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Panel discussion - The Laundry Pile: Materials, Meanings and Mundanities of Everyday Life

  • Carpenter's Arms upstairs function room (opposite Lila's Laundry) 12 Seymour Place London, England, W1H 7NE United Kingdom (map)

Laundry has transformed from being a low-technology hand practice done in the home or by local laundresses with the use of a few basic implements; to a fully mechanised steam industry at the turn of the twentieth century based on models of mass production and profit maximisation, and finally back to a domesticated home practice. As laundry practices have evolved, one outcome (of many) is an increase in environmental impact. Indeed, the impacts of laundering are inadvertent and somewhat ironic: laundry can be understood as a practice of both purity and pollution.

Cutting through the mundanity that is usually associated with doing the laundry, this panel discussion will bring together the viewpoints of experts and academics from a range of areas including: fashion and design, sociology, geography, history and the detergent industry. From these diverse perspectives, the discussion will explore how laundry practices have developed and evolved, taken on new meanings and consequently given rise to different types of environmental impact. Further, it will explore more sustainable directions for the future of fashion and laundry.

Panellists include:

Professor Kate Fletcher, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion

Dr Mike Kalli, Founder & Director, IDEAL Laundry

Professor Rosie Cox, Department of Geography, Birkbeck University of London

Dr Victoria Kelley, Lecturer in Cultural Studies, Central Saint Martins

Dr Thomas Roberts, Lecturer in Sociology, University of Surrey


Dr Andrew Brooks, Department of Geography, Kings College London

*Unfortunately, the venue does not have disabled access*

This event will be photographed and audio recorded. Imagery from the event may be published and made public. If you would rather not be photographed please contact us in advance of the event and we will be respectful of your wishes.

If you would like to attend the panel discussion you must book tickets, spaces for this are limited