World 172

In the early 2000s in World 172 the tenets of the free and open source software movement were reinterpreted by radical anarchist sewists. They developed an open source clothing design network that caught on with a growing online sewing community. Following the 2020 pandemic, the much expanded community of radical sewists appropriated and repurposed defunct department stores, devoting floorspace to pattern & tool libraries, machine ‘garages’, skill & material exchanges, cutting rooms, fitting rooms, cafes, crèches and bartering halls where diverse communities of amateur designers/makers swap elaborately patch-worked, pieced, embellished and repurposed garments for other goods and services. Capitalism is destroyed.

What if …

department stores were centred around creativity and community rather than consumption? What if radical sewists ran the world?


the ecological illiteracy, extraction and exploitation of the current fashion system


Inspirations include: 1970s/1980s squatters movement in London, Greenham Common protest camp and community sewing spaces/social enterprises such as Stitched Up (Manchester), Stitch-up or Stitches in Time (East London)

This World was contributed by Sally Cooke (located in Leeds, UK), developed from a World contributed by Amos Blanton, 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