustainability should be introduced at every step of the supply chain which requires collaboration between businesses.

Sustainable fashion companies committed to using business as a force for good should harness the power of collaborating with each other not only to push positive environmental and social changes but also to increase the scale and operationality of their businesses.

Sustainable fashion companies can struggle with challenges such as competition from traditional, big corporations, price sensitivity, and lack of consumer awareness. Coming together with other like-minded companies helps to overcome these challenges. B Corps can leverage opportunities such as the B Hive platform (a community of B Corp-certified companies) to accelerate partnerships, find suppliers or promote each other. By coming together to achieve a common goal of sustainability, B Corps can benefit from shared resources, knowledge, and expertise. 

The partnership between Oxwash and HURR serves as a perfect example of B Corps collaborating for a common goal. We encourage other businesses to look into B Corp community and certification requirements, as well as look for meaningful collaborations with like-minded partners. Together, we can do more!

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