World 96

Since humans started to travel by ship, particularly since the 13th century when Marco Polo reached Asia, knowledge about how to produce textiles from plants has been collected and shared around the world.

In 1799 in World 96, a global agreement was reached to abandon cotton farming and to only use waste from plant-based food and medicine production to make clothes, from pineapple leaves to potato skins and straw from cereal crops. This prevented the exploitation of millions of labourers on cotton farms and the drying up of the Aral Sea. By 2021 textile production was limited to plants grown locally, without air miles, in organic farms and community gardens.

What if …

in 1799, a global agreement only permitted plant-based waste from food and medicine production to be used to make textiles?

Issue targeted:

the history of human exploitation through cotton farming and the drying up of natural water resources such as the Aral Sea


recent technological progress that has enabled a range of plant-based food waste to be used for textile production, such as pineapple leaves and skins

This World was contributed by Anne Reimers (located in London, 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.

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Published by Amy Twigger Holroyd

explorer of Fashion Fictions