Dry Wash in Brazil

In this episode, we share the highlights of our trip to Brazil where we met the founders of Lavanderia, a company who’s business model enables consumers to avoid washing their clothes at home and instead take them to their local Dry Wash branch. This approach is an important way to reduce water use as well as pollution caused by washing machines at home.

This is especially important for lower-income households, which tend to use less efficient commercial top-loading washing machines that can use up to 72% more water than traditional domestic washers. Consumers can see the water being added to their machines and can visualise the waste that is generated, making them more aware of resource implications of their laundry habits. In contrast, in our UK research participants had no clear understanding of the resource impact of their washing machine, which was often installed into their plumbing system and used for laundry only, and many lived in rented accommodation and were detached from the buying decision.

Beyond Water: The Advantages of Dry Wash in Brazil

Our visit to the Dry Wash franchises also allowed us to better understand how a typical Brazilian keratin treatment (BKT) is applied to the hair and the process behind it. Traditionally, BKT was done with formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde, but the latest products use methilene glycol or glyoxylic acid that release fewer toxic fumes. This is a more sustainable alternative to traditional hair relaxers, and can help make the hair more durable as well as easier to style.