The dirt on clothes: why washing less is more sustainable

The Conversation


I wrote a piece for The Conversation recently, about my MPhil jeans research. It was really interesting to fit my 45,000 word thesis into 800 words (the editors are strict!). The article had a great response: over 300 shares on facebook, 50 tweets and 30 comments – I love hearing about how different people make sense of this work, some of my favourite comments below.

Julie Leslie “I have to admit I enjoy freshly cleaned and sun warmed-clothes. I think I would rather go with out the tele than not be able to wash my clothes.

Lydia Isokangas “Making necessary changes that benefit the environment seem far too hard to implement for the individual e.g. cycling instead of driving, installing solar panels etc. Sooner or later it impacts on our accustomed lifestyles and everyone has something that’s very difficult to give up. On the other hand, I guess that for many of us, doing less washing, drying and ironing would be a blessing and could be some very low hanging fruit that we could encourage our friends and family to adopt as well. Plus it saves money and time!

William Hollingsworth “Lets get real, the western world from my experience has a totally self destructive ethos when it comes to cleaning. Nature is self cleaning. We weren’t born with showers (very bad for washing our natural oils away and the detergents used for washing should be left for washing machinery).We build no immunity in a sterile or perceived clean world. Washing has become an aesthetic not scientific exercise.

You can read the entire article (and comments) on The Conversation.


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