Wash Less // Emma Rigby transforms taboo through ‘Energy Water Fashion’

Wearing unclean clothes is a social taboo. Yet behind this everyday routine there are some major resource, pollution and social problems.” (Designer Emma Rigby, Energy Water Fashion)

Emma Rigby investigates the nature of behaviours and rituals surrounding fashion and clothing, allowing a cross-disciplinary approach to best practices in design to help mitigate the negative impact of excessive laundering, in her work Energy Water Fashion.

Rigby has used her transdisciplinary approach toward design to create a line of projects that reduce environmental impact: “[e]ach garment incorporates a unique design feature to encourage the wearer to wash the garment less often.” (Emma Rigby)

Brilliantly, Rigby has incorporated careful washing instructions into the very essence of each garment, noting that the user must wear the item for a minimum number of times (10-30 wears per wash, depending on the item) before it can be laundered. This is encouraged to optimize the nature of the garment itself.

I encourage you to visit Energy Water Fashion and explore Rigby’s methods for inspiration for your own designs and/or personal garment care.

Mary Hanlon

Mary is the founder, editor and lead contributor at Social Alterations. She is also a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh, where she researches responsible fashion and transnational labour rights activism in the wake of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh.

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