After the collapse of the Rana Plaza in 2013 in World 84, sweat shop production became illegal, as people across the world realised the detrimental effect of fast fashion on society. The Swedish government introduces a new system where much like reading or writing, sewing and mending skills become essential and are taught in high schools as of 2014. Children’s clothes are passed down, mended, swapped between friends or family, or made by their parents. In the first year of high school children begin to learn how to sew and are thus expected to sew and mend their own clothing. Hand sewing is the first skill everyone learns as it’s seen as the most important skill due to its ability to assist in the mending process. It is followed by pattern making, fabric cutting and machine operation. Students engage in projects which enrich their knowledge of producing well fitting clothes as well as ways to ensure their longevity. Industrial sewing machines are fitted in every home, while local sewing centres are a convenient solution for those living in limited spaces. Seeing the success of this system, other European countries, followed by Australia and the USA adopt this strategy as well. By 2018, the system has gone worldwide.
People recognise the work and effort that goes into producing a garment and thus become more appreciative of their clothes which cease to be easily disposable. Garments that have been handed down through generations have a sentimental value attached to them and people treasure the clothes made by their older siblings or parents. Everyone eventually stops buying ready made clothing. Fast fashion retailers cease production instead repairing, mending and sometimes producing made to order clothing for the elderly, disabled or homeless. During the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, there is no shortage of masks or hospital scrubs, due to people’s wide knowledge of sewing, leading to easier management of outbreaks and clusters.
What if …
everyone possessed sewing and mending skills?
lack of mending skills, clothing disposability, fast fashion, social sustainability
the Rana Plaza collapse of 2013
This World was contributed by Despina-Nafsika Haidemenos (located in Melbourne, Australia) 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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