The start-up making money from laundering… your clothes


In the immortal words of Richard Ashcroft, “It’s a bittersweet symphony this life / Tryna make ends meet you’re a slave to money then you die”. In addition to certain death, we also have taxes and laundry to look forward to. A Johannesburg-based start-up wants to try and alleviate the drudgery of one of those. A hint as to which one of those inescapable facts of life it’s aiming at lies in its name: Just Laundry.

That’s right, Just Laundry is exclusively focused on making your soiled garments its business. No, it’s not going to repackage them and sell them from a vending machine – what do you think this is, Japan? Instead, it’s going to collect your sweat-soaked, grass-stained finery from an address of your choosing, launder and press it, and return it to you, all in under 24 hours.

As much as we’d like to think of Just Laundry as some sort of cleaning angel, ridding the world of the blight that is skid-marked undies and armpit-sweat-stained golf shirts, its motive isn’t simply to make the world a better, more hygienic, sweeter smelling place. Instead, it’s a more traditional one: profit. Mmm, we love the smell of capitalism in the morning, it smell’s like freshly laundered socks.


Joburg collection areas

How do you bolster the economy by supporting this upstart, you ask? You start by checking whether you’re in a supported area. For now, that includes the bustling metropolis of Polokwane (postcodes between 0699 and 0750), or the slightly northern suburbs of Johannesburg (that is, those with postcodes between 2000 and 2200).

Next you visit Just Laundry’s website from the connected device of your choosing. Select the service you want — options include laundry, ironing and dry cleaning. The most common service, washing, ironing and folding is charged at R32/kg and requires a minimum order of 5kg. Or, if it’s just ironing you’d like to outsource that’ll cost you R50/kg.

Once you’ve figured out what it is you’re after you’ll be presented with a quotation and, should you accept it, will be prompted to give the details of the most appropriate collection point and time. If you like, the drop-off point can differ from the collection point, so your dirty laundry can leave your home and arrive at your office clean and ready to induce envy in your colleagues. Perfect.

Collections between 05h00 and 07h00 or deliveries between 17h00 and 19h00 incur a surcharge of R30. Once you’ve agreed to the estimate and confirmed the booking all you need do is await your laundry angel collection professional. It’s that simple.

No more digging around in the car ashtray for loose change to power the aged Speed Queen top-loader in the communal laundry room, no more worries about falling asleep at the local laundromat only to wake up and find your Rocky replica robe has been purloined by that shady looking teenager that grunted at you on the way in, and no more time wasted worrying whether that new red T-shirt you can’t find snuck into the pale load and is going to turn everything Pinker than a 1970’s panther.

Just-Laundry-pricingJust Laundry founder William Thubakgale says most of Just Laundry’s customers are working professionals aged 25-40 who don’t want to waste their precious downtime on chores like laundry, and that because the average “urban professional dedicates 2.5 hours weekly to laundry”, outsourcing it can free up around three weeks per annum.

Given how fastidious we at Stuff are about ironing and folding our gaming T-shirts and keeping the right collar stays with the right collared shirts, we suspect we’re likely to save a whole lot more than that.

Thubakgale says Just laundry hopes to extend its fabric softener-fragranced, cotton-rayon-blend sleeved reach to Durban and Cape Town before the end of the year. Until then, the well-heeled residents of Johannesburg and Polokwane can look even smugger – and spiffier – than usual.


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