World 43

In World 43, a progressive UK government recognised the disastrous impacts of the fashion industry and passed the Environmental Sumptuary Act (2015). The controversial law limited production of clothing and banned the sale of all blue textiles, both new and used. Further colour-based restrictions will be introduced every ten years.

With the now-finite resource still in demand, an impromptu system has emerged in which blue clothes are exchanged and repaired at community-run ‘Blue Fashion Commons Hubs’. Rules govern the use of these hubs: people must donate garments, skills or time to become commoners and earn the right to withdraw items.

What if …

garments were treated as a shared resource, rather than bought and sold?

Issue targeted:

overconsumption; market-based transactions crowding out diverse economies in the fashion system

Inspiration:

The concept of the fashion commons, which I introduced in my book Folk Fashion: Understanding Homemade Clothes; theories of the commons and commoning; informal groups and projects in my area (Sherwood, Nottingham) that enable the free exchange of unwanted items

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.

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

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