Management and marketing Seminar entitled "Lingering matter: The unruly geographies of polyester clothes"
|Dates:||13 March 2019|
|Times:||14:00 - 15:00|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||Department of Materials|
|Speaker:||Dr Elyse Stanes|
Narratives of clothing reuse and repurpose have centred on second-hand economies, recycling, upcycling and DIY, fashioning a particular kind of ‘wasted’ aesthetic where stitching,
darning and patching become visible. But what of clothes that don’t show signs of wear or decay, because they are made from human-made fabrics such as polyester, with material
properties that degrade much more slowly than organic materials? Drawing on ethnographic ‘fashion journeys’ with young adults from Sydney, Australia, this paper follows polyester
clothes, geographically and temporally, beyond spaces of production, to their everyday use, storage, divestment, reuse and recirculation. Reconfiguring concepts of fashion waste
questions how clothes become redundant: their material memories instead lingering in wardrobes, in stockpiles of divested objects and hand-me-downs, entering cycles of second-hand
trade and ultimately, landfill. Polyester manifests a particular variant of material culture: both mundane and malignant, its feel and slow decay result in clothing that seldom slips from
the category of surplus to excess in clear ways.
Dr Elyse Stanes is an Australian-based cultural geographer with interests in consumption, environmental sustainability and mundane/everyday/routine practices of clothes consumption.
She is currently visiting the UK (Keele University) from the University of Wollongong on an Association of Commonwealth Universities Blue Charter Fellowship to work on a project on
synthetic textiles, their lingering legacies and human engagements with them. Her PhD, which was awarded last year, traced the geographies of clothes with a particular focus on
Dr Elyse Stanes
Role: Faculty member, School of Geography and Sustainable Communities, Faculty of Social Sciences
Organisation: University of Wollongong, Sydney, Australia
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