World 20

Imagine a world – World 20 – where tanneries were considered against the law. What if we stopped manufacturing animal skin and focused on cruelty-free leather? What if we trained the traditional tanners to work on these leather alternatives? We would assign penalty points to anyone manufacturing or selling animal leather.

Tanneries would become museums where future fashion students could learn from the mistakes done in the past. Wearing animal leather would not be prohibited, as there is already so much of it in the world. But designers and creatives would be able to recycle the existing leather instead of buying a new one.

What if …

tanneries were considered against the law?

Issue targeted:

There so many issues but the one I’d like to raise is in relation to post-consumer waste: the process of tanning stabilizes the collagen or protein fibers in the skins so that they actually stop biodegrading instead of rotting in your closet.


I don’t think a world without leather ever existed. But we did it differently before fast fashion. And we did not develop all the new fibers that will replace animal leather.

This World was contributed by Elljo (located in Washington D.C., USA) 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.

Does this World remind you of something?

I am keen to hear about any historical or contemporary real-world examples – whether individual practices, subcultures or mainstream activities – that this fiction brings to mind.

Please share any such examples using this form. Thank you!

Published by Amy Twigger Holroyd

explorer of Fashion Fictions