Even a rented washing machine will do a good job
Bundles will deliver a washing machine that uses less electricity, water, and detergent, while being twice as durable than the average washing machine.
Each year while doing laundry, the Dutch release 150 litres of chemicals down the drain, along with the 2000 litres of drinking water used by washing machines. During the same period, a million appliances end up in a landfill. And the number keeps on growing. We all know that these pollutants and this waste cannot be good for the environment. In the Netherlands, or anywhere else.
In 2014, when Dutch-born Marcel Peters was coming up with the idea for Bundles, the first appliance service working on the principle of the subscription economy, his focus was on helping out the environment in which we build our lives.
The result was clean laundry, and the way to it was simple. You visit the Bundles website and come up with a plan; you think about your laundry habits, then you pick which Miele washing machine you want to use.
You pay either by use (the cheapest fixed amount is 12.95 euros, with an additional 40 cents for each load of laundry), or per month (from 20.95 to up to 22.95 euros, depending on how often you do your laundry). Their technician will install the machine in your home, which must be somewhere in Amsterdam, since the service is geographically still limited to the Dutch capital. The technician will be available later for any necessary repairs.
You then renew your subscription each month. They would prefer you to extend it to at least five years; if you pull out sooner, you’ll have to pay an extra 89 euros for the machine to be removed and serviced.
Bundles has expanded its service to renting washer dryers and dishwashers, which will soon be joined by fridges, coffee makers, beds, etc.
The innovative part of the service offered by Bundles, is that the household appliance, for example a washing machine, is no longer something you own, but something you rent for a certain period of time: but you can also buy it.
The company took their service a step further, when they tapped into the network of the internet of things. The washing machine is connected to the internet, sending data to Bundles’ headquarters. The data is not directly personal, but it does show how the machine does its job and how it could be optimised. This means that laundry costs could go down in the future, and the quality of the appliances could improve, along with our shopping habits.
When we are buying a new washing machine, we most often go for the cheapest option. A good appliance is supposed to have a lifespan of 10,000 hours, a lower quality one only about 2500. That means that the cost of a load of laundry in a better machine is significantly lower than in a lower-quality cheaper one.
Not to mention that the more machines break, the more we will buy and throw away. That is why Bundles, after some consideration, chose Miele machines. As Peters says, they are the only appliance manufacturers who use one-hundred percent renewable and biodegradable materials. Their machines also use less electricity, water, and detergent, while being twice as durable as the average washing machine.
In 2017, Bundles received 600,000 euros in funding support to »stretch« their program to include fridges, beds, and flats. By now, they’ve expanded the service to washer dryers and dishwashers, and most recently, coffee makers. Their experience is an example of how »our« homes could soon become »rented« homes. As long as the laundry's done, who cares?