HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Sometimes highlighting coin-op’s unconventional side takes you off the grid. Like my recent journey to the Amazon. No, not the river — the Amazon — e-commerce’s way to all things Laundromat.
Seeing the industry from the perspective of a shopping cart rather than a laundry cart offers a glimpse into our culture’s fascination with that oh-so-public place to get your clean on.
Tapping the keystrokes l-a-u-n-d-r-o-m-a-t, the computer screen is awash with results showcasing a dizzying array of laundro-centric finds ready to be packaged and shipped right to your front door.
We’re not talking mesh laundry bags and electric coin sorters here. No, these discoveries are out of the box, going beyond a coin-op’s four walls.
From imported woolens to knock-your-socks-off art and everything in between, when it comes to the Laundromat on Amazon, they keep the lights on round-the-clock so everyone can spend some coin.
The online platform involves a variety of sellers vying for the buy box, so you might want to check the websites of first-party manufacturers before checking out. And take note that this article is for informational purposes only—no product promotion is made or implied.
WASH AND WEAR
Dominating the search results is clothier Laundromat, a Canadian manufacturer of fine woolens with a brand name that is sure to give store operators a warm and fuzzy feeling.
The Laundromat Men’s Oxford sweater, featuring faux-suede patchwork detailing on the shoulders and elbows, will turn heads at the distributor parts counter or during a weekly Home Depot run. The garment is part of a wide selection bearing the Laundromat name, which also includes ladies sweaters and accessories designed to weather the elements when it’s time to hit the store.
While there’s no giant Laverne-style cursive “L” embroidery — and picking out the stitched label requires a trained eye — Laundromat proudly trumpets a name that all too often has been put through the wringer. For company owner Francis Dubé, the moniker was the perfect vehicle to market his line of knitwear.
As a university student, Dubé stood guard as he laundered garments in public facilities, ensuring his fashionable wardrobe never walked out with strangers. Laundromat would come to symbolize the love and protection people accord clothing, something the Canadian manufacturer weaves into each item.
A complete selection of the latest styles along with bargain closeouts can be found at the clothier’s own website, laundromatstuff.com.
Novelty tees and sweatshirts have long put the Laundromat theme front and center. Amazon’s online offerings by My Family Tee add some love in big bold letters by announcing to the world, “Some call me laundromat operator, the most important call me dad.”
CHECK THESE OUT
Filling an online cart is as easy as a rolling one, and costs about the same. E-tailer Nana the Noodle is ready to decorate those who keep the joint running with a unisex aluminum bracelet hand-stamped with “#1 Laundromat Manager” and priced at $25.
For a few dollars less, there’s a Laundromat-inspired cherrywood tie bar sporting a laser-engraved washer symbol to complete the look of the most dapper coin-op exec. The designer, Wooden Accessories Company, also sells a $15 lapel pin it says is “perfect as a wedding gift, gift for dad, groomsmen gifts, or just an amazing conversation starter.”
Scrolling down, you won’t break the $15 mark picking up either the “I Kissed a Laundromat Operator and Liked It!” pop socket smartphone grip or matching case. The same holds true for the novelty “man cave” aluminum sign warning, “Laundromat Parking Only — Violators Will be Spun Dry.”
The creative team at Westlake Art offers up a gallery of Laundromat scenes on Amazon to dress up walls or anywhere the scene calls for an unorthodox look at one of life’s mundane chores.
Available in stretched canvas, hanging tapestry, poster print and other formats, the visual works employ the coin laundry’s sleek lines and monochromatic machinery as the perfect backdrop for capturing stunning models striking a pose or showing off their physical dexterity.
Amazon also offers a glimpse of the Laundromat through the eyes of fashion photographer William Dey, whose Lonesome Launderer limited edition portrait delivers a storefront peek of a bronzed California male model slipping off his pink pants to reveal Gucci floral underwear in front of the Horizons at a Palm Springs coin-op. The 2017 work, measuring 18-by-22 inches with borders, carries a $325 price tag.
Check back Thursday for the conclusion!
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].