Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Establishing a new affordable and ecological laundrette in our community. A warm and welcoming space for arts and social activities.
366 backers pledged £20,382 to help bring this project to life.

About

Community Launderette in Liverpool project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

£20,382

366

Hello! We're Kitty's Laundrette and we're building a new affordable, ecological launderette and community hub, in North Liverpool! 

Artist collage of how laundry space might look by Myriam Lahnite
Artist collage of how laundry space might look by Myriam Lahnite

 We are reimagining the humble and well loved Launderette. We see them as largely underused, semi-public spaces where people can gather, sit, socialise and keep warm. We feel the laundrette has the potential to create interactions across groups within our diverse local community. 

Photo from neighbourhood open day we held just after securing our premises.
Photo from neighbourhood open day we held just after securing our premises.

We want to shape an engaging program of creative and social activities with local residents and people from the city region alike. These could be exhibitions, film screenings, craft clubs, poetry nights, discursive events, social history projects and more! We want to animate the warm interior of a simple but socially resonate space. We will include a small bar area and serve daily refreshments and special stuff at events. We will have a community notice board and local information exchange, as well as great Wi-Fi and affordable access to computer and printing facilities.

The laundrette will provide affordable, environmental and essential services to the community while being the self sustaining business which underpins all other activity. We will be a locally rooted social enterprise on the high street which creates a number of local jobs where fair pay, skills development and creativity are central. We have been looking into how we can harness sustainable technologies in our launderette to make services cheaper and more environmentally friendly, helping our laundry to be future facing as well as a little nostalgic.

We want to connect with the very social experience of wash houses and laundrettes in years gone by as well as an amazing part of Liverpool’s history as the first place in the country to introduce public wash houses to increase the health and wellbeing of the poor, catalysed by the inspiring work of pioneering Irish migrant Kitty Wilkinson in 1832. We have named our launderette after her to celebrate her amazing contribution, and that of many other women, to the life of the city. 

Photographs from social history event held at our neighbouring community business, Homebaked, With Michael Kelly, historian and author of Life and Times of Kitty Wilkinson.
Photographs from social history event held at our neighbouring community business, Homebaked, With Michael Kelly, historian and author of Life and Times of Kitty Wilkinson.

What have we done so far and why Kickstarter?

We feel like we have come a long way over these last two years, from a small idea, to a project, to a meaningful and long term social enterprise rooted in our community. We have established as a multi-stake holder co-operative to enable us to be guided and shaped by all those who may use the laundry, work there, host events or live nearby.

Limited edition Risograph A3 Prints from our wash house memories project, made by designer Louis Tuckman
Limited edition Risograph A3 Prints from our wash house memories project, made by designer Louis Tuckman

As a small group of Liverpool residents we have been working hard to make this idea a reality for over 2 years, and in that time we have managed to secure small bits of funding to develop a detailed business plan, enhance the capacity and skills of our team and secure the building for our continued use. We now are in the final push to fit out the premises and open to the public. The money generated through this Kickstarter will go towards renovating the laundry room into a welcoming, accessible and versatile community space.

Artist collage of how building could look from outside by Louis Tuckman
Artist collage of how building could look from outside by Louis Tuckman

Rewards

Limited edition, Kitty Wilkinson illustration by Liverpool artist Ria Fell
Limited edition, Kitty Wilkinson illustration by Liverpool artist Ria Fell
Hand made, Shea butter and essential oil soaps by Liverpool based producer, The Scent Trail with Kitty's Launderette design by Louis Tuckman
Hand made, Shea butter and essential oil soaps by Liverpool based producer, The Scent Trail with Kitty's Launderette design by Louis Tuckman
Large wash bag with embroidered Kitty's Launderette design, made by local social enterprise AND screen printed fair-trade canvas tote, Design by Artist Ria Fell
Large wash bag with embroidered Kitty's Launderette design, made by local social enterprise AND screen printed fair-trade canvas tote, Design by Artist Ria Fell

As artistic production and creativity are at the heart of this project, we were really excited about starting as we mean to go on, and paying a bunch of Liverpool artists and crafts people to design and produce the laundry themed rewards. 

History bundle, Risograph Zine by Designer Louis Tuckman, Postcards by Artist Ria Fell and Folk wash songs by Liverpool Musician Mikey Kenny
History bundle, Risograph Zine by Designer Louis Tuckman, Postcards by Artist Ria Fell and Folk wash songs by Liverpool Musician Mikey Kenny

Already for this project we've worked with illustrators, animators, soap makers, printers, designers, musicians, photographers, filmmakers and other local social enterprises like Homebaked and The Sewing Rooms. We are really looking forward to seeing how all forms of creativity can grow through this project. 

Backers porcelain tile, hand made in Liverpool by ceramist, Attila Olah
Backers porcelain tile, hand made in Liverpool by ceramist, Attila Olah
A3 print, original illustration by Liverpool Artist Ria Fell
A3 print, original illustration by Liverpool Artist Ria Fell
Pre-paid Eco service wash cards (5 or 10) and handmade scarf/tie hanger by Liverpool designer/maker Ehsan Vaziri
Pre-paid Eco service wash cards (5 or 10) and handmade scarf/tie hanger by Liverpool designer/maker Ehsan Vaziri
Limited edition framed set of two paintings by the Liverpool Artist Simon Job. For this work he used residue from the Risograph printing process which we use for much of our laundry design work.
Limited edition framed set of two paintings by the Liverpool Artist Simon Job. For this work he used residue from the Risograph printing process which we use for much of our laundry design work.
  

Timeline 

Since securing our premises we have already begun clearing out the space and get started on the many jobs there are to do. While the Kickstarter is running we will still be working away and will post any exciting developments. Follow our Kickstarter campaign we will really get cracking to renovate the shop front and internal fit out.

We will also be continuing to host community events and participatory workshops throughout the summer and ensure that all rewards are finalised and posted out in August.

By September/October we are aiming to have the machines installed and be open for social business! We'll keep all our supporters updated and we hope to see you at our Grand Opening or some time in the future! 

                                            Thank You! 


                                        

Risks and challenges

All new enterprises contain a certain amount of risk when starting out. We feel that through the two years of research and development we have a strong grip on the challenges ahead and a number of contingency plans in place for how we can still achieve our social aims.

We recognise that launderettes are not such a growth industry as many people have machines at home, however our research suggests there is still a considerable need within our community. We feel that a combination of our divergent income streams, service washes, commercial contracts, events, arts and culture projects, etc will make the project financially sustainable. We also hope that in the long run we might be able to contribute to a shift in culture around collective ownership of resources, so that if someone's machine breaks, they may not bother to buy a new one with money they don't have, but come and use the quality local provision.

Some of our largest overall project expenditure is employment and training of local people, many of whom are otherwise under-employed. Whatever happens our work has already contributed to the local economy, developed the capacity of several individuals and supported the creative practice of a group of Liverpool artists. All the rewards have already been produced and we are comfortable that we can get them out to you within our stated timeframe, however we will definitely keep you updated if anything unexpected comes up.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $6

    Thank you!

    A photo postcard from Kitty's Launderette and a backers-only video update from the build.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    Hand-made Soap

    Lavender and Patchouli soap bar
    Made in Livepool by The Scent Trail an independent skincare company, natural and palm oil-free made with Shea butter and essential oils.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    81 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About $25

    Tote Bag or Wash Bag

    Choose from either a screen printed fair-trade canvas tote, Designed by Artist Ria Fell
    OR
    A large wash bag with embroidered Kitty's Launderette design, made by local social enterprise The Sewing Rooms, made from unused fabrics which were headed to landfill.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    118 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About $38

    Kitty Zine and Tote bag

    A risograph printed zine re-telling this history of Kitty Wilkinson, made by designer Louis Tuckman
    AND
    A screen printed fair-trade canvas tote, Designed by Artist Ria Fell

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    20 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £45 or more About $57

    A little bit of history

    -Digital download of old wash songs recording by Liverpool folk musician Mikey Kenny.
    -Risograph Kitty zine made by Liverpool designer Louis Tuckman
    -Set of postcards by Liverpool Artist Ria Fell

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    10 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £65 or more About US$ 82

    Locals

    -5 prepaid eco service washes
    -Set of postcard by Liverpool Artist Ria Fell

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £75 or more About $94

    Artist Print

    Original, limited edition print A3 abstract print or A4 Kitty Illustration print by Liverpool artist Ria Fell

    SPECIAL ADDITION BY POPULAR DEMAND
    A3 blue and green Risograph poster from Washhouse memories project.

    -Hand-made soap by The Scent Trail
    -Personalised Invitation to Grand Opening event

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    18 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $126

    Big Supporter Bundle

    -Hand-made wooden scarf/tie hanger by Liverpool designer-Maker Ehsan Vaziri
    -A screen printed fair-trade canvas tote, Designed by Artist Ria Fell
    -Personalised Invitation to Grand opening event

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United Kingdom
    10 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $189

    Locals Mega Bundle

    Locals Mega Bundle

    -10 prepaid Eco Service Washes card
    -large wash bag with embroidered Kitty's Launderette design, made by local social enterprise The Sewing Rooms, made from unused fabrics which were headed to landfill.
    -Hand-made wooden scarf/tie hanger by Liverpool designer-Maker Ehsan Vaziri
    -Personalised Invitation to Grand Opening event

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £200 or more About $252

    History Buff Bundle

    -Your name/organisations name etched in hand made tile in the wall, made by local ceramic artist Attila Olah
    -Digital download of old wash songs recording by Liverpool folk musician Mikey Kenny.
    -Risograph Kitty zine made by Liverpool designer Louis Tuckman
    -Set of postcards by Liverpool Artist Ria Fell

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £250 or more About $315

    Framed set of two paintings

    A new reward!!
    Donated by the Liverpool artist Simon Job

    A limited edition, framed set of two paintings.
    Each appprox 13 x 18"
    For this recent work he utilised residue from the Risograph printing process which we use for much of our launderette design work.

    His work employs processed of working carefully with found materials and exploring and editing their inherent characteristics.
    www.simonjob.co.uk

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United Kingdom
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £500 or more About US$ 629

    Name a Machine!

    A machine named after you, your organisation or someone you love. We will get it engraved on a metal plate and mounted pride of place on one of our lovely new machines.
    -A screen printed fair-trade canvas tote, and set of post cards Design by Artist Ria Fell
    -Personalised Invitation to Grand Opening event

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 8 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About US$ 1,258

    Private party in the laundry

    Private party in the laundry for you and your favourite people! We will provide a bar and arrange music with talented local musicians. Please feel free to get in touch to discuss more details.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (31 days)