Coen Vermeer and Kathak Mehta are the founders of gentlewasher MONONO. Vermeer has had a strong passion for building things since he was a kid. What initially sparked the idea for the gentlewasher was a TED Talk he watched in college by Hans Rosling about the energy challenges of the world today. The talk explained the way washing machines use electricity, but also the way they can impact the empowerment of women. “That inspired me to create a sustainable and time saving solution in the washing space,” says Vermeer.
Basically, normal washing machines use lots of fossil fuel supplied energy to continually run. This emits around 160 pounds of greenhouse gases each year per machine. In regards to water usage, washing machines rank just under toilets in the list of highest water users in the home with 14 percent water use. Washing machines, as we know, can ruin our clothing and there’s no avoiding it, especially with delicates. They need a gentler way of becoming clean.
Most people do prefer to steer away from normal washing machines to avoid risk of ruining the items. Of course dry cleaning is an option, but an expensive option and handwashing is just plain time consuming. “We saw that the market was crying out for a gentlewasher,” says Vermeer. A machine dedicated to taking care of both your delicate clothing and the environment.
Kathak and Coen wanted to solve the issues regular washing machines were creating and thus the MONONO gentle washer was invented and launched in October 2016 in Ahmedabad. The name MONONO is inspired by Japanese language and means empathy for things. Such a beautiful meaning for a machine cleverly and carefully designed to make washing fast, easy, sustainable and effortless.
The gentlewasher requires no electricity and minimal water to wash your jumpers, lingerie, baby clothes, gym outfits and more delicates with extreme care. The portable washer is 50-100% more efficient than any regular washing machine. A full load of washing (2.5 – 3 kilograms), requires zero electricity, only 18 liters of water, a maximum of half a teaspoon of washing powder and five minutes of your time.
The honeycomb shaped drum profiles assist the washing of your delicates by constructing a multidirectional flow of water. Garments float when they are being tumbled because of the added layer of water the drum profiles create, which protects the clothes being washed. The sustainable Dutch-Indian invention washes and cleans clothes deeply but carefully as the drum can be rotated at whatever speed the user feels is necessary. Water is also saved because it is used effectively as it only takes 5 minutes to wash a full 3 kilogram load (the equivalent to 12 t-shirts).
“Instead of brushing the delicate clothes piece by piece, the Gentlewasher takes care of 8 kurtas/shirts in less than five minutes. It is extremely easy to use, durable and requires zero maintenance. It is a washing device specifically designed for delicate clothes that require personal attention. Its patented drum profile is designed to preserve fabrics, so that those delicate clothes will stay intact wash after wash,” Mehta tells Your Story.
The MONONO gentlewasher is perfect for gym junkies, camping and RV aficionados, new mothers and fathers, those living in small apartments and any other lifestyle you can think of. The gentle washer is suited to many individual ways of life. Aimed particularly at fashion conscious people who care a great deal for both their clothing and the environment. The gentlewasher will preserve the life of your clothing to allow you to enjoy your most loved clothing items for longer.
The gentle washer is currently available for international sale on Indiegogo marketplace for $299 USD.