A mission to clean up laundry's footprint and prolong the life of textiles

Oxwash was founded with the explicit goal of proving that we can wash textiles with no net impact on our ecosystems and communities. It’s a huge challenge but as engineers, scientists, and human beings facing climate collapse, we’re determined to meet the challenge head-on.

A mission to eliminate the impact of textile cleaning on the planet and people.

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The toxic laundry industry

The textile cleaning industry’s impact on the planet has long been a mystery. A recent study commissioned by Oxwash sheds light on the significant greenhouse gas emissions from washing clothes at home and in commercial laundry.

In Europe alone, washing clothes at home contributes 15.3 megatons of CO2e, equivalent to one million flights in and out of the UK. Commercial laundry has a footprint of 8.8 megatons of CO2e, equivalent to 1% of all industrial carbon emissions in Europe. Washing garments also requires high quantities of water, polluting wastewater with microplastics and potentially toxic chemicals. Oxwash is exploring new technology to transcend the laundry industry beyond gas, water waste, and pollution.

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Moving towards a cleaner world

We have demonstrated, that with a rigorous cohesive effort, it is possible to wash garments without emissions, to reduce waste, and to ensure the wellbeing of employees and local communities. We've made huge progress to date, but there's still a lot to do.

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The problem with laundry

The laundry industry has a detrimental impact on the planet, but its true extent has remained largely unknown. Traditional methods use excessive water and heat, resulting in high emissions and the release of microplastics and toxic chemicals into our oceans through wastewater pollution.

A recent study commissioned by Oxwash aims to quantify this impact in the European and United States markets and highlights the significant greenhouse gas emissions generated from heating water and drying textiles. In Europe, domestic laundry is estimated to contribute 15.3 megatons of CO2e, which is equivalent to the carbon footprint of approximately one million flights to and from the UK*.

We recognise the urgent need to minimise the environmental impact of traditional laundry practices and are committed to pushing the boundaries and strive to develop solutions that go beyond industry norms.

*Estimation based on data from UK Civil Aviation Authority and OECD, 2022

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Our solution and impact

The laundry industry is currently a significant contributor to the climate crisis, but we exist to lead the way in improvement. By comparing our approach to conventional laundries and dry cleaners, in 2022 we were able to save 139 tonnes of CO2 and preserve 4600 m3 of drinking water.

Our wet cleaning technology utilises water and biodegradable detergents instead of the carcinogenic solvents (Perc) found in traditional dry cleaning. This approach not only ensures safer and longer-lasting garments but also eliminates the harmful environmental impact associated with conventional dry cleaning methods. Another key advancement is the development of innovative microfibre filters in collaboration with our partners, Cleaner Seas Group, to reduce microfibre and plastic release by approximately 99%.

We are committed to continuous innovation and are constantly exploring new technologies to push the boundaries of the laundry industry. Our goal is to minimise gas, water and waste in every aspect of our operations, driving positive change and contributing to a cleaner future.

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Our sustainability report

We are proud to present our 2022 Sustainability Report, showcasing the significant advancements we have made in our mission to permanently eliminate the negative impact of washing on both people and the planet. This comprehensive report highlights our commitment to sustainability, featuring innovative approaches, ethical practices, and measurable progress toward our sustainability targets. Through collaboration with stakeholders, inspiring stories, and a culture of environmental consciousness, we have integrated sustainability into the very fabric of our organisation. We invite you to explore this report and join us in celebrating our achievements but also acknowledging where improvements can still be made.

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B Corporation®

In 2022, Oxwash became a Certified B Corporation®,  joining over 4000 companies across the world aiming to transform the global economy and create businesses that benefit both people and the planet. We spent over a year going through an independent set of rigorous assessments to quantify our holistic impact on communities, customers, employees and the environment. To become a B Corp™️, companies must achieve a minimum score of 80 points; we are proud to have achieved a score of 94.8. We are proud to be a part of a community of leaders who drive positive change through collaboration and role-modelling best practices.

This journey does not end with being recognised as a B Corp™️, as we want to continue improving. We have embedded B Corp™️ principles and standards throughout our business, and we use the impact areas in the B Impact Assessment to structure our sustainability roadmap. Read our B Corp Annual Statement 2022.

Going beyond

We believe in sustainability beyond protecting the environment. This includes supporting and empowering communities. We are committed to social responsibility and actively seek ways to assist and collaborate with local communities and organisations.

One of our key approaches is to actively support local community initiatives and organisations that align with our values. Whether it's through sponsorships, donations, or partnerships, we aim to provide meaningful contributions that help address pressing social and environmental challenges. By investing in these initiatives, we hope to foster positive change and enable communities to thrive.

We recognise the importance of education and awareness in driving sustainable practices. We are committed to sharing our knowledge and expertise with communities, empowering individuals to make informed decisions and take actions that contribute to a greener future. Learn more about our partnerships.

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More publication from us

View our sustainability blogs