Sara Bernardi, co-founder of Italian brand Foxydry, explains to Amelia Thorpe how ceiling- and wall-mounted heated drying racks offer an opportunity for KBB retailers.
Rising energy prices are making consumers look beyond the tumble dryer for other solutions to drying the laundry load. Heated clothes airers and pods are now offered by most leading home solution retailers, such as Lakeland, Dunelm and John Lewis, while influencers on Instagram – from @mrsmummypennyuk to @lauracleanaholic – extol their virtues, and Lynsey Crombie, aka Queen of Clean, devoted a whole segment on a recent episode of ITV’s This Morning to the topic.
Which makes the UK market ripe for products by Italian brand Foxydry, says co-founder and business development manager Sara Bernardi, and an opportunity for KBB retailers wanting to specify them in their designs. "The UK is one of the key countries in Foxydry’s growth strategy," she says. Founded in 2015, the company offers 8 models of steel and aluminium drying racks, with remote-controlled and heated options – which are ideal, says Bernardi, for utility rooms, kitchens and indeed anywhere customers want to dry their laundry. Unlike other heated clothes airers on the market, Foxydry products are designed to be space-saving, hung from the ceiling or wall.
It all started from personal experience. "In the apartment where my husband, Luca, and I lived, the presence of the clothes line became increasingly annoying and cumbersome," says Bernardi. "One day, it ended up on the kitchen table in order to free up the floor." Their experience made them realise that others might be experiencing a similar challenge. "This is how the first true space-saving remote controlled clothes line, Foxydry Air, was born," she explains.
This ceiling drying rack is now joined by a heated version, the new Foxydry Pro, which also features remote control and can hold up to 35Kg of laundry. Foxydry Pro, says Bernardi, is designed to consumer "very little energy" – its 2 ventilation fans emit room temperature air and warm air, switching off automatically after 3 hours to prevent energy wastage. The range also includes mini, wall-mounted and folding models, all made in Treviso, Italy.
Currently, products are sold through the Foxydry website and online marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay and Wayfair. "Now an increasing number of architects and interior designers are turning to Foxydry because they want to incorporate a space-saving, smart and modern clothes line into their projects," says Bernardi.
The brand is now focusing on building relationships with the A+D community and KBB retailers, with price lists reserved for resellers to allow for profit margins. "In the near future, we will launch a dedicated platform for professionals, where we will provide technical data sheets, 3D models and other useful tools to simplify their design work," she adds.
In the last year, the brand has launched 3 new models, including the completely retractable Foxydry Hide, plus Vivo ironing boards, with a heated surface and suction and blowing functions "for faster and less strenuous ironing". Says Bernardi, "For the coming year, there will be more significant innovations to expand the Foxydry offering."