Recent design graduate Lisa Marie Bengtsson believes many of us wash our clothes far more often than is necessary. And she may well be correct. Certainly, we're generally brought up to believe that clothes need to be washed after being worn for a certain length of time, whether they're actually dirty or not. It's hard to argue against underwear and other garments that are in direct contact with our bodies being washed very regularly, but what about other garments that merely act as extra outer layers? Perhaps the Bye Bye Laundry clothes hanger is the answer.
Still just a concept, Bye Bye Laundry is a collection of clothes hangers designed to offer an alternative to washing. Bengtsson suggests that rather then needing to be washed in a machine, oftentimes clothes need nothing more than a good airing. And the Bye Bye Laundry hangers are designed to aid that natural process.
Each hanger consists of a wire hook attached to a wooden base that holds a glass chamber in place, as well as a ring for the clothes to actually hang on. Within the glass chamber is activated charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to create a highly porous material capable of absorbing odors from the clothes hanging underneath. A filter in the base allows the clothes to interact with the charcoal, thereby banishing any smells within a few days.
The hook is designed to fit on many different objects, including door handles, chairs, and windows, while the ring is designed to enable different garments to be hung in place – trousers can be folded and fed through the ring, while a shirt can be hung over it instead. The chamber is designed to allow the charcoal to be replaced as and when necessary.
As more of us become aware of the need to conserve natural resources, this kind of thinking should become more commonplace. Airing clothes rather than washing them is a very simple task we could all get used to, and by doing so it would save water and the energy needed to heat it. Even more so than owning a "waterless" washing machine could.
Bye Bye Laundry is presently just a concept, so it remains to be seen whether it makes the jump to commercial availability.