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.
“This dress, I got just after I finished secondary school in Portobello market in London. I was over with my friend as kind of a celebratory trip. And I wear it all the time and I’ve never washed it because it’s sort of loose and you can wear it with a belt or you can wear it without a belt. I wear it to the beach. And the lovely embellishment on the top here is really stained but I kind of love that because it feels like it’s very much mine… no one else has it.”
Dublin - April 2012
Photograph by Des Moriarty