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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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Realising that it’s World Environment Day on Sunday and seeing an item in an online newspaper, made me think about the fine line we have to tread in the KBB industry, between looking after this planet (and being seen to do so) and manufacturing/selling KBB products.

After all, whether we’re questioning whether global warming is made up or actually happening or whether we’re avid environmentalists either way, consumers are now taking sustainability more seriously and are more often than ever, questioning a company’s values in this area, before choosing to do business with the organisation.

The KBB industry on one hand has to try and work in a sustainable way while at the same time persuading consumers that they really ‘must have’ that ‘essential’ (now where did those terms come from?) upgrade which – far from being essential – may not actually be needed at all.

Where do we draw the line?

The online news item that got me mulling over this question concerns a £600 gadget with robotic arms that can – apparently – steam out creases and fold our laundry perfectly. It was invented partially as a result of a survey which revealed that 46% of us want appliances that fold our clothes for us. Called FoldiMate, it also features a conveyor belt, a rack and a tray; users simply clip their clean washing to the rack, set their preferences in the electronic menu and wait for the gadget to go through the process.

I can see this type of gadget being really useful for those of limited mobility, but bearing in mind that those of us in the more developed part of the world are suffering from an obesity crisis, my feelings are that (a) we probably need the exercise and (b) a normal householder – while they might be able to afford to pay for the extra electricity consumed by a gadget that folds clothes – can’t really justify it in terms of being very environmentally friendly, can they?

What are your thoughts on this?



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Jan Hobbs



3rd June 2016

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