An international fashion research project exploring the 'craft of use'

Never Washed

Laundering is high impact and yet not laundering is socially unacceptable. But some pieces defy social pressure and are never washed, often motivated by the fear that laundering causes something precious to be lost: a scent, a memory, the particular way a garment fits, the quality of handwork, and even a political stance.


“In 1978 my Mum gave me £10 to buy a jacket and jeans and this is the one I bought. Back then I was a punk and I sewed badges on the back… Sex Pistols, Sham 69, The Stranglers... and my Grandad’s RAF stripes on the arm. I’ve still never washed it… why would I?”

Bollington, Cheshire - July 2009
Photograph by Fiona Bailey

+ More views from this story