When Amanda Barnes opened her specialist laundry in 2009 in the picturesque town of Ivybridge in Devon, it was the very first in the county to offer the lagoon® Wet Cleaning System. Four years later, when planning to expand the business with another environmentally-friendly cleaning shop, there was only one system to turn to.
During the original specification process, Amanda approached Electrolux Approved Supplier Brewer and Bunney with the request for laundry machines that would be able to process high volumes of commercial laundry for holiday properties. Brewer and Bunney recommended Electrolux’s lagoon® Wet Cleaning System, an environmentally-friendly process which could increase profits in the business, and offered to take Amanda to see it in action at a number of large hotels in the area.
“I was hooked on the system immediately,” explains Amanda. “I could see the potential of wet cleaning, and our shop in Ivybridge became Devon’s first specialist laundry to offer the lagoon® system very soon afterwards.”
It took a short while for the team to build up their clientele as they sought to educate people on wet cleaning but, as the first and only professional wet-cleaning system to be approved by the Woolmark Company, installing the lagoon® system offered clear business benefits. The installation designated the cleaners as a Woolmark-accredited site and could offer an extensive range of laundry solutions for diverse garments, even those labelled ‘dry clean only’.
Electrolux Professional provided the shop’s staff with extensive product training, and the team of six also underwent NVQ training with a local college. After gaining experience of the system day-in, day-out and overcoming the different challenges posed to them through customers’ garments, it wasn’t long before the team was processing a high volume of items every day and Amanda was once again setting her sights on a sustainable cleaning shop in Totnes, Devon.
“Totnes is renowned for having an environmentally-conscious outlook and a busy high street bursting with alternative, independent shops,” Amanda adds. “After three years of waiting, we found the perfect location, with adequate space, parking and utilities and took it from there.”
A Complete Laundry Solution
Due to the success of her Ivybridge shop, Amanda contacted Brewer & Bunney, and the precise equipment which would match her requirements was ordered straight to the new site.
They specified a full lagoon® system, including an 18kg W5180H washer, a 32lb T5350 tumble dryer, a steam-heated FFT-WC multi-form finisher for shirts, jackets and suits, and a FIT1-WC handheld ironer and ironing table. On top of that, there is also a flatwork ironer suitable for high volumes of linen. The full range of equipment installed means that Barnes the Cleaners can offer an array services to its customers, from wet cleaning, to the washing and ironing of sheets for commercial properties, even down to the window- and carpet-cleaning sides of the business.
The shop opened in October 2013 and found success almost immediately among the town’s environmentally-conscious inhabitants, thanks to the green credentials of wet cleaning. The lagoon® system is fully compliant with the international environmental standard EC91/155, combining natural elements such as water and biodegradable detergents to produce a safe and efficient wash, time after time.
Amanda Barnes, owner of Barnes the Cleaners, comments: “I’d always wanted to open an environmentally-friendly laundry, and Totnes was the perfect location. Brewer and Bunney were aware of my idea for some time, and have always been extremely helpful and supportive – overseeing the whole process from specification, to purchase, right down to the servicing equipment. We couldn’t wish for a better supplier and we certainly wouldn’t go anywhere else.”
“When I initially sited the lagoon® system in Ivybridge it was a bit of a challenge educating people about the differences between dry cleaning and wet cleaning. It’s still a new and innovative concept, but now customers are much more receptive and the people in Totnes have been extremely accepting and enthusiastic about what we are doing.”