Stop Folding Your Laundry: This Furniture Puts it Away for You
There are few chores that Americans hate more than laundry. Alexandria-based startup ThreadRobe aims to change that by introducing an automated piece of furniture that eliminates the need to fold, hang, and put away your laundry.
Users place loads of clean clothing from the dryer directly into the automated wardrobe’s bin—no sorting, folding, or hanging required. The wardrobe separates, identifies and stores them. When you want clothes back, select an outfit in the mobile app, which notifies the wardrobe to retrieve and steam those items to your specifications. Garments are identified and managed using small, flexible RFID tags that attach to the clothing—meaning you always know what’s clean and what’s not, and you never have to search for that missing sock.
While the automation inside is revolutionary, ThreadRobe looks like any other dresser, armoire, or wall storage unit. It only needs a standard power outlet; no special venting or plumbing is required.
The idea for ThreadRobe came from founder Matt Powell’s own disdain for laundry. “I realized one day that I was using my dryer as a dresser, and I had piles of clean laundry that I never put away,” he explains. “Washers and dryers were invented in the 1950s, but we’ve been stuck with hanging and folding for decades.” The average household spends 40 hours a year folding laundry—roughly a full work week.
Eliminating laundry tasks is only half of ThreadRobe’s proposition. Their mobile app enables users to digitally manage and organize their apparel. Users can view, create, and schedule outfits, even when they’re on the go. (Plan your clothes for the week on your commute home from work, and your wardrobe will have them freshly steamed and ready for you each morning). Take the app shopping, and it will match the item you’re thinking of buying with clothes you already own. Create a packing list, and the app shows you how many combinations you can wear with the selected items. Each user also receives data on what they own and how often they wear it to help with both purchase decisions and seasonal purges.
Consumers can take a tour of the app and the wardrobe at www.threadrobe.com and http://bit.ly/ThreadRobe. Two models, storing 100 and 200 items, are available for pre-order in a variety of colors and trims. Units are priced at $3,750 and $4,250, aiming to be in-line with conventional armoires, with the added convenience of automation. Consumers can reserve a unit with a 10% down-payment. ThreadRobe plans to deliver its first units in mid-2018.