The Waterless Washing Company: Gentle and Sustainable Laundry

Industrial Design Student 2020

Alexander Dallman-Porter
Royal College of Art / Service Design

The Waterless Washing Company was borne out of the group project model that makes up about 1/3 of the second year of my Industrial Design Engineering Master’s course taught at Imperial College and the RCA. Like the rest of my group mates, I have a strong interest in projects that can protect our environment and so when it came to deciding on a topic for the project, we naturally gravitated to a number of problems surrounding sustainability. We began focussing on the fashion industry because the incredible toll it takes on our planet, and that fact that that still comes as a surprise to so many people. We recognised however that we were far from the first designers to tackle this problem and as such, wanted to find a unique angle. This led us to refine our area of interest to the use phases of clothing, a phase that we discovered had an equal or even greater environmental impact than clothing production or disposal, but was seemingly allocated far less resource. Quickly realising that washing was the primary source of environmental damage in this phase, we set about finding a way to make the process more sustainable, eventually resulting in the development of our novel Waterless Washing process.

Unlike most recipients of the Industrial Design studentship, I applied in my second year of study at IDE, so my main motivation for applying came from the recommendation of other members of my cohort, like Max who of course eventually also became my groupmate on the Waterless Wash. The funding has allowed me to move out of my parents’ place, which has given me much more freedom and massively improved my workflow. A bit of an unexpected benefit has been becoming part of the awesome 1851 network, which has given me really helpful connections as well as more opportunities to publicise my work.

This presentation was recorded in conjunction with our 1851 Virtual Alumni Science Evening 2021