It looks a little like a SodaStream, but a new appliance is designed to make your shampoo or laundry detergent, not drinks. Instead of buying products in new plastic bottles with every purchase, the system uses small pouches and reusable bottles.
“We wanted to harness the power of reuse and local production across virtually all products in the home and body care categories,” says Nick Gunia, cofounder and CEO of Cleanyst. The system, which launched on Kickstarter today, comes with the countertop appliance, reusable bottles, and pouches of plant-based concentrate for 10 different products, from dish soap and fabric softener to body wash and conditioner.
Like some other companies that are selling concentrated products, it wants to cut the carbon footprint of shipping products that are mostly made of water in an endless stream of new bottles. But Cleanyst argues that other systems–which require mixing by hand–are more limited than using a machine. Thicker products, like conditioner or lotion, require thicker concentrates that are difficult to mix correctly. The machine can provide a result similar to something made on a manufacturing line, Gunia says. “All of our mixing algorithms are tailored for the particular concentrate type and product type that you’re looking to mix.” Consumers load a bottle and a pouch into the appliance and push a button; a few minutes later, the final product is ready.
Though the system starts at $99 on Kickstarter, and will sell at a higher price at retail, the company says that it can ultimately save consumers around $150 a year. And over time, it plans to add more products to the line. Cleanyst hasn’t fully eliminated plastic; the refillable containers are plastic, and the plastic pouches need to be mailed back to the company for recycling. The company also hasn’t yet completed a lifecycle analysis to calculate the total environmental footprint, but believes that by reducing the weight of shipping products, so less fuel is needed, and by eliminating single-use bottles, it can more than offset the impact of making the appliance.
Guria and his cofounders previously worked at a company that packages consumer goods. “We basically have been selling packaging and pumping it out into the marketplace,” he says. “So we wanted to be part of the solution.”