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The Practices of Use

The practices of garment use are the ‘nexus of doings and sayings’1 associated with wearing, tending and caring for clothes that enable the practical – and social – carrying out of life. They are a dynamic combination of objects, tools, apparatus and the implicit and explicit practical and inspirational knowledge stored in them along with the regular skilful ‘performance’ of our bodies, our ideas about the world, our emotions, motivations and stories2 and cannot be reduced to one component part. Clothing use practices make manifest the activities and skills of user-ship and point to an alternative relationship with both material objects and ourselves than those of garment ownership. They emphasise the potential for human actualisation, flourishing or ‘being’ alongside consuming and ‘having’.