Let me be frank: I hate ironing. It takes me 8.5 minutes to iron a single shirt, which is precious time away from feeding Newly Swissed with fresh content.
Logistically speaking, it was time to do some serious kaizen. Given my dislike of garment care, my little dry-cleaning workflow amounted to a colossal waste of resources. Once a week, I would carry my used business shirts to a dry-cleaner in the city, just to carry them back home again a few days later.
For protection from dirt, the shirts would be covered in a giant blob of environmentally hazardous plastic wrap. What a hassle, and what a waste of material.
At least I did not need to iron my shirts anymore, but was this the best alternative?
It turns out, it was not a very good alternative. Because when I first found out that I can have my own butler, I got curious: Cosmobutler is a Zürich based dry-cleaning company that promised to make my life easier.
Cosmobutler is the brainchild of Alex Benincà, CEO and founder. Alex tells me about his logistics background and his drive to improve processes. At the core of the Cosmobutler business model is the idea of delivering a smooth logistics process that also eliminates waste and fits the lifestyle of young, urban professionals.
Alex envisioned a personal butler who would take care of a chore many of us dislike. “The laundry business came naturally, but our idea could work for a different vertical altogether,” he elaborates.
How does Cosmobutler work?
These days, Cosmobutler has relaunched their website to make the process of ordering even easier. First, you would select the pick-up and delivery dates and time frame for your ZIP code. For even more convenience, you could request a subscription of sorts, with a Cosmobutler picking up your laundry at a regular weekday. For me, this has not yet become an option as the number of shirts that require laundering varies.
On the days of pick-up and delivery, text messages remind me to be home or leave instructions on how to access the building. The company provides their own laundry totes which can be stuffed throughout the week. Cosmobutler even promises to fix garments missing buttons, but I have never had to take advantage of this extra service.
When asked about the typical customer, Alex replies: “Customers range from a 17-year-old who uses her pocket money to get her laundry done, to an 85-year old senior who still lives in her own home but cannot do laundry anymore.”
Regardless of one’s age, once you get used to the idea that certain things in life should be on autopilot, you can never go back. It is like ticking off a mental check box.
But can I afford it?
This is the question I hear most often about Cosmobutler. Their service is no more expensive than the dry cleaner in the city. The minimum order value is 49 francs, and the delivery fee is 8 francs per order.
I challenge you to ponder about the true cost of your dry-cleaning. You will be hard-pressed to find a commercial branch in a city center that charges below 4.50 francs per shirt. This is the exact reason why having a personal butler who picks up and drops off your laundry does not feel like a luxurious thing to do. In fact, it feels quite natural for our lifestyle as our butler helps us free up a ton of time. Instead of ironing shirts, I can now focus more on creating kick-ass content for Newly Swissed…
For comparison, Cosmobutler charges 4.90 francs per business shirt, plus a flat 8 francs for delivery. Prices for “wash & fold” laundry is a reasonable 7.90 francs/kg, again including delivery. The one time we tried the latter service, we were astonished: Our Cosmobutler Sebastian returned a bin containing neatly folded clothing pieces – down to the underwear. Check their fees for everything from B as in bath rugs to W as in wedding dresses.
And do I need to be home?
You can set your desired drop-off time in slots of two-hour windows. But there are times when we cannot personally welcome our butler, so we mention it on the order screen. Just like a mailman leaves your parcels, a Cosmobutler will deposit a box or hanger with all the fresh clothes in front of the door.
Cosmobutler is currently available in the vicinities of Bern, Winterthur, Zug, Zürich (soon: St. Gallen, Basel). Use coupon code fK375e to get 20 francs off your first order at Cosmobutler.