Can renting a washing machine help combat cheap appliances?
Any grandparent will tell you today’s appliances are junky pieces o’ shit that don’t last NEARLY as long as they used to. And the cheapness of it all costs us: “A high-end [washing machine] hurts at checkout time, yet could produce up to five times more washes over its lifetime, according to one analysis,” writes Fast Company.
Bundles, a new washing machine rental service in the Netherlands, aims to change that by giving people access to high-quality washers.
If you don’t have $1,800 to plunk down for a new Miele WKG 120 WCS washing machine — and who does? — you can use one in your own home for about $26 a month. (No contract and no trips to the laundromat; score!) That fee covers 15 loads of laundry, or you can pay an extra $5 to double your washes.
A Bundles rep delivers and installs the washing machine, which is fitted with a smart plug that measures how many loads of laundry you do and if the machine needs a tune-up. Bundle also recommends ways to save energy and refunds up to three unused wash cycles a month. From Fast Company:
[Founder Marcel] Peters says subscribing to the service is only marginally more expensive than buying the model yourself … It’s also a lot cheaper than leasing to buy, which could come in at double the starting price once the contract is up, he says …
Because Peters takes back the machines when people are finished with them, he can ensure they’re reused or disposed of properly. Ultimately, the aim is to create a circular loop that encourages people to buy better washing machines and to create washing machines that are better for recycling.
Cool, right? Maybe cheap fashion and other industries could be disrupted the same way.