In World 26 in 1999 the Department for Education introduced School Uniform Libraries in every school and a ban on the sale of school uniform by private companies. Uniforms were standardised across schools, and the libraries run by a network of social enterprises that form a co-operative big enough to work directly with manufacturers ensuring ethical and sustainable manufacture and a comprehensive recycling system.
Standardized uniforms are reviewed every five years through participatory design. Changes must be accommodated within the circular manufacturing system. The normalisation of wearing pre-used uniform eradicated stigma around second-hand clothing, having long-term impact on sustainable fashion behaviours into adulthood.
What if …
school uniform was only available through an ethical, sustainable, circular system that normalised the use of second-, third-, fourth-hand clothing?
rapid disposal of clothing, normalising second-hand clothing, reliance on very cheap clothing that is rapidly grown out of and worn out
joinedupdesignforschools project by the Sorrell Foundation in 1999, experiences of becoming a step-parent and having to buy cheap school uniform that is quickly used and discarded, contextual studies classes on my art foundation course in 1997 where we were told about the environmental damage being caused by design, so we knew about it then so could have made changes then
This World was contributed by Katie Hill (located in York, 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.
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!