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The collective laundry room; a symbol of life in Switzerland


In 1980, the year the Lavorent company was founded in Geneva, washing machines were the subject of numerous technological advances. The new models were becoming increasingly efficient. Competition between different manufacturers was the driving force behind these new creations. Washing machines had many additional features.

At the same time, collective laundries in rental properties became much more than a place of conviviality; they became a true symbol of life in Switzerland. Most people lived in rented flats without a washing machine, but there was always a shared laundry room with a key and a washing plan. Everybody met there: families, singles, Swiss, foreigners, loners, the whole melting pot that is still a source of Switzerland’s richness. In the laundry room, everyone had to find his or her way around and, above all, talk to each other. 

(Source : Schweizerisches Sozialar)



Subsequently, manufacturers continued to improve their washing machines, creating different washing cycles for coloured textiles, white linen, wool and synthetics.

In 1997 the MIELE brand created an efficient wool washing programme: before that, woollen clothes were washed by hand. 

The phenomenon of the shared laundry is so unique and unique to Switzerland that it was the subject of a book: Hugo Loetscher wrote “Der Waschküchenschlüssel” in 1998.

“The key to the laundry room in this country is not just a utensil that opens that room called the laundry room, where the machines that facilitate the process called 'washing' are located. Oh, no. The key to the laundry room in this country opens up a whole other area, it gives access to something deeper”.

In the 1990s, Lavorent experienced rapid growth in French-speaking Switzerland. The company decided to take over the activities of some of its competitors and to continue its expansion on the other side of the Sarine. 


In 2015, the company entered a new stage of development by taking over the activities of Merkorent in Geneva. 12,000 machines were then under Lavorent's management.

As the number one provider in the management of collective laundry facilities in Switzerland, the Group was now part of the investment portfolio of Manixer, based in Geneva.

The purchase of the company T. Menegon and Menaleasing in Echallens (Vaud) in June 2018 enabled Lavorent to offer services beyond the management of the collective laundry: the Group moved into sales and after-sales of household appliances. In the same year, a third pillar of its activity was born, when it took over four laundry salons in Geneva, from then on called Salon by Lavorent. 


Shortly afterwards, in 2019, the Lavorent group confirmed its presence in the management of laundries on university campuses and in Swiss student residences when it took over the company SMS. In the same year, development in the German-speaking part of Switzerland progressed at a rapid pace with the acquisition of Maire AG and Cleanarent in Schlieren. The group then launched the sale and after-sales service of household appliances in multi-dwelling buildings in the Zurich region.

At the end of 2020, the group continued to make progress in household appliances, when it took over the activities of Sistem Sarl in Geneva, which specialised in the sale of spare parts.