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After announcing a massive recall of all of their offerings last fall due to “the potential presence of elevated levels of bacteria” in some of the products, The Laundress is officially relaunching their laundry products. The brand is back with a more streamlined core collection that boasts some of the fragrances you know, love, and probably missed — only in higher-concentrated formulations manufactured in an entirely new facility with increased safety measures in place.
The brand worked for six months to get back up and running, and did research and development into things like putting safety first, starting small with their lineup for quality control, and gradually ramping back up more solutions, fragrances, and products over time. Increased transparency is at the forefront of what the company aims to do going forward, both in terms of the formulas and their manufacturing.
“We have moved production to a new manufacturer and have meticulously ensured that products produced at this manufacturer meet our highest expectations,” says Clemens Herrmann, CEO of The Laundress, which is owned by Unilever. “We’ve also been able to establish new testing procedures that exceed U.S. industry standards, which is giving us extraordinary confidence in the safety of our new products.” Part of this process, according to Herrmann, includes rigorously vetting ingredients and suppliers as well as testing every production batch and not releasing it for sale until it’s been confirmed to be bacteria-free.
The relaunch offerings are small, and don’t include fan faves like Le Labo’s “Santal 33” or John Mayer’s “Way Out West” as scent options just yet. But stans of the brand’s “Classic” fragrance (think notes of lime, lily of the valley, and sandalwood) will be happy — it’s back across the Signature Detergent and Fabric Conditioner offerings, the former reformulated to better tackle stains and optimized for potential cold water usage while the latter was upsized to 32 ounces per customer request.
Upon receiving a set of the new products to try out, I noticed that they appeared noticeably less viscous than the brand’s past detergents (and translucent with a slight yellow cast versus an opaque white), and that’s intentional. The brand had received feedback from customers on the messiness of dosing, so part of the reformulation targeted their texture, making it a little bit thinner and much clearer to avoid leaving residue on the measuring cup (and letting that product essentially go to waste).
I tried the Signature Detergent this past weekend, and have to say, the brand seems to have picked up where they last left off scent- and cleaning-power-wise, and improved a few pain points around usage, most noticeably in terms of the viscosity.
If you’ve jumped to another detergent since The Laundress left the chat last fall and haven’t been totally satisfied with its replacement, the relaunch is at least worth checking out. The brand’s formulas always felt gentler and fit for those pieces that you want to baby a bit more than your everyday towels and T-shirts to really make them last, and that still appears to be the case.