With Monono, the idea was to revolutionise the way people wash their clothes with a washer that works without electricity, uses lesser water, is quick as well as easy to use and is gentle on clothes. The project started with a good friend: Coen Vermeer, coming to India and helping the vast majority of poor with a laundry assistant as well as making a good business out of it. He and his team had done some preliminary prototypes to test the quality of a hand wash using a manual rotary drum that became a very good starting point for us.
This took a lot of research and ergonomic studies with different physical functional mock ups to identify the overall size and proportions of the product; keeping in mind the sitting posture of the women who wash clothes. the shape was modified to enable users to rest their knees and feet on the washer while using it. The functioning of the wash drum and its cavities was tested and enhanced to ensure water didn’t spill while washing and a handle lock was added to prevent accidental movement.
Finally the product was created which requires no electricity and minimal water to wash delicates with extreme care. The portable washer is 50-100% more efficient than any regular washing machine. A full load of washing (2.5-3 kilograms), requires zero electricity, only 18 liters of water, a maximum of half a teaspoon of washing powder and five minutes of your time. Looking at the overall perceived value of the product, the team decided to launch this as a high-end product for the developed world, and use the proceeds to help people in the developing world.