“We are facing today a crisis of imagination.” – Amitav Gosh

Living well within the Planetary Boundaries is perhaps the biggest imagination challenge of our generation. There is Big Oil, corporate capture, greed – many serious obstacles slowing down the necessary change. But one of the most important ones is actually much more subtle: as a society, we are having a hard time re-imagining the world of the future – in a way that falls neither into utopian “flying cars” visions nor into despair-infused “let it burn” narrative.

How would a sustainable and happy future look like? What would matter? What would we prioritize in life and “want to keep” – as Bruno Latour famously asked during the COVID-19 pandemic. What would our daily practices involve? What would we consider normal and what – inadmissible?

Led by Prof. Cosette Joyner Martinez from Oklahoma State University and Dr. Katia Dayan Vladimirova from the University of Geneva, a working group of 14 researchers from 8 countries around four continents worked for a year-and-a half on a project to imagine how the future(s) of sustainable fashion consumption may look like. We have identified four possible scenarios that would be determined by a combination of efficiency / sufficiency measures and top-down / bottom-up change drivers. Each scenario discusses daily practices of clothing users and the context in 2040.

This report is intended to serve as a conversation starter rather than a prediction of the future. To explore together possible varieties of experiencing fashion sustainably. To encourage a further, more profound discussion around the future of fashion we want to see in our lifetime.