Welcome to the Mushroom World, an ecologically minded generation of thinkers who adopted mushrooms as their non-human spiritual guides.

Once a week people make a fleeting visit to the woods to present themselves to their spiritual guides, the mushrooms. In a quiet ritual they connect with the fungi and the hidden mycelial network. They even select their clothes with the mushrooms in mind.

This is one of the concepts created as part of the creative research project Fashion Fictions run by Dr. Amy Twigger Holroyd, Associate Professor of Fashion and Sustainability at Nottingham Trent University.

So how does this world-building work? The fictions, or Worlds, are framed as parallel presents guided by loose parameters with sustainable fashion at their core. The project evolves around sustainable cultures and systems, practices of use (rather than production and conventional consumption) and exploration of social and cultural factors, rather than technological change. Participants explore these speculative scenarios through written outlines, visual and material prototypes and ‘everyday dress’ projects.

Participants in Fashion Fictions include people with experience of fashion cultures gained through wearing and enjoying clothes (yes, that could mean you!), along with those with specialist expertise in fashion theory and history and design and fashion and textile practice.

At Atlas we are diving into four of these worlds, starting with the weird and wonderful world of the mushrooms. After following the activities of a number of participants, who communed with the mushrooms and nature once a week, we commissioned artist Pau Del Toro and writer Geoffrey Cowper Sallari to turn this world into a comic. And that’s how The Penny Buns was born.

►► Download The Penny Buns comic to immerse yourself in the sustainable, yet fashionable, world of the mushrooms. And as the mushrooms say, join the dance!

There is more to come in this series on sustainable fashion, like what would happen in a world where textile production has ceased? Keep an eye out for more creative interpretations of the Fashion Fictions worlds.

The enactment was devised by Dr. Amy Twigger Holroyd, building on a prototype by Elly Platt, Talia Hussain and Martin Benes, and on the original World 91 fiction by Suzanne Rowland.