World 5

In World 5, the 1990s saw the unexpected election of a British government prepared to take radical action on environmental issues, including the reintroduction of clothes rationing. Despite resistance, the authorities successfully introduced a standardised garment range from which wearers could select a number of items annually – and a ban on sales of fabric.

The range is revised every two years, with decisions made by public vote on a town-by-town basis. The ranges available in different regions have thus diverged, creating a new type of local distinctiveness. Personal customisation produces further variety, with trends in styling and embellishment frequently observed. 

What if …

clothes were rationed?

Issue targeted:

overconsumption of clothing and the homogeneity of styles offered by the high street


rationing of clothes in wartime Britain; contemporary zero-consumption ‘wardrobe projects’

This World was contributed by Amy Twigger Holroyd (located in Nottingham, UK) using a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence which allows others to share and adapt the work in any medium and for any purpose, providing that they credit the author and share their material using the same Creative Commons licence.

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Published by Amy Twigger Holroyd

explorer of Fashion Fictions