Not a Pointless App – An Open Letter to Helen Lewis


Hi Helen,

We read with interest your recent Guardian column ‘Never mind pointless apps – our best minds should be solving real problems‘, published on 11 November 2015. We noticed you referenced the American company Washio in your piece, but as the fastest growing on-demand laundry and dry cleaning service in the UK, we wanted to offer our own response to some of the points you raised.

There are a few points in the article we find a little unfair. For example, you make a point of criticising apps such as ours for “pandering to the middle-class urban professionals who value their time more highly than their disposable income.” You’re definitely correct that we’ve received lots of support and positive feedback from people who use Laundrapp to free up time in their busy lives – but we’re not sure why this is a bad thing? We think everyone would like a bit more free time, regardless of who they are!

We do disagree with your characterization of our customers as nothing but middle-class urban professionals, however. We actually cater to a wide range of people and often get our best feedback from the truly time-poor, such as single-parent families. As the UK’s most popular door-to–door laundry and dry cleaning service, we offer a very valuable and convenient service to people all across the UK. We don’t pander to anyone and we’re available to all!

You also make the point that apps such as Laundrapp are ignoring larger social problems and suggest there’s “something demented about such a huge flowering of creativity and innovation being focused on minor inconveniences.” But have you considered the value our service offers to those with disabilities or that by eliminating these minor inconveniences families are freed to spend more time together? These are just a few of the things that have motivated us to expand Laundrapp to over 30+ towns and cities in the last 11 months.

We definitely agree with you that innovation is a good thing though, which is why we invest so much in creating our own technology to modernise and revitalise the UK’s dry cleaning industry – which has shrunk from 12,000 to stores in the 1980s to just 3,000 stores now. As you read this our developers are busy researching new solutions to the Travelling Salesmen Problem and building new technology to roll out across the UK. You’re definitely correct when you say there are innovators outside of Silicon Valley!

Laundrapp is a young business and still has a lot of room to grow, but our innovative and valued service already helps many of those in need and grows local businesses. It’s something we’re truly proud of and we believe has a lot to offer – especially since we’re only just getting started in our mission to rid the world of laundry.

We’d love to discuss this with you further and you can reach us through the usual channels, but maybe you’d like to try us out for yourself first? Just download the app today and use code HELENLEWIS for £10 off your first order!


Team Laundrapp