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Daylesford Organic takes a fresh approach to laundry with new Miele equipment powered by biomass

The Bamford family has been farming organically for over 45 years, first in Staffordshire and then the Cotswolds. 20 years ago, the team opened its first farm shop, and since then, the Daylesford Organic site has expanded to incorporate a spa, holiday cottages, and a cookery school.

Sustainability is at the heart of Daylesford, and the business has set itself challenging targets to reduce its impact on the environment across areas including packaging, energy use, engagement with the local community, and partnering with sustainable suppliers. As well as over 2000 solar panels, Daylesford Organic has also installed a 910-kilowatt biomass boiler, which burns locally sourced wood chips to fulfil the farm site’s heat requirements.

Scaling up

Initially Daylesford had laundries across two different sites, equipped with several small Miele machines, and the team outsourced the majority of the linen from its holiday cottages. However, as the business continued to grow, the on-premise provision struggled to keep up with demand.

Will Dennis, Head of Sustainability at Daylesford, commented, “Every single part of our business, from our kitchens through to our spa and our holiday cottages, produces laundry in some form. It’s important for us that every single customer experiences the same high standard when they come to Daylesford, whether that’s having their meal cooked by a chef in pressed whites or visiting our spa with a lovely clean bath towel and robe.”

The team wanted to bring all the laundry in-house and into one unit so they could more easily manage quality standards while saving on costs and cutting transport emissions. In line with the business’ core values, it was key that the new laundry solution was as sustainable as possible and capitalised on the energy produced from the biomass boiler.

The solution also needed to be reliable and durable enough to help Daylesford get through the 1000kg of washing generated each day and operate non-stop between the hours of 6am and 10pm. As well as being able to turn around large volumes of laundry, the team also needed to be able to rely on the equipment to deliver the consistently high standards expected by their guests.

Will commented, “Most people think that sustainability and luxury can’t coexist, but we disagree. If we can provide both by producing laundry to a very high standard in a sustainable way, using renewable energy sources like biomass, our customers can enjoy their time at Daylesford without worrying about the environmental impact.”

Seeking a sustainable solution

Daylesford had been using Miele machines, supplied and maintained through approved partner, Gillman’s, for over 15 years. So, when it came to expanding the laundry, the decision to work with Miele and Gillman’s again was an easy one for Will; “We like to work with businesses and suppliers that have similar mindsets in the way they approach business and sustainability. We’ve been using Miele for 15 years it was important to us to keep that legacy alive, not only because of the aftercare we’ve been shown, but also because of its advancing technology, focus on developing more eco-friendly models, and the ability to connect the machines to our biomass boiler.”

To process the volume of laundry produced at Daylesford Organic each day, Gillman’s recommended 2 x 32kg washing machines, 2 x 24kg washing machines, and 4 x 32kg tumble dryers, two of which were the new Benchmark PDR944 vented dryers, which recycle pre-heated process air and boast low energy consumption.

However, connecting the laundry equipment to Daylesford’s biomass boiler was unchartered territory.

Jamie Baron, commercial sales manager at Gillman’s, commented, “Integrating the biomass boiler was an education for us all. We liaised with the mechanical and electrical teams, the architect, and biomass specialists to come up with a solution that would work both now and years down the line. The by-product from the biomass system is hot water, which is channelled into the laundry and used to power the hot water dryers, saving on electricity. It was an incredibly important and exciting project to be a part of, as well as rewarding to work with a local, long-term customer that upholds the same family business values as we do at Gillman’s.”

The team at Daylesford found the installation process straightforward, and with specialists from Miele and Gillman’s on site to help, the project completed in just a couple of days.

Reaping the benefits

Since the installation, the team at Daylesford is better equipped to cope with demand. Charlotte Bloor, Assistant Facilities Manager at Daylesford commented, “The capacity provided by the Miele machines means we can get through so much more. We’re able to stay on top of our laundry, which is key as we continue to grow as a business.

“The machines are incredibly user-friendly, and the new additions, like the touchscreen language settings, are incredibly useful for our international laundry employees.”

Other features of the new machines also lend themselves well to Daylesford’s sustainability commitment. The washing machines feature a honeycomb drum, which takes gentle care of fabrics and ensures they last longer and don’t have to be replaced as often, resulting in less waste to landfill. The machines have a range of specialist programmes tailored to different items, which optimise the spin speed and moisture levels to deliver the best result and reduce the amount of time the items need to spend in the tumble dryer, ultimately improving productivity and energy efficiency. The washing machines also feature an automatic dosing system which ensures only the necessary amount of detergent is added to each cycle, preventing unnecessary overuse of washing chemicals.

Will commented, “The aftercare service provided by Gillman’s is exceptional. They’re always on hand to help should we need them, and they really look after their employees. We’re working with the same engineers as when we first started using Miele machines 15 years ago!”