While it’s a normal part of our everyday lives, the simplicity of clean clothes and positive conversation can be life changing for people living on the streets.
It’s something best friends and Orange Sky Laundry founders, Nicholas Marchesi and Lucas Patchett discovered at a young age, and decided to do something about it.
The idea of laundering clothes for people ‘sleeping rough’ motivated them to approach laundry giants Richard Jay Laundry Matters about sponsoring two washers and dryers to put onboard their humble van ‘Sudzie’, to service the homeless population of Brisbane.
What seemed as a naïve idea at the time led to them creating one of Australia’s most influential homeless charities.
Visiting Ipswich Girls Grammar for the final ‘Inspiring Leaders’ breakfast of 2017, the pair told how Orange Sky Laundry have now assisted with 300,000kg of laundry being washed, at no charge, and how this has fostered more than 100,000 hours of genuine, non-judgemental conversation.
During the breakfast at IGGS, Nicholas and Lucas urged the audience to consider that their simplest of ideas can have an enormous impact.
“Everyone has ideas, a lot of people have really good ideas but they never put them into action,” Lucas said.
“It’s about finding simple ways to put your ideas into action – testing it in the market whether it’s in the charity space or the entrepreneurial space, it’s just about taking that first step.
“Whatever your idea is, you’ve got to be passionate about it, else you’re not going to have the follow through to make it happen.”
With an audience of mostly senior students from IGGS, IGS, St Mary’s College, Bremer State High School and Ipswich State High School, Nicholas and Lucas’ discussion on social entrepreneurship and ideation were crucial, as the cohort prepares for graduation and entering ‘the real world’ at the end of this month.
IGGS Head Girl Samantha Walsh said the speech was a timely reminder that although they are young, they can make a positive impact amongst the community.
“We’re all so privileged to go to such incredible schools but some people aren’t as fortunate as us, so just knowing that there are people that always do need help, and that we have the power to give that help, is so important to hear, especially for young people like us,” Samantha said.
Now in it’s third year of operation, Orange Sky Laundry have expanded to 20 services across Australia. In 2016, Orange Sky Showers was launched meaning specific shower vans and hybrid vans (showers, washing machines and dryers) were added to their fleet.
The pair’s laundry concept is also about to go global, with a rollout planned for the United States and New Zealand in the near future.
If you are interested in learning more about Orange Sky Laundry and the great work they do, visit www.orangeskylaundry.com.au.