REGIONALLY LOCATED AND CULTURALLY FRAGMENTED
A period of widespread global recession is leading to a rise in nationalism and trade protectionism. By 2024, the number of populist parties in power around the world is at record levels. The Paris Climate Agreement has broken down, and no one is talking about the SDGs any longer - any real action is happening outside of global governance structures. In 2028, a combination of drought, crop failure and extreme high temperatures across Africa causes massive heat-related deaths and social unrest. This cataclysmic moment is followed by a massive rise in membership of The Environmental Truth movement, born in Kenya but spreading rapidly around the world.
Tensions run high in an unstable global equilibrium. The world is operating in silos of differing magnitude and power, and inequality levels between different countries are high. Many countries feel left behind. In the water-scarce Middle East, India and in Southern Europe and North Africa, there is widespread unrest and conflict. Terrorism, piracy, and a breakdown of democracy are all becoming more common.
Fashion is driven by identity politics, and heavily flavoured by ethnic and national traditions. In parts of Africa, revival of beading and area specific head wraps are hugely popular and make for vibrant, colourful expressions of regional identity. In China, fashion is based on minimalist practices: the wardrobe is a sign of status and it is highly distinctive fashion elements, rather than volume, that elevate its owner to style leader status. People purposefully seek out patriotic attire and clothes are a visual language for distinction. Fashion is often peppered with historical references, marking out social and tribal divides. Counterculture affinity communities rebel against this by deliberately mixing and matching different cultural references to create political fashion statements promoting collectivism and globalism in vibrant, arresting ways.