The Items Young People Refuse to Throw Out


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The Items Young People Refuse to Throw Out

As many of us prepare to trash a bunch of jelly beans, candles, and other shit we don’t need after the holidays, photographer Jackie Dives looks at the treasured things millennials can’t live without.

This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.  Everything is disposable, and no time is this more obvious than at the tail end of the holidays. Having traded a bunch of deliberately over-packaged candles, booze, jelly beans, and other novelty trash, it's not long before much of it actually ends up in a dumpster.

It takes a lot of effort to hang onto things when wages are low, space is limited, and life itself feels precarious and uncertain. With this in mind, Vancouver photographer Jackie Dives set out to find the personal items young people decide to carry with them over decades and long distances.


A balloon given to Laura Cuthbert's mother on the day she was born. She has had it for 25 years and keeps it because, if it pops, she worries she might pop too.

A baby blanket given to Andrea Papin at birth, 33 years ago

A necklace Jordan got from his mother ten years ago

A dental model of Sharon Bradley's teeth from when she was 12 and got fit for a retainer. She still has an overbite.

The first jewelry-making tools Hailey Gerrits bought 11 years ago

A Sri Lankan puppet that Marie Farsi bought 20 years ago on a trip with her father

Teresa South keeps her mother's modeling photos from the 1960s as personal and professional inspiration.

Postcards Alex Elkabbany got from his sister 16 years ago, when she was traveling in Europe. He kept them despite going in and out of drug treatment and unstable living conditions over the past five years.

Forty stuffed animals, pared down from 100, most of which Laura Davies has had for 30 years

A sketchbook Alejandra Simmons has owned since she lived with her parents

A skeleton bobble head given to Max Inverarity as a gift from his mom's ex-boyfriend

A T-shirt Monique McQueen stole from her mom and now wears to bed. One of the only things that made the trip from Australia to Vancouver. McQueen says she will never get rid of it, and perhaps might even be buried in it.

A Lego 6933 Spectral Starguider, which Ryan Jones has kept for 25 years. Ryan is currently re-building all of his Legos from when he was a kid.

Journals from 2001 to 2013. Caitlyn Spence says they are full of MSN fights and feelings about nothing.