Xeros: Yorkshire firm in talks with four major washing machine brands over its technology

A pioneering Yorkshire firm seeking to make the world’s washing machines more eco-friendly says it is in talks with four of the biggest brands in the industry about the use of its technology.

Rotherham-based Xeros, which began as a University of Leeds spinout, is focused on creating technologies that reduce the impact of clothing on the planet, both in terms of producing garments and keeping them clean.

One of its areas of focus is ‘Care’ technology which involves patented polymer beads called XOrbs being placed into washing machines alongside clothing to reduce water and energy usage in a cycle and collected at the end of a wash for use again.

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Xeros is already working with IFB, India's largest domestic and commercial washing machine manufacturer, on the rollout of home washing machines which use XOrbs.

Xeros CEO Neil Austin, with a jar of XOrbs. Picture By Yorkshire Post Photographer,  James HardistyXeros CEO Neil Austin, with a jar of XOrbs. Picture By Yorkshire Post Photographer,  James Hardisty
Xeros CEO Neil Austin, with a jar of XOrbs. Picture By Yorkshire Post Photographer, James Hardisty

CEO Neil Austin told The Yorkshire Post that advanced talks are also happening with major European brands.

"The bigger picture is we want this care technology to be in every washing machine globally,” he said.

"To do that we need to have relationships with the big washing machine manufacturers. While we are not able to name anybody at this moment in time, today I can say we are in very meaningful conversations with four of the top 10 brands that everybody will have heard of.

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"Our expectation is the care technology will be launched in one form or another into the European market in the next 18 to 36 months. We are at a sufficiently advanced stage that we feel very confident.”

Talks with the major brands are also ongoing in regard to the company’s filtration technology. It has developed a product called the XFilter that is designed to trap microfibres released as part of the cleaning process and stopping them ending up in waste water and ultimately oceans.

The XFilter, designed for new washing machines, goes into a detergent drawer which can be emptied in a similar way to clearing lint from a tumble dryer. The firm has also just launched an external filtration product, called XF³, which can be retrofitted to existing washing machines.

It comes ahead of France mandating a microfibre capture requirement for all washing machines from 2025, with the move expected to be followed in the rest of the EU, as well as the UK and California.

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Mr Austin said the XF³ hugely widens the company’s potential market.

"There’s about 100 million machines manufactured every year but there’s about a billion in people’s homes right now,” he said.

"We don’t want people to change their washing machine just to get a filtration device so that base needs a solution as well and we wanted to give them access to the Xeros technology.”

Mr Austin was speaking as Xeros published its half-year results. The group recorded an adjusted EBITDA loss on continuing operations of £2.6m, a decrease of 32.2 per cent of the £3.9m loss recorded at the same point in 2022 as costs were reduced and revenue increased.

He said the company remains on track for hitting break even by late 2024.