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A Melbourne researcher has recruited 30 volunteers to see what will happen if one is made to smell a pair of jeans worn-in and unwashed for three months.
Tullia Jack will soon exhibit the grimy garments at the National Gallery of Victoria so the public can put them to the pong test.
She hopes the unusual experiment for her Master of Philosophy thesis will challenge our culture of "extreme clean".

Despite stains and spills ranging from tuna and avocado to motor oil and chocolate, she says the expectation that the dirty denim will be whiffy is much worse than the reality.
"Not washing your jeans isn't nearly as bad as it sounds," quoted the Melbourne University student and RMIT fashion lecturer as saying.
"You really don't need to wash clothes as often as you think. Stains come and go, they just wear off," she said.

Burying her nose in the pile of well-worn jeans on her desk, she picks out perfumes ranging from eggshells to caramel.
"The jeans don't smell socially challenging. They just smell like people," she said.



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Only one of the 30 experiment participants struggled to complete the task, which involved wearing a pair of duds donated by local denim label Nobody at least five days a week in March, April and May this year.
According to Jack, many chose to expand the experiment and stopped washing other garments in their wardrobe such as T-shirts, shirts and jumpers.
The sustainable fashion advocate said that participants had collectively saved thousands of litres of water, and had also saved on electricity and soap powders.
She hopes her Nobody was Dirty exhibition, where the public will be invited to sniff the used jeans at the NGV Studio in March, will motivate many more Victorians to launder less.

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