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Innovation & Job News

Laundry delivery service pedals into the District

A new triple-bottom-line business arrived in D.C. Tuesday after a heck of commute. The founders of Wash Cycle Laundry, a bike courier service for laundry and dry cleaning, celebrated its official expansion to the District by biking to their new digs from Philadelphia, where the company started in 2010. 

D.C.  is the "first new metro area" of expansion for the company, says founder Gabriel Mandujano. "It was a toss-up between D.C. and New York. D.C. packs quite a punch. We were super impressed by the culture here."

Wash Cycle Laundry picks up clients' dirty clothes via bicycle and trailer. Employees wash, dry and fold articles, and laundry is returned within 24 hours. The company finds "surplus laundry facilities," or laundromats that are underused during the day, and takes advantage of their slow times to wash clothes. "A typical laundromat is empty at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday," Mandujano explains. "There are 50 machines and 4 people."

Pricing for corporate and government clients varies. For consumers, Wash Cycle charges $1.60 per pound of laundry, with a $30 minimum. "We're not the açai berry of the laundry market," Mandujano explains. "We're very conscious that no one wants to purchase premium laundry service, so we try not to be the top or the bottom of the market. Dry cleaners charge more; self-service is less." They also provide dry cleaning services for clients, which begins at $2.50 for a dress shirt cleaned and pressed.

Wash Cycle is committed to sustainability on all levels. Part of their social mission is using "laundry as a launching pad" to help adults get back into the workforce. In Philadelphia, they have partnered with Philadelphia Works and Gearing Up. Locally, Mandujano wants to accomplish similar goals. 

"We've partnered with the Department of Employment Services (DOES) and Career TEAM," he says. "We're actively seeking hiring partners." They have hired three locally and will hire 10-15 more employees by the end of the year. 

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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