Dinobi Detergent – a Chicago-based, Black-owned, plant-based laundry product brand – has announced the opening of its new creative pop-up laundromat concept, Dirty Laundry, which is set to open in Hyde Park this summer. Located at 5230 S. Harper Avenue, the new business will open in the former Launder Koin space. The newly renovated 2,354 sq ft laundromat features 37 coin-operated washers and dryers, with wash & fold service daily from 9 am-7 pm. Dirty Laundry will feature weekly arts & entertainment programming including DJ sets, live music performances and podcast recordings, and creative maker workshops including plant care and repotting, natural clothing dyes, paint & sip, storytelling nights, and kid-friendly events.
Dinobi Detergent Founders Augie and Sylvia Emuwa, who have been married 12 years and raise four children together on the South Side, created the collection of eco-friendly detergent and moisturizing dish soaps after noticing skin sensitivities resulting from regular detergents they were using at home. Since launching Dinobi Detergent in 2019, the brand has evolved its mission to produce high-quality, plant-based detergents made with four simple ingredients — water, plant-based surfactants, vegetable-derived fatty alcohol, and essential oils. It doubles as a spot treatment, an ammonia bouncer for cloth diapers, and is strong enough to tackle athletic wear yet gentle enough to clean baby clothing and bedding without worrying about irritation. It’s cruelty-free and can even be used on pet bedding and clothing.
The company is a 2019 alum of the Small Business Growth Program at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and won the South Side Pitch, a competition for local entrepreneurs hosted by the Polsky Center and the Institute for Justice’s Clinic for Entrepreneurship the same year.
“We are thrilled to bring this creative vision to life on the South Side,” says Augie Emuwa, co-founder of Dinobi. “This new chapter directly reflects our desire as a couple and brand to make a direct impact on our community by changing the way we think about taking care of ourselves. This is more than just about washing clothes, it’s about knowing that our skin deserves the best and cleaning with toxin-free products is a great way to show up for ourselves daily.”
Dirty Laundry puts a spin on the typical brick-and-mortar coin laundry business in Chicago. The concierge-like experience provides premium products, featuring Dinobi’s 100% plant-based formulation. It’s an everyday space that is true to the brand’s core values – functional, efficient, engaging, eco-conscious, and inspiring. Customers can anticipate a lively, social setting featuring Dinobi retail products and curated items to make laundry a fun experience versus a chore.
The soft opening date is set for Saturday, June 3, 2023. A drumming circle will be there to ceremoniously open the space for those coming in to wash and dry clothes as well as drop off loads for wash & fold services. A grand opening is planned for later in the month on Saturday, June 24.
“After a few years learning and growing through the process of wholesaling our product, we are staying consistent with our message that we make precious ingredients for precious skin,” says Sylvia Emuwa, co-founder of Dinobi. “Our goal is to find creative ways to engage and educate people on the multiple benefits of using Dinobi, not only to feel good about saving the planet but also their precious skin.”