The brainchild of local startup VClean Life, the first “VDrop” machines are being installed at subway stations across the capital where your deposited dirties will be cleaned, folded, and ready for pickup within 24 hours.
To use the dry-cleaning service, you need to sign up online to receive a QR code unique to you. When you reach the VDrop machine, all you do is flash your code to receive a bag, shove your garments inside, and drop it into the machine (or hang it up if it’s something more delicate).
In the following 24 hours, the garments will be collected and taken to VClean Life’s depot where they’ll be gently cleaned using biodegradable detergent and conditioners before being returned to the machine for collection, again by using your QR code.
VClean Life has even incorporated a tracking system into the process, so if you’re keen to learn about the status of your shirts and pants, you can log into the app and find out exactly how they’re doing and when they’re ready for pickup.
The service charges 3 British pounds (about $3.90) per standard-sized garment, so dry-cleaning a suit will cost a very reasonable 6 British pounds.
Many of the new VDrop machines will be appearing in the parking lots of subway stations rather than actually inside the premises. The first one has just started operating at Epping station in northeast London, with imminent launches lined up for others in Woodford, South Woodford, Loughton, and North Greenwich. More of its vending machines will soon be found at gyms, shopping malls, and offices, the company said.
VClean Life is going up against store-based dry-cleaning services, as well as those that provide home collection. It’s hoping its convenience and environmentally friendly cleaning methods will help it to quickly win fans.