Laundry Talks
Dated: 23-01-2020

We bring to you a brand new column dedicated to the laundry and dry cleaning industry. Here, we not only offer you a glimpse of the latest industry news but also touch upon international best practices, trends, and interesting bits that professionals in the industry can gain a lot of information from. This month’s column sheds light on the key takeaway from the recently concluded Gulf Laundrex Conference 2019.

by Megha S. Anthony

We have officially entered the year of the Expo and nearly every industry especially in the service market has been preparing themselves for this much coveted event in the UAE. The laundry service market is not too far behind. However, the last year, the market was not too favourable with a few key laundries closing down or being acquired to strengthen their fort. But this year, everyone is positive about things taking a turn towards better things – be it implementing better sustainable measure, raising the standards by bringing in better best practices, or even just aiming and hoping the industry gets more streamlined.

This month’s column, apart from the latest laundry & dry cleaning news from across the globe, we bring to the New Year resolutions experts from the region have for the industry this 2020.

NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS FROM THE LAUNDRY INDUSTRY

Bubble Laundry

Every industry needs to evolve to stay relevant and meet market demand. Innovation drives industries forward, and commercial laundry is no exception. The pressure on laundries has been verified with two major players that unfortunately had to close down in the last year, and more will follow if proper actions are not taken. Trends like optimisation by reducing manpower costs, more efficient equipment that can decrease energy and water consumption are key. Moreover, textile and chemical manufacturing will have to play an important role by creating more efficient textiles with less absorption of water and better chemicals that do use less energy.

- Jorge Damasceno, CEO, Bubble Laundry

Clean Swift

In a 24/7 business environment like commercial laundries are, time is limited and crucial. Let’s set our goals, set our timeline and achieve what we planned. In a dynamic marketplace where rapid decision making is a must, this year I wish to ensure that the voices of our clients continue to be heard clearly by all our people, expanding our services, meeting their expectations and needs, serving them as they deserve pushing every experience to be better.

- Marco Oleotto, CEO, Clean Swift

Magnarab

My new year resolution for 2020 is to focus our efforts to demystify cost control methods for laundry and help them use the right technology for this purpose.

- Sreejith Narendran, Managing Director, Magnarab

Seitz

My 2020 resolutions for the industry are to raise more awareness on best practices in dry cleaning, which will result in reducing the hazardous impact on environment and health as well as improving the quality of dry cleaning results.

- Abdulraouf Jijeh, Technical Territorial Consultant and Representative in the Middle East, Seitz

News Bytes

Jordan startup delivers an eco-friendly alternative to dry cleaning

A persistent sinus problem prompted a Jordanian entrepreneur to launch an eco-friendly dry-cleaning service. “Dry cleaning” is somewhat of a misnomer because it is not really dry. It is true that no water is involved in the process, but the main cleaning agent is perchloroethylene (PERC), a chemical that experts consider likely to cause cancer, as well as brain and nervous system damage.

Kamel Almani, 33, knew little of these dangers when he began suffering from sinus irritation while working as regional sales director at Eon Aligner, a medical equipment startup he co-founded. When Mazen Darwish, a chemical engineer, revealed he wanted to start an eco-laundry and warned about toxic chemicals used in conventional dry cleaning, Almani had an epiphany.

“He began to tell me how PERC affects the respiratory system, and I suddenly realized that it was the suits I wore for work — and which I would get dry cleaned — that were the cause of my sinus problems,” said Almani, co-founder of Amman-based WashyWash.

WashyWash began operations in early 2018 with five staff, including the three co-founders: Almani, Darwish and Kayed Qunibi. The business now has 19 employees and became cash flow-positive in July this year. The service uses EcoClean products that are certified as toxin-free, are biodegradable and cause no air, water or soil pollution. Customers place orders through an app built in-house by the company’s technology team.

Supreme Laundry & Cleaners Inc. re-certifies for hygienically clean healthcare

Supreme Laundry & Cleaners Inc., a family owned and operated laundry serving the El Paso markets, has been has been re-certified Hygienically Clean for Healthcare. Hygienically Clean is the quantified, validated standard and measure for hygienically clean textiles in North America since 2011, and this re-certification reflects this laundry’s ongoing commitment to best management practices (BMPs) in laundering as verified by on-site inspection and their capability to produce hygienically clean textiles as quantified by ongoing microbial testing.

Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification acknowledges laundries’ effectiveness in protecting healthcare operations by verifying quality control procedures in linen, uniform and facility services operations related to the handling of textiles containing blood and other potentially infectious materials.

Ocean State Innovations acquires textile dyer and finisher Colorworks

Ocean State Innovations, (a Brand & Oppenheimer Company), a textile solutions provider, announced its acquisition of ColorWorks. Founded in 1996, ColorWorks is a textile dyer and finisher located in Elizabethton, Tennessee. The ColorWorks team will continue to service a broad array of customers with their commission textile dyeing and finishing needs.

The resources of Ocean State Innovations will add a unique capability to source a wider array of textile products and to provide a technical knowledge that will help to better serve customers’ needs. Under the direction of Edward Ricci (CEO), Ocean State has built an impressive organization of talented people and innovative products.

“We look forward to continuing our commitment to the ongoing operations at ColorWorks and the future innovation that the commission dyeing and finishing segment adds to Ocean State,” said Edward Ricci, Ocean State Innovations CEO.

New AI LG washer can automatically pick the best laundry cycle for your clothes

LG Electronics (LG) unveiled its most advanced innovation in laundry, deploying artificial intelligence to deliver precision washing for optimal results without the guesswork. Winner of a coveted 2020 CES Innovation Award, the new LG ThinQ™ front-load washing machine features an Artificial Intelligent Direct Drive™ (AI DD) motor along with the company's AI-powered Proactive Customer Care service. The "AI DD washer" builds on 20 years of advancements in LG's groundbreaking Direct Drive motor which delivers unparalleled results without sacrificing efficiency.

LG's new washing machine not only detects the volume and weight of each unique laundry load, but also uses AI and advanced sensors to identify fabric types in each load. Using deep learning technology, the washer then compares this information against more than 20 thousand data points related to washer usage to program the optimal wash cycle setting for the best results, improving cleaning performance and extending the life of garments by 15 percent.

Devan Chemicals launches two additional bio-based products

Devan Chemicals, the Belgium-based developer of finishing technologies for textiles, plans to launch two bio-based solutions at the upcoming Heimtextil trade show in Frankfurt, Germany. The company already launched a bio-based flame retardant in May 2019. Sustainability has always been a focus topic for Devan, even long before it became an urging issue. In 1995, the company launched Eco-flam®, the first halogen-free flame retardant.

Four years later they commercialized a non-migrating antimicrobial solution. In 2001, the Belgian firm developed a masterbatch technology for in-yarn solutions. Devan was also the first company to introduce probiotics in textiles (2010). In 2019 Devan presented its first biobased solution (Bio-flam) and now they will launch another two: a bio-based antimicrobial (BI-OME® natural) and bio-based PCMs (Tones of Cool® Bio).