Cycle x Tide

by Eleanor Blum

Doing laundry is terrible. Studies have found that it’s one of the most hated chores, with the average urbanite spending 10 hours a week on washing clothes alone.  36% of millenials have a gym membership: being active matters to the modern day working person. We sought to make working out as accessible as possible for a busy millennial, who is known to value their time more than money. In comes CYCLE, a partnership with boutique spinning studio SoulCycle (but scalable to any other type of studio like Barry’s Bootcamp, Everybody Fights, or CorePower, for example). 

The motivation to exercise is there, but having clean clothes is a barrier. Say a person wants to hit the gym after work but doesn’t have time to go home and get a change of clothes. Or someone might only have a few pairs of workout clothes but wants to train for an upcoming race. CYCLE ensures that every day, there’s a freshly laundered set of clothes ready to go when you are. 

Each CYCLE user fills out a tag explaining any laundry quirks like hang-to-dry clothes. After their workout, they leave their clothes in a mesh bag that is picked up at 3 intervals: morning, midday, and night. All clothes are delivered back to the studio before the next day’s first class, making sure that there’s always a fresh set. CYCLE thrives on increasing accessibility to exercise, using Fogg’s model.  CYCLE packages are an easy add on to package purchase options that already exist. A wash costs as little as $5/load, for a class where the price-per-class can be as high as $30.

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Tobias Haefele March 2, 2020 - 3:41 pm

I like this idea a lot. To me, it seems like a “logical” extension of free towels etc. in gyms, so one does not have to carry around damp towels – not carrying around sweaty clothes seems like a great extension of that.
I wonder whether you have thought of people using different gyms? To me, there seems a potential problem when you leave your clothes at the gym, and then another day you want this set of clothes for another activity. Is there a way of just collecting them, perhaps even over night or early in the morning? This could be something to look into.

Donagh Mahon March 2, 2020 - 3:44 pm

One of my favourite things about being on a team at Harvard is the laundry management system centered on the locker room. I workout a put my sweaty clothes on a laundry loop and toss them into the laundry basket. I come in the next day and there they are washed and dried hanging up in the locker room. I am DREADING not having this luxury after I graduate. I think that if executed in a similarly seamless fashion, your idea would be a massssssive hit purely for the way it makes me have to do less laundry. I can imagine this also being a workout motivator for people as it makes you feel like a professional athlete.

Marisa Trapani March 2, 2020 - 4:21 pm

I think this is a super desirable product & you all have done a great job applying Fogg & Cialdini’s principles to further luxuriate the luxury market … an interesting question though, is could this idea be extended beyond the luxury market? Is there an existing laundry service which partners with non-bougie exercise chains/gyms to take care of members’ laundry? This brings up questions of how to keep such a service low cost, sustainable, etc. but if solved, I think it could be a hugely popular larger company. But this would also be an extremely successful luxury product, no doubt.

Emily Koch March 2, 2020 - 6:04 pm

Great job integrating two spheres of life that are hard to get done! I would love to see a platform like this in real life and think that there is a significant market for this combination of ideas. I would be interested to see how you all would combine with different workout platforms like Class Pass that are app/mobile based. Also think you should target major cities like NYC because I know most people in major urban areas do not often have in-unit laundry, so this service may be more desirable to them. I think you target ability theory very well and overall, I think Cycle x Tide is a fantastic idea. Great work!

Wendy Yu March 2, 2020 - 6:55 pm

I’m not a SoulCycle user, but I can definitely see how laundry would decrease a person’s ability (or motivation) to make their way to SoulCycle. I think the system you guys have a fantastic – on the flip side, you could also consider on-site clothing rental (general items such a t-shirts and shorts) for customers who might have forgotten to do their laundry but also didn’t leave a load with SoulCycle and still want to make it to class.

Kongyun He March 2, 2020 - 7:16 pm

I think there’ll be a lot of potential customers if every gym has similar services like this. It resolves the pain points for people who work out regularly but only have a few sets of workout clothes. And overall it just makes doing laundry easier by incorporating it into part of the routine. This will be good for a subscription service i.e. 4 washes/mo or unlimited washes/mo to cater to different needs.

Nynika Jhaveri March 2, 2020 - 8:09 pm

I really like the specificity of this idea as it effectively solves a real problem that exists for its selected user group. Given that soul cycle has an app – it would be nice to see a “Laundry” section on it that sends you an update when your laundry is ready encouraging you to maybe even go to a class sooner than you had planned (making soul cycle visits more frequent). I do think that $5/load is a bit expensive given that if you went to 3 classes/week, that’s $15 to only wash a pair of clothes! Assuming each Soul Cycle outlet would have commercial sized machines (washing almost 5 cubic ft!) running throughout the day– I think you could get away with charging way less maybe $1.50/session encouraging the service to be used more frequently.

Margaret Sun March 2, 2020 - 10:15 pm

This is such a fascinating idea that kind of reminded me of HSA Cleaners! I love that you have a very specific audience (upper middle class gym frequenters). I wonder if it’s possible to think of ways to automate portions of this process, as well as address any environmental concerns. This might be a bit too futuristic, but in hotels in China, there are delivery robots that automatically come to pick up or send food orders to clients (the rationale for doing this is to save time for delivery workers during last-mile delivery, and energy in elevators by consolidating orders in a single robot). Since CYCLE x Tide has built infrastructure with partner studios, maybe having a pre-programmed automation step would lessen the load on workers implementing this idea. I also wonder if there’s a way to program the washing machines themselves to be the most energy-efficient, minimize water waste, and avoid damaging the clothes themselves. We mentioned in class that this is a more high end service, and that might give it space to innovate with the physical technology allowing CYCLE x Tide to work.

Anthony DeNitto March 2, 2020 - 11:40 pm

As a student-athlete, all of my athletic clothes are washed for me over night and it lifts such a burden of my shoulders. To be able to come to practice, put on clean workout clothes, shower and then leave in my normal clothes is a huge time and effort saving function. This is a brilliant idea and the market definitely would pay for it.

Sally O'Keeffe March 3, 2020 - 4:16 am

While I am not the target audience as I’ve literally never gone to a SoulCyle class and don’t really go to paid classes, I’m obsessed with this idea!!!! I think it’s totally fair to assume someone paying 30$ for a class wouldn’t mind paying 5$ extra for the convenience of laundry. I also see it as a motivator to come to class to pick up your clothes but maybe also an encouragement to stick with SoulCyle as a gym. If/ when it expands to other gyms, I can see it creating a sense of loyalty to whatever gym offers this service at a reasonable price. I really see this as furthering the holistic gym experience in a positive way.

Jing Chang March 4, 2020 - 1:44 am

This is a very considerate and thoughtful service and I personally would very much like to try. The website is very nicely done and it’s visually clear. I would suggest also design to let the users choose their delivery time based on their own schedules.
Besides the design of the user interface, I would suggest to maybe also design the interface of the people who run this service, how they get the laundry pick-up locations and bags.

Adam Gordon March 4, 2020 - 1:44 am

One of the perks I take for granted as a student athlete is the athletic gear laundry service. It’s incredibly convenient to have your clean clothes ready to go for you. When I worked in DC over the summer, I had a hard time being motivated to using the office building’s gym. A service like Cycle x Tide would be extremely beneficial to all parties involved. I use a peloton back home, and if I could go to a Soulcycle gym, and have clean clothes ready for me, I would definitely take a look into this service.

Ying Zhang March 4, 2020 - 3:37 am

This idea is really novel and it hits the pain point of the gym people. The cooperation with the Tide is also very innovative and will certainly build up the authority of this design. One thing that I am a little concerned about is that the clothes that need to wash every time may not be many and comparatively the cost might seem a little bit high.

Annabelle Paterson March 4, 2020 - 3:08 pm

I love this!! I need this as I HATE doing my laundry! This could be expanded to something else for people that don’t work out as well? Like doing schoolwork or in an office building.

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