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Recycle-clothes

Modern clothing is not built to last forever.

Clothing is material that serves to protect humans from the elements. The importance of clothing is something that is often overlooked, yet when one tries to imagine llife without clothing, especially in a post-apocalyptic world, it can easily be seen that like food, water and shelter, clothing is a basic neccesity of life that humans require for survival. Clothing acts to improve the comfort of the wearer and acts as a hygienic barrier between the individual and their environment.[1] This aspect of clothing was espesially important during the initial outbreak of the virus, protecting individuals from coming into direct skin-contact with the infected and contracting Lycophagic Fever. Life without clothes would be pretty weird and uncomfortable, especially in a post-apocalyptic world.  The importance of clothing is not something to be overlooked or taken lightly.

Immediate Effects (Year 2015)Edit

During the immediate outbreak, people wore whatever they were currently dressed in. As well as whatever they managed to pack hastily before they tried to flee and escape the pandemic. At the time, what a person was wearing was not a huge concern to them because they were preoccupied with fighting for their lives.

Short Term (0-5 years after outbreak)Edit

During this period of time people began to realize that they were going to need more than only one shirt, a single pair of pants, a pair of shoes and some grungy socks and undergarments to get by. The clothing that they had been wearing since the beginning of the outbreak had begun to deteriorate and become ragged and torn.

In this time frame the social and cultural functions of clothing ceased to be an important aspect that people considered in judging clothing. Clothing no longer acted as a reflection of standards of modesty, religion, gender or social status and was valued primarily for its basic function of acting as a form of protection against the envirenment. For example many articles of women's clothing, such as skirts, dresses and decorative footwear that served more aesthetic purposes rather than functional ones, ceased to be worn. 

ScavengingEdit

Clothing stores were, for the most part, left untouched by the looting and rioting that occurred with the excepation of military surplus stores and survival & outdoor clothing stores that were targeted very early on. When people required replacement articles of clothing they simply took what they needed from these stores. Residential buildings also acted as a good source for obtaining second-hand clothing. Abandoned apartments and houses proved to be full of unclaimed clothing free for the taking.

For the most part if someone needed something, such as sunglasses, shoes or a jacket, they were able to find what they required if they looked in the right place. The scavengers might not have been able to find exactly what they wanted; for example, the colour or style of their new found article of clothing might not have been exactly what they had in mind, but by this point this no longer mattered to most people. People were happy with whatever they could find, as long as the article of clothing performed its expected function and got the job done. Eventually as time progressed it did become harder and harder to scavenge and find what you needed but for an extneded period of time people still managed.

Mid Term (5-50 years after outbreak)Edit

ScavengingEdit

Most of the unclaimed clothing still lying around in residential buildings and commercial clothing stores from pre-outbreak times would no longer be suitable for individuals to wear. Even though the clothes have gone unworn they have been left alone in buildings no longer being upkept and maitained against the elements. As such many of these buildings have became damaged with animals and water getting inside and making a mess of its contents. Faced with these undesirable conditions, these clothes have became torn, wet, dirty, mouldy, and begun to decompose and fall apart and are no longer appropriate articles to be worn by scavengers. At this point in time scavenging ceased to be a useful method for individuals to acquire new clothing. 

Simple Clothing Construction and RepairEdit

After scavenging ceased to be a lucrative method of clothing collection, people began to explore different methods of clothing constrution.

Animal HidesEdit

People started to hunt animals for not only their meat, but for their furs and hides, which were now being used to make clothing. This pieces of animal skin were cut into a pattern and then sewn together. 

Natural Fiber ClothsEdit

Other people made patchwork pieces of clothing from combining whatever pieces of cloth and old clothing they had left into new sets of clothes. If they had five old shirts and a tablecloth handy, that became one new shirt and a pair of pants. In the later part of this time frame people started growing things like cotton and hemp, which were eventually used to make new clothing. Some people in hotter climates cast away the clothing of old and wore instead clothing made from plants, leaves, sticks and twigs.

Long Term (50-100 years after outbreak)Edit

Most clothing from the time before the plague was now either rotted away, torn to shreds, or dirty beyond all hoped of ever being clean. Fortunately, when industry started up again, people had the materials available to make brand new clothing, thanks to those farmers who had begun growing cotton and hemp. With industry functioning once more people made new clothing, but not clothing that was popular pre-plague, oh no. They re-invented new fashion trends and brought back an almost forgotten look, “Steam Punk”. Top hats, overcoats, vests, goggles, belts, pouches, corsets, fancy yet unique and quirky dresses and suits were back in style!

Once science labs became full of scientists once more, they invented Electro-Goggles (Similar to Google Glasses), which monitored your health and current state of wellness as well as managing your appointments, credits and other day-to-day things. They became mandatory for the citizens of the society that invented them. They are user friendly and easy to use not to mention highly customizable. No two pairs of Electro-Goggles should ever have to look alike. They were also rather handy for protecting your eyes from the high winds found when traveling in zeppelins and airships.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Arkansas Archeological Survey, "A Necessity of Life: Clothing." Retrieved from http://www.uark.edu/campus-resources/archinfo/clothing.pdf

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