In World 41 from 2015, countries worldwide ceased importing second-hand clothes due to diminishing quality and a desire to reinvigorate local textile cultures and economies. Consequently UK charities start cutting damaged garments into component parts for reuse.
While unusable bits are still ragged, the usable elements enter a vibrant and growing spare parts market. Shop staff with making and design skills advise customers on selecting and combining components from a colour-blocked array of garment parts. This has led to an enhanced understanding of clothes, proliferation of making skills and more bespoke and imaginative attitudes to clothes that evolve over time.
What if …
‘waste textiles’ were sold as spare parts?
clothing waste and export/dumping of unsaleable second hand items in Africa
the kids’ drawing game of consequences; reclaiming and reuse of car parts
This World was contributed by Sally Cooke (located in Leeds, 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!