All the camps we visited looked pretty much the same. Tent after tent with lines of laundry hanging outside. Everywhere we walked we saw laundry lines. The idea was clear, an average clothespin spends around 8 hours in the sun everyday, we took those hours and decided to put them to good use. We created LightPin, the world's first clothespin equipped with solar panels. Each clothespin would be able to store enough energy during the day to light up an LED lamp at night.
LightPin is first and foremost a clothespin. We wanted it to have the same design. We designed it to be the same size and have the same functionalities as a clothespin in order for it to have a multi-use aspect as well as be familiar and practical for people in low income areas. We also wanted it to be compact as space is limited in refugee camps.
Our challenge was to be able to store enough energy in such limited space to light up an led lamp all night. We introduced two batteries, one inside each clip connected to a single USB outlet. The 2 solar panels on each side would each send energy to respective batteries and once battery is depleted on one side the power moves to the second.
The LightPin comes in multiple colors all the same shape and size.
Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
On a humanitarian level, the results have been outstanding. LightPin has already been integrated into the daily lives of refugees in several camps around Lebanon and the feedback we are getting is tremendous. Refugees that are using it love the fact that it doesn't need to come with a handbook, you simply do your laundry during the day and bring it in your home at night. Request for more LightPins are faster than we can deliver and we are now developing ways to mass produce. With LightPin, OMO has positioned itself as a truly innovative brand with a focus on sustainability and social responsibility. As we mass produce LightPin and put it in more hands around the world, the brand will have not only carved a name for itself as an innovation brand but will have potentially helped millions of people around the world lead a safer and better life.
Sustainability and innovation are core values for Unilever, OMO's mother brand. Under it's CSR umbrella, education and well being of kids are also key pillars for OMO. LightPin was able to store enough energy during the day to light up an LED lamp at night. This was enough to replace a kerosene lamp or candle at night for the kids to study safely. Omo is a leading detergent brand, so turning laundry into energy is not only relevant with the brands functions, but also with it's values.
As part of it's CSR efforts, OMO is successfully testing the LightPin in refugee camps in Lebanon with plans to roll them out globally, potentially helping millions of people around the world replace hazardous and deadly alternatives to light.