We recently noticed an extremely interesting, concept portable washing machine from India. Concept washers are a dime a dozen, and most are not that well thought out. On the other hand, the Indra washing machine by Elodie Delassus appears to be a more serious effort. The basic premise (that labor is cheaper than using electricity and electric washers) makes a great deal of sense.
The machine also uses embers to heat the water, which is a clever idea as the cost of heating water is very expensive. It has a side compartment where embers can be loaded to heat the water. Another unique feature is a clay/coffee water filter, so the wash water can be reused.
The Indra uses a foot pedal design for washing and spin dryer, and has a 12 kg. washing capacity. It’s meant to reduce the amount of washing by hand that is normally done by the Dhobi (washer man).
While it’s a really neat idea and has a stylish design, there are naturally some potential obstacles:
- Who will buy them? Because by Indian standards, the machines are quite expensive. Also people who can afford them might buy a regular automatic washing machine instead. It doesn’t say how much they would cost, and who the potential buyers would be.
- The cost of labor is extremely low in India.