Aesthetics Wiki


Emancicore Values

Emancicore is a post-colonial aesthetic that joyfully celebrates freedom:

  • A freedom of movement in non-restrictive clothing;
  • A freedom of conscience in knowing one's clothes have been environmentally sourced and ethically produced;
  • A freedom of people in former colonies to participate in global supply chains in ways that foster their self-determination, avoiding exploitation as much as is currently possible;
  • A freedom of artisans and customers to liberally borrow from other cultures in their fashion designs and wardrobe choices, respectively, without making deferential apology for "cultural appropriation";
  • A freedom of clothiers in countries with high labor costs to make products locally if they want to, because a market of people willing to pay for a few good items has been cultivated intentionally;
  • A freedom to work, because most of one's wardrobe has been sufficiently well made that it stands up to the rigors of daily labor, while simultaneously affording entrance, when necessary, into white-collar society; and, even,
  • A freedom from being overwhelmed in choosing what to wear each day, as one selects from a few interoperable pieces of clothing—even what one wore the day before—instead of contributing to unsustainable "fast fashion".

Emancicore Fashion

The emancicore aesthetic is intentionally anti-consumerist and post-colonial. Most items in an emanicicore wardrobe should eschew "fast fashion." They should be fairly sourced, made to last, and ideally possible to repair. Here are some notable shops for emancicore wear:

  • Shibori London ‒ UK shop that works with Indian artisans to make emanicore in support fair trade and right livelihood
  • Marmaduke London ‒ UK shop that revitalizes local wool production through cottage production of emancicore
  • Sir Plus ‒ UK shop that makes upcycles surplus into functional and timeless garments
  • Devi Clothing ‒ Luxembourg artisan selling upcycled clothing, some made from vintage Pashminas by Saheli Women
  • Maybe Collection ‒ Baton Rouge, Louisiana (USA), shop selling affordable, sustainably made-to-order garments for women using strictly natural linens
  • Liga Treija ‒ Latvian shop that fuses Asian style with sustainable, Eastern European supply chains and local production
  • Fine Threads ‒ An Indian collaboration between two sisters, one with a background in fashion design the other with a background in business; many pieces again made by Saheli Women
  • Yadeeyajai and GiftByWish ‒ Sisters in Thailand who employ local tailors at living wages by catering to an international market for Asian-inspired, everyday fashion
  • Xiaolizi ‒ Chinese shop with durable, feminine fashion incorporating timeless cross-cultural styles, employing local tailors while catering to an international market; also sell cottagecore
  • KhadiWear In Style ‒ Pinterest collection of emancicore images, drawing upon traditional Indian khadi
  • Sahasrabudhe and Khadi ‒ Inspiration from India on quality khadi, cottage industry, and personal liberation

Emancicore Architecture

An emancicore home should have an architecture largely consistent with its regional style (honoring regional insights of what works well in a given place), should be will-insulated (to reduce ongoing heating and cooling costs), should be well-built (to reduce ongoing maintenance costs), and should incorporate clear elements that require expert labor to craft (e.g., timber-frame construction, plaster work for in-wall alcoves), and/or are rarely seen in non-custom homes (e.g., a courtyard, integrated greenhouse, long back porch, clerestory windows, a butterfly roof for a deck). These are standards even if the emancicore home incorporates tremendous embodied energy (e.g., using insulated concrete forms).

Emancicore Practice

Embracing emancicore entails:

  • A pre-theoretic aesthetic practice by which (1) people living in "core" nations of the world system incorporate into their own aesthetic (vis., their own sense of artistic harmony) handicrafts that originate from, or are handmade locally using techniques that originate from, "peripheral" nations of the world system; (2) people living in "peripheral" nations of the world system fuse cultural elements from other peripheral nations into their own artistic productions.
  • A pre-theoretic orientation that unites artisans across cultures in unapologetic cross-pollination, rejecting condemnations of "cultural appropriation" as evidence of bourgeois alienation from co-production. Here, "artisans" are understood as people who produce goods or services that bear a personal "stamp" because the producers have sufficient voice in decisions about what they will produce and how and when they will produce it that they are not alienated from their labor.
  • A pre-theoretic embrace of the elements of geographically foreign artistry—often via local friends of different cultures—while both explicitly not attempting to mirror, adopt wholesale, or attempt to "fit in" as a member of that culture and, also, while explicitly rejecting any attempts to mass produce whatever fusion may result.

Emancicore Discourse

Inviting the Periphery Into the Middle
(As a Member of a Subsidiary Power, Not As An Elite with Access to the Center):