If you want to feel literally and metaphorically clean at the same time, getting your laundry done by a company with a mission of social and environmental responsibility is a good start. Philadelphia-based Wash Cycle Laundry has just opened in D.C. to offer just that with it’s next-day laundry pick-up and delivery service.
“We were weighing a between New York and D.C. but there were a few factors that made D.C. the choice,” said Gabriel Mandujano the founder of Wash Cycle Laundry. “We wanted to stay close to Philly among other things.”
Mandujano, who is actually from Rockville, Md., founded the company back in 2010. D.C. is the first city the company, best recognized by the large tricycles its workers use, has expanded to. Eight members of the team actually shared a bike trip on one of them from Philadelphia to D.C. to kick off the new branch.
Although the company does plenty of laundry for the average consumer, over half of their income derives from enterprise contracts with the government, hospitals and universities among other things. Mandujano compared it to Zipcar, which manages fleets of vehicles for enterprise clients but is still best-known for the consumer car rentals.
“We started out aiming at the average consumer but have grown,” he said. “Our focus is geographic.”
The company’s mission is also very much focused on social and environmental good. Vulnerable adult populations like those who have been impassioned before, make up about half the staff, and the company has an overwhelmingly impressive retention rate for a population that often has trouble holding down jobs. It helps that the company pays higher than average wages for the positions as well.
“On paper they are harder to employ,” Mandujano said. “We’ve had a lot of success from partnering with non-profits for it.”
Environmentally, along with the tricycles and their obvious lack of fossil fuel, Wash Cycle Laundry also uses machines that consume less water and heat to clean clothes and local, green detergents to wash them, EPA-certified ones for commercial clients. Since it began, the company has saved more than a million gallons of water this way.
D.C. is of course already home to laundry delivery services like Washio, but that’s not a problem according to Mandujano.
“It’s a large and deep market,” he said “What we do is more than a gimmick.
Image by Plate 3 Photography via Wash Cycle Laundry