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Allied Electronics & Automation and RS Group Bring The Washing Machine Project to the U.S.

Allied & RS donated The Washing Machine Project's Divya 1.5 manual washing machines to Hygiene4All and Agape Village, two nonprofits serving the homeless in Portland, Oregon, marking the first deployments in the U.S.

FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Allied Electronics & Automation, a trading brand of RS Group plc (LSE: RS1), a global omni-channel provider of product and service solutions, has partnered with RS Group and The Washing Machine Project to provide Hygiene 4 All and Agape Village, two Portland, Oregon, organizations serving the local homeless community, with Divya 1.5 manual washing machines.

(PRNewsfoto/Allied Electronics & Automation)
(PRNewsfoto/Allied Electronics & Automation)

The Washing Machine Project is a global charity that developed an innovative and user-friendly off-grid, manual washing machine designed to provide displaced and low-income communities facing humanitarian crises with a sustainable solution for maintaining healthy hygiene. The latest model, the Divya 1.5, has an 11-pound capacity, is capable of up to 500rpm, and is made of commercial-grade components to ensure operational durability. It also uses 50% less water and takes 75% less time than handwashing and features an effective dewatering process that reduces drying times compared to handwashed garments.

The Washing Machine Project has deployed more than 150 washing machines in 12 countries. These installations have saved more than 1,350 people from the back and joint pain and skin irritation caused by handwashing and, since a full cycle takes just 15 to 30 minutes, have provided women and girls especially with more time that could be spent earning a living or an education, which is a critical step towards achieving gender equity.

RS Group recently entered the second year of its three-year social impact partnership with The Washing Machine Project. As of June 2022, the RS team had generated $280,000 in fundraising, donated an abundance of critical machine components, and volunteered more than 500 hours to assemble and deploy more than 140 machines and share expertise in areas including website design, legal advice, social media, marketing and data analytics, and sourcing, manufacturing, and logistics solutions. This year, RS intends to intensity its efforts by providing space and volunteers for another 290 machines destined for communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jordan, Uganda, and Iraq and partnering with Allied to deploy the first two units in the U.S.

Today, Allied and RS presented two Portland organizations dedicated to serving the city's homeless population, Hygiene4All and Agape Village, with the first two Divya 1.5 units in the U.S. While RS Group supplied an assortment of RS PRO parts for the machines and constructed them in its Corby, England, distribution center, Allied funded and coordinated the shipping of both 77-pound machines from the U.K. to Portland.

"We're very pleased to be a part of RS Group's partnership with The Washing Machine Project and we're proud to have helped facilitate the first deployment of its Divya 1.5 units in the United States," said Katie Cartwright, VP of People and Culture, Allied Electronics & Automation. "The Washing Machine Project has had such a positive impact since launching in 2019, and while the U.S. tends to be far down the list of countries experiencing humanitarian crises, organizations like Hygiene4All and Agape Village can attest to the fact that third-world conditions exist even in our first-world nation. These organization provide vulnerable populations with critical resources and help restore their dignity, so we're truly honored that our material and human resources can meaningfully contribute to their essential missions."

Hygiene4All (H4A) operates a peer-run hygiene, sanitation, and safety hub that meets the needs of the local unhoused community by giving them an equal voice in creating more equitable access to basic public resources including water, sewer, and waste management services. Located under the Morrison Bridge, the H4A hub offers showers, toilets, a clothing and bedding exchange, waste management, and a health pod staffed with employees and volunteers trained in mental health first aid, wound care, reducing identity- and status-related harm, and conflict de-escalation strategies.

"H4A models an effective, healing response to the public health and sanitation crises wrought by growing housing, wealth, and infrastructure gaps, and the new manual washing machine from The Washing Machine Project, RS, and Allied is going to help us continue to fulfill our mission and support our unhoused neighbors," said Sandra Comstock, Executive Director, Hygiene4All. "Clean clothing is key to both personal hygiene and dignity and the new machine will allow the 80 to 100 people we serve each week to wash socks and underwear for free while they wait their turn for a shower or other services. It will also help reduce the amount of trash generated in homeless camps since roughly 70% of street waste is textile-based."

Agape Village is a tiny house village located on property owned by the Central Nazarene Church in a part of Portland that doesn't have adequate resources to help the homeless population. The church partnered with local nonprofits and social services agencies to build a community designed to provide unhoused individuals and families with a safe, structured, stable, and encouraging environment and assistance finding the help and resources they need to transition into permanent housing and a healthier life. It currently offers 16 temporary tiny homes, a community gathering area, a shower and bathroom trailer, trash and recycling bins, and weekly meetings with staff members aimed at encouraging and facilitating progress.

"We are thrilled to be adding a manual washing machine to Agape Village," said Sarah Chapman, Village Life Coordinator, Agape Village. "Being homeless is often a full-time job because accomplishing basic tasks like getting food or health care or doing laundry typically requires hours of waiting for both transportation and access, and then there's the expense and the hassle as well. Hauling dirty clothes on public busses can be harmful and lines for the city's three free laundromats can be four to six hours long. So, being able to meet our community's need for clean clothes within the confines of the village will be incredibly impactful. The fact that it doesn't take up much space or use much water also allows us to conserve our resources, which ultimately helps us provide better services and support."

Allied Electronics & Automation, part of RS Group
Allied Electronics & Automation is a trading brand of RS Group plc, a leading global omni-channel industrial product and service solutions provider to customers who are involved in designing, building, and maintaining industrial equipment and operations, safely and sustainably. RS Group plc stocks more than 700,000 industrial and electronic products, sourced from over 2,500 leading suppliers, and provides a wide range of product and service solutions to over 1.2 million industrial customers. With operations in 32 countries, we trade through multiple channels and ship nearly 60,000 parcels daily.

We support customers across the product life cycle, whether via innovation and technical support at the design phase, improving time to market and productivity at the build phase, or reducing purchasing costs and optimizing inventory in the maintenance phase. We offer our customers tailored product and service propositions that are essential for the successful operation of their businesses and help them save time and money.

RS Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange with stock ticker RS1 and in the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2022, reported revenue of $3.3 billion.

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Editorial Contact & Media Inquiries:
Karen Gavenda
Allied Electronics & Automation, part of RS Group






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