Press Centre

Wash day blues turn green as Britain returns to the 1950s

Sales of clothes pegs and old fashioned washing lines are soaring for the first time in almost 50 years, says supermarket ASDA.

Demand for pegs alone has leapt by over 1400 per cent in the first four months of this year because thousands of environmentally aware homes are hanging out their clothes to dry naturally once again.

Until recently, the common use of energy-hungry electric tumble dryers had put sales of clothes pegs in decline. Experts believe the trend is the first concrete sign that homes all over the UK are becoming much more aware of how to conserve energy.

Said ASDA’s laundry buyer Chris Burns: “After decades of decline, the sight of a washing line full of drying clothes is becoming a familiar sight in gardens all over the country once again.

“Thousands of people have now decided that the potential embarrassment of having their smalls on public display on a washing line is far less important than saving energy.

“They’re pegging out their washing – to peg back their bills.”

ASDA’s sales figures show that over 1.2 million clothes pegs have been sold in the first four months of this year. Washing lines – both traditional and rotary – as well as indoor airing lines have also soared in popularity by 147 per cent.

Energy saving lower washing temperatures have also become popular – ASDA’s entire range of George clothing is now designed to be washed at 30 degrees centigrade rather than the more common 40 degrees to save energy.

Long clothes lines crammed full of billowing sheets, shirts and other clothing were once common in every home and garden in the 1950s. Observers could tell which day of the week it was simply by looking out of their windows – Friday was the most popular wash day in the UK.

However, ASDA’s sales figures also reveal that the modern trend towards doing washing the old way has its limits.

Said ASDA’s Chris Burns: “While many homes seem to be restricting use of the tumble dryer, there doesn’t appear to be any return to doing laundry entirely by hand.

“There has been no decrease in the total number of washing machines sold, although we have seen a big rise in demand for energy efficient models.

“Nor have we seen any increase in the sale of washboards or scrubbing brushes.”

Posted in Press Centre on 13 June 2007