It seems my closet is bursting at the seams. The origins of the various frocks are far and wide. Thrift store gems to high end labels I’ve got them all scientifically crammed into my two (yes two) closets – and under my bed – and in the laundry room – and in storage. It’s somewhat obscene.
Enough is enough.
In January of 2012 I signed up for the Free Fashion Challenge in an effort to curb my clothing consumption habit. The idea behind the challenge is to discover your inner stylist by using clothing that is already in your closet (a.k.a. shop your closet) – it also entails not purchasing clothing for a one year period. WTF? Considering how drastic the challenge is I did pretty well. I lasted 7 months before caving into my desire for a spectacular Eileen Fisher linen blouse that fit like it was custom made for me. It was down hill from there. Well, not totally down hill I did develop a better sense of how to mix and match the clothes I have and I am far more selective about the clothes I allow into my closets. One piece comes in – one must go out.
New year. New focus. New challenge.
This year I’ve taken on a different type of challenge. It’s called The Six Item Challenge. First of all it’s only for 6 weeks – hey, that sounds far more doable than a year long challenge. It involves far less clothing that resides in my closets and various hiding spaces. In fact; for 6 weeks I will be wearing only 6 key pieces of clothing. Dramatic pause…. To enhance these pieces I can pull from my arsenal of accessories (scarves, belts, tights, purses, jewellery). Workout wear, a winter coat, PJs, a suit for work (if needed) and undergarments (duh) are allowed as required. Click to see the the Six Item Challenge Rules.
Sound crazy? 6 pieces of clothes for 6 weeks? Maybe. So why do it?
The Six Item Challenge is designed to bring awareness to the true cost of ‘Fast Fashion’. I don’t know much about the garment industry other than many of the quick to market fashion conglomerates manufacture off shore. I always assumed factory workers were compensated on the lower end of the pay scale – I’m sure at a level none of us could even fathom. I knew this but did not give it a second thought. Is that terrible? Do you give it a second thought?
I’m not here to preach – just to inform as I learn some stuff along the way.
The Six Item Challenge is the public awareness and fundraising arm for Labour Behind the Label (LBL). Here’s an excerpt from their website: “Labour Behind the Label is a campaign that supports garment workers’ efforts worldwide to improve their working conditions, through awareness raising, information provision and encouraging international solidarity between workers and consumers.” They have lots of information on their site so check it out if you want to learn more about the work they are doing. You can also read up on clothing manufacturers standings with the LBL.
So, what will I be wearing? Here’s my Sweet Six.
So, here’s to an interesting 6 weeks starting on February 13th. Whether I buy my clothes from a second hand shop or in a full price retailer, may I earn a new respect for the true cost of what goes into the clothes I choose to purchase and wear.
As the journey progresses I’ll be adding posts to the main body of this website and all of the outfits will be posted below and at my Instagram page and Tumblr. Update: In the end, posting to multiple websites was just way too much work. Besides posting to this website, Tumblr, Instagram and the 6 Items website – I had to cut back.
Six Items Challenge Wrap Up
Well, I did it. I wore only 6 key pieces of clothing for a full 6 weeks. By the end, I must say I was at peace with bidding the pieces good-bye for a long time.
Here are some of the outfits I wore over the course of the 6 weeks…