Creating a dialogue and suggesting solutions on sustainable ways of washing, and sharing knowledge among private, academic, and public sectors.
In December 2018, Future Earth, Kao Corporation, and The University of Tokyo Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (now renamed as Institute for Future Initiatives) launched a discussion platform called Future of Washing Initiative (Initiative), where various stakeholders from private, academic and public sectors collaboratively explore innovative and sustainable ways of washing.
The Initiative is hosting events and workshops to connect our behavior in terms of daily business and personal habits with their impact on the environment, and also to provide opportunities to learn new technologies for developing various laundry detergents and washing machines including other products and technologies decreasing environmental impacts of washing. Based on the information provided at those events, participants are exploring new solutions for each sector that will make our daily washing more sustainable. By discussing the environmental impact of washing with various stakeholders, the Initiative aims to facilitate a mind shift and a behavioral transformation in society towards sustainable washing.
The Initiative is currently engaging a wide range of stakeholders in Japan and it plans to expand its activities in Asia and other regions. While the Initiative discusses technology development in laundry detergents and washing machines, it will take into consideration cultural and religious diversity of washing based on the fact that our daily washing is also influenced by cultural habits and local knowledge. Thus, the Initiative will explore various ways of sustainable washing in different countries to examine how people wash their clothes differently and how our cultural values influence our daily washing habits.
The Initiative has decided to break down the theme of washing and focuses on laundry as the first discussion theme. Several workshops have been organized to discuss the environmental impacts of laundry. The Initiative has also created a blog providing information on sustainable laundry from multiple perspectives.