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.

Oiled denim

"I wear this vest [sleeveless jacket] very frequently. It’s a raw denim - oiled raw denim - and it’s got such a thickness and niceness to the fabric, and even though it’s kind of a casual style, you can wear it anywhere and it kind of works over no sleeves or long sleeves. And it’s got a nice neck; and buttoned up it keeps you very warm when you want to be warm. And I never have to wash it. It doesn’t get dirty. It doesn’t pick up smells at all. Like you can go into a smoke-filled bar and you don’t even smell the cigarette smoke on it. It just takes wear very well. I’ve had it about 7 years so, and plan to have it at least that long again."

San Francisco - April 2011
Photograph by Paige Green