Lingering matter: Materialities, temporalities and waste in clothes



Publication Details

Stanes, E. (2020). Lingering matter: Materialities, temporalities and waste in clothes. In F. Allon, R. Barcan & K. Eddison-Cogan (Eds.), The Temporalities of Waste: Out of Sight, Out of Time (pp. 122-135). London, United Kingdom: Routledge.


2021 selection and editorial matter, Fiona Allon, Ruth Barcan and Karma Eddison-Cogan; individual chapters, the contributors. We are accustomed to the idea of clothes as cultural and symbolic objects. And while clothes have social lives (Appadurai 1986), they "have biological and chemical lives" too (DeSilvey 2006, 324). Clothes are a provisional gathering of matter and materials, formed and unformed by their movements in and with social and physical situations. The way that such materials are held together in constellation signals one moment in their productive lives as objects. The resultant waste of clothes is a material and temporal problem. This chapter employs a critical material-cultural lens to explore the transformations of clothes as they come undone, are variously pulled into and linger in other systems, scales and processes. The chapter is attentive to the material endurance of clothing, its component materials and various politics of waste. I ask: what influence do lingering materials have? What kinds of bodily, material and temporal responses does it evoke? What other kinds of material and ecological knowledges might we consider to be a part of lingering beyond on the object status of clothes themselves? Approaching clothes from the mobility of their component materials invites considerations of a different way of thinking about their persistence between origins and ends. Such thinking is not just relevant clothing, but also for other lingering, troublesome and/or recalcitrant forms of matter and waste.

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