Meet the cleaners who care

Meet the North East Laundry and Dry Cleaning company that wants to change the way you wash your clothes and do business.

Claire Heathcote

We recently caught up with Claire Heathcote, Managing Director of Cleaners for Causes, former Solicitor and mum of two, to find out more.

Since the launch of Cleaners for Causes back in 2009 I’ve had the privilege to not only clean thousands of collars and cuffs, but also of meeting some truly inspirational people; and essentially people is what it’s all about. I’d reached the age and stage in life when I’d started to ponder life’s big questions.  What’s it all about?  How do we find more meaning and purpose?  For me, the way forward was to take what resources I had, some creative thinking and a leap of faith – all placed in the mix with the aim of being able to make a difference. Married to one of the laundry and dry cleaning industry’s most experienced operators in the region, what I could harness was the wealth of knowledge, skill and experience he has.

 

And so it was, born out of industry expertise and a keen interest in social responsibility, Cleaners for Causes began, with the commitment to donate 15% of every penny spent on laundry and dry cleaning, to one of the charities we support.

In those early days our business was accessed primarily through the high street charity shops of the causes which we support. That in itself was a rather radical move in an industry that’s quite traditional.  Thankfully the idea was well received.  If you have preconceived ideas about charity shops from a visit you may have made ten years ago, then it’s time to check one out. They’ve changed.  Wipe those ideas of jumble sale meets church fair from your mind!  By and large charity shops today are clean, well presented and well managed.

Over time the business has grown – grown in consequence of its own success and also in response to changing consumer habits. I can’t think of a time when people have been more focused on leisure, recreation, family and friends.  We’re all looking for an easy life, to make more time for what’s really important to us.  That’s why you can now book a slot on our website to have your laundry or dry cleaning collected from your home or place of work.  It’s really simple – just the same as making an online grocery shop – put in your postcode, choose your pickup and return slots, select items for cleaning and pay.

To date we’ve raised in excess of £35,000 for the local charities we support – and that amount rises daily thanks to the support of our fantastic customers.

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I’m delighted that we’ve managed to take a traditional business and mould it into something that’s a bit different, something new. People quite rightly want more these days; convenience, quality service, great value and a conscience.  We have that winning formula!  But seriously, one question I do regularly ask myself is, why are there so few businesses that operate this model?  How can more businesses adapt the way they think and operate to contribute to their local community?  One of my proudest moments was when a local decroating business told me that they had adopted an ongoing direct commitment to a local charity – inspired by Cleaners for Causes.  There’s just one thing better than operating a successful business with my vision, and that’s inspiring others to do the same.  For anyone thinking of how to incorporate greater social responsibility into thier business, I’d unreservedly recommend looking at the work of Roger Steare, also known as the Corporate Philosopher – someone else I was introduced to in consequence of our business model.

You can find out all about our high street presence, online ordering, specialist wedding dress cleaning and workshirt laundering service through our website.

To book online and make a donation to Willow Burn Hospice click here

Make a difference. Choose Cleaners for Causes.  Dry Clean and Donate.  

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www.cleanersforcauses.com

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