A new device that washes clothes with recycled shower water provides a cost-effective alternative to a washing machine
The average washing machine uses between 50 and 80 litres of water – in a world where over two billion people live in countries where water supply is inadequate.
To tackle this, Lylo Products has developed a device that allows users to wash their laundry using less water than a normal washing machine. Water is collected in a removable water tank that is placed on the floor of a shower like a mat. As the user showers, this tank fills up and is then reattached to the device’s base. The machine then filters the water and uses it to wash dirty clothes.
Lylo co-founder Joanne Powers explains that she was inspired to found the company after learning the shocking statistic that England could run short of water within 25 years. One of the key benefits of Lylo is as an educational tool. “When people are using a device that collects and reuses water they suddenly start realising that water re-use is a possibility and is actually safe,” Powers explains. In this way the hope is that Lylo will act as a catalyst, inspiring other hardware innovators to explore ways for re-using water.
Affordability is another of the startup’s main aims. Students are a key target market for Lylo, as on-campus launderette facilities are often very expensive for those living on a tight budget. Eventually Powers hopes to develop a product that could be used in student accommodation – putting the responsibility for water saving onto universities rather than individual consumers. The company’s short-term roadmap is to build a small number of units for pilot testing by the end of 2022. The purpose of this testing will be to check whether a device that involves such a lifestyle change is comfortable for people, and whether any further tweaks are needed before it goes into commercial manufacturing.