World 97

In response to the devastating Californian forest fires of 2020 a group of like-minded fashionistas in World 97 eschewed domestic laundry processes, the most environmentally damaging stage in a garment’s life cycle. Accessorised with waist slung pomanders and herb filled masks they celebrated the colour, patina and smell of their stained clothing.

The movement became worldwide when Beyonce ‘slayed’ fans performing in tights made lustrous with her own menstrual blood. Rejoicing in the joy of human imperfection, soiled clothing began to assume a new meaning. The fashion accompanied by the #drippystains went viral causing not only a massive reduction in water and power usage but the surprising collapse of Unilever and Proctor and Gamble.

What if …

the wearing of stained and soiled clothing became a symbol of style and prosperity?

Issue targeted:

environmental impact caused by home laundry processes


the Well Dressed report (2006) and the work of Dr Emma Rigby, Cardiff School of Art and Design

This World was contributed by a Fashion Fictions contributor (located in the 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