Coin Laundry Innovators | Spin Laundry Lounge

Portland Coin Laundry Puts Sustainability First

Welcome to R&B Wire Product’s Coin Laundry Innovators, where we showcase some of the new and exciting store concepts that are emerging in the coin laundry industry today.

R&B Wire recently had the opportunity to interview Morgan Gary, the founder and owner of Spin Laundry Lounge in Portland, Oregon. Spin Laundry Lounge includes a café and lounge for customers to enjoy while their garments are cleaned. This facility takes pride in their sustainable, eco-friendly practices.

 

Spin Laundry Lounge
Spin Laundry Lounge     
(Image by Nate Watters Photography)

 

R&B Wire: With all of your sustainability practices, have you found it difficult to keep your pricing competitive?

Spin Laundry Lounge: Not at all. By incorporating sustainability into all aspects of the business, we are able to significantly reduce the amount of energy and water we use, as well as the amount of chemicals going into the water, all the while keeping our prices competitive.

Spin Laundry Lounge Washing Machines

Spin Laundry Lounge's washing machines, on average, are 3.5 times more efficient than household laundry machines. This helps the facility to cut down on water and electricity usage.
(Image by Nate Watters Photography)

 

Not only do these machines save water and electricity, they also save valuable time by accepting payments by smartphone and sending users a text message when their garments are done. 
(Image by Nate Watters Photography)

 

R&B Wire: What kind of advice would you give other laundromat owners who are considering ‘Going Green’ like you did?

Spin Laundry Lounge: I would tell other laundromat owners that “going green” is a necessity. In the very near future, all laundromats will need to be "green" because that is what will sustain our planet. It will be vital for everyone to do their part to use less utilities and emit less toxins and chemicals into the water and atmosphere. With that in mind, all laundry operators should think about how they can start to incorporate sustainability into their business. I would let them know that it doesn’t all have to be tackled all at once. I recommend picking a few things to change right away. Then make a list of green practices you’d like to initiate in the next few months, and some large plans you’d like to accomplish in the next few years. By splitting it all up, it makes taking the first step to go green much more manageable and attainable. I hope to inspire others so together we can reduce the environmental impact of the laundry industry.

 

R&B Wire: How do you see the concept of sustainability appearing in coin laundries in the future?

Spin Laundry Lounge: I see sustainability becoming a focus of coin laundries in the future. I think most laundry operators will concentrate on purchasing energy efficient washers and dryers. But I hope that sustainability will be integrated into all aspects of the business. I also see a shift in laundry products from those with chemicals and synthetic fragrances to natural ones with far less chemicals. Those two sustainable efforts alone will make a significant impact in the industry!

 

R&B Wire: What are some things that coin laundry owners reading this article can easily implement today to reduce their facility’s carbon footprint?

Spin Laundry Lounge: Here are a few things that owners could implement today:
  • Switch to LED lighting 
  • Make sure to have clearly labeled trash and recycling bins. We even have a bin for customers to put their empty soap containers in that we rinse out and recycle. 
  • Use only eco-friendly soap brands that are biodegradable, free of harsh chemicals, dyes, and synthetic fragrances.
  • Buy soap in bulk to cut down on packaging waste. 
  • Use powder detergent instead of liquid detergent. The only difference between liquids and powders is that the liquid detergents add water and this makes them less concentrated, heavier and much more expensive to ship.
  • Use an eco-friendly and reusable alternative to dryer sheets. At Spin, we sell Wool Dryer Balls that our customers love. The dryer balls work similar to a dryer sheet  –  they eliminate static and wrinkles, as well as help reduce drying time.

    Nellies Dryerballs

    Nellie's All Natural Dryerballs, Oxygen Brightener and Laundry Soda. Nellie's Laundry Soda features a non-toxic, biodegradable and hypoallergenic formula, which comes free with every wash at Spin Laundry Lounge. 
    (Image by Nate Watters Photography)

     

    R&B Wire: How do you communicate your green practices to potential customers?

    Spin Laundry Lounge: Our green initiatives are on our website and are clearly outlined in our annual Sustainability Report. We want to be transparent about what exactly we are doing to lighten our footprint. Once customers come in to do laundry, our attendants enjoy educating them about our sustainability practices and the efficiency of our equipment.

     

    R&B Wire: How did the other products and services you offer come about?

    Spin Laundry Lounge: My main goal was to change the laundromat experience. I wanted to create an environment that customers would feel comfortable in and a space they would enjoy. The café and seating area fosters community and brings our customers and neighbors together. From laundry products, to café vendors, to our wash and fold service, everything is focused around sustainability. Each aspect of the business was thought about with the environment and community in mind.

     Spin Laundry Lounge's Cafe and Bar

    Spin Laundry Lounge's layout includes a café and bar, which brings people together in an enjoyable environment.
    (Image by Nate Watters Photography)

     

    R&B Wire: How does your store’s unique design help you meet your goals?

    Spin Laundry Lounge: I wanted to create an inviting atmosphere and experience, and that starts with the design of the space. Our old warehouse building, complete with clean branding and fun colors, gets our customers excited to do their laundry. We are so happy to provide our customers with a modern and eco-friendly place to wash their clothes.

    User friendly: The facility includes easy-to-read graphics to help demystify the often confusing laundry process.
    (Image by Nate Watters Photography)

     

    R&B Wire: From the large selection of laundry carts we offer, what was your reasoning behind choosing the Front Load Wire Carts.

    Spin Laundry Lounge: I chose the Front Load Wire Carts because they fit right up against the bottom of the washer openings. That allows customers to easily unload their laundry from the washer and into the cart.

    R&B's Front Load Laundry Cart

    R&B's Front Load Laundry Cart

     R&B's Front Load Laundry Cart fits right in with the modern, simplistic design of the facility.
    (Image by Nate Watters Photography)

     

    R&B Wire: How many different R&B Wire products do you have in your facility?

    Spin Laundry Lounge: Right now we are just using your Front Load Wire Carts. When we first opened we started out with 12 but were quickly running out of them. I ordered more and now we have 17 of them. Our customers love the carts!

     

    R&B Wire: Have you found our products to be helpful in your facility for things other than laundry?

    Spin Laundry Lounge: Yes! They definitely get used the most to move laundry from the washer to the dryer, but we also put our groceries in the carts to easily move them from our Spin van into our café.

    The Spin Laundry Lounge is able to go mobile in style.
    (Image by Nate Watters Photography)
    Morgan Gray has been gracious enough to let our readers contact her at morgan@spinlaundrylounge.com with any questions about starting or running a sustainable laundry facility.
    Is your coin laundry facility eco-friendly or cutting edge? Email your facility’s details and images to grant@rbwire.com for a chance to be featured on R&B Wire’s Coin Laundry Innovators!