Indulge us for a minute and let’s talk dirty. Of course we mean let’s talk dirty laundry. Laundry strikes most as a necessary evil, and not even marginally interesting. It’s laundry after all; run something through hot or cold water, maybe air dry it, and you’re done. What else is there?
Hear us out: water-based technology makes the use-phase of a garment’s life the most resource-intense, surpassing resources needed to cultivate new raw materials. According to the University of California-Santa Barbara, laundry accounts for 64% of energy consumption and 76% of water consumption in the lifecycle of a poly-cotton t-shirt.
What if you didn’t need water to clean garments? What if you didn’t need to dry garments? After thousands of cycles in TERSUS, we’ve shown you don’t need water, you can (and should) use liquid carbon dioxide. We’ve also learned three more important things about laundry:
Laundry isn’t simply about deodorizing, it’s about functionality and longevity: consider for example, decontaminating a firefighter’s turnout kit after a fire. Laden with smoke, carcinogens, and other particulate, gear will trap those substances in the protective layers of fabric and prolong firefighter’s exposure to them. Without advanced and appropriate laundry, the protective equipment undermines the firefighter’s health.
Wastewater is just as important as freshwater: What is pulled off or out of your clothing goes back into your water system -- chemicals, microfibers, and other particulates. Water-based laundry systems just move dirt and particulates from one place to another.
Laundry represents the greatest, near-term opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of apparel: Many other Lifecycle Analyses (LCAs) indicate that the individual use/care phase of a garment’s life has the largest impact on water, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions. We can substantially impact these metrics by advocating for different approaches to laundry.
Selecting the right approach to laundry grants the opportunity to impact lives, businesses, and the planet. We think liquid carbon dioxide makes laundry a little bit more interesting, and lot less dirty.