On January 10, 2012 I signed up for an amazing challenge; I would not purchase any clothing or fashion accessories for 1 year. I committed to the Free Fashion Challenge. I am a self confessed fashion junkie. I have a huge wardrobe and this seemed like a great way to get in tune with my inner fashionista and to take a deeper look at why I feel so compelled to buy when I really have no need for clothing. So this is not directly related to the blog's focus on organic food but it certainly carries a strong message about mass consumption and sustainability. Plus it's fun and who doesn't love a good challenge?
About the Challenge
The Free Fashion Challenge is the initiative of Laura de Jong in collaboration with AMFI – Amsterdam Fashion Institute and Beyond Green. The original idea for the concept came from Kate Fletcher, sustainable designer/consultant/author, and Frank Jurgen Wijlens, lecturer at AMFI – Amsterdam Fashion Institute
Laura de Jong is a graduate of the Fashion & Branding course at AMFI – Amsterdam Fashion Insitute, who specialized as a student in fashion and sustainability. For her final thesis she examined how the definition of fashion should change to become truly sustainable. While most ‘green’ brands focus on the use of sustainable materials, Laura believes the real barrier is the way people consume and how brands stimulate this overconsumption.
Here's some food for thought from the Free Fashion Challenge website:
Over the last few decades fashion has become more and more about consumption. Fashion became fast fashion and clothes have become disposable. Generations are growing up believing that a t-shirt truly can be made for 50 cents. With the Free Fashion Challenge we want to find out what the meaning of consumption is within the definition of fashion. We think fashion is more than shopping. Don’t get us wrong, we are no fashion haters. We love fashion but we think it is not necessarily about buying stuff. Fashion should be about creativity, adornment, joy, quality and good design.
Consumption has become a very important part of the fashion industry. The rise of fast fashion and more consumption on one hand and the necessity to live a more sustainable lifestyle on the other hand raises ethical problems. To make fashion more sustainable and long term oriented, fashion needs to change.
Green fashion pioneers come up with wonderful ideas, but to make fashion truly sustainable, we’ll have to consume less. With the Free Fashion challenge we try to find out what the meaning of consumption is within the definition of fashion. What happens to people who are fashion conscious if they cannot buy trends anymore? If they don’t ‘follow’ the strict rules of fashion, trends and mass consumption? What are their demands of clothing when they need their garments for a longer period of time?
I'll do updates from time to time to let you know how the challenge is going.