You remember last week I set myself a challenge to wear the same dress for a week?
Well I’m delighted to see a handful of you inspired enough to take on the challenge for yourselves.
This is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while for several reasons and I thought I’d outline them for you today:
We’re still trashing a million tonnes of textiles into the landfill every year (well I know none of YOU are, but people are). In fact, according to Marks and Spencer, one in five of us throw away a new item of clothing after wearing it just once!
I have a bit of a thing about disposable fashion and sweatshops. I try to avoid them as much as possible, although I will buy less-than-ethical labels if the clothes are already in a charity shop (would love to hear your views on that in the comments).
I like to support fairtrade and organic clothing companies or British made but they tend to cost more. I know that we should value clothes on a ‘cost per wear’ basis, so by choosing just one dress, ethically made (mine is from People Tree and is fairtrade AND organic) I figure I have to reduce the cost per wear…
I saw a documentary recently called ‘Surviving Progress’ and one of the guys on there mentioned something I’ve been feeling for a long time, but not really had the courage to face. Us humans are brilliant at problem solving; we spend time, money, energy and expertise coming up with solutions as to how we can live our lives in a more sustainable way but what none of us want to admit is we need to consume less.
I’ve been trying to put together a capsule wardrobe for a couple of years now. I’m getting there but still have a way to go so this challenge is a personal experiment. I’m spectacularly rubbish at putting together outfits so this was a way for me to jump in at the deep end, knowing full well I’d have to show all my experimentation in its glory and risk being humiliated in the process. Nothin’ like accountability, eh?!
Less is more
Gok Wan can build a pretty impressive wardrobe of clothes with just 24 items. One of my online friends owns only 16, yes SIXTEEN items of clothing and she gets by pretty well. While I have no intention of owning just 16 items of loveliness in my cupboards I am in awe of her creativity and wanted to put myself to the test.
There’s just that whole ‘pressure on women’ cultural thing. Ya know, we can’t be seen in the same dress more than once, we have to look immaculate at the drop of a hat, we have to keep up with the latest fashions to be successful. The papers go wild whenever Kate’s seen ‘recycling’ her outfits; some think she’s being frugal in times of austerity but many criticise her for being cheap. Well good for her I say.
I don’t feel the need to wear something different every day but at times it DOES affect me (when being photographed for press you wouldn’t believe some of the criticisms I received); otherwise I’d have two changes of clothes and not give a damn. So this is a self experiment about how it really feels to wear the same thing day in, day out. It worked for me when I was at school and when I was a checkout girl, so could it work again?
I’m indecisive and this means I can take a long time deciding what to wear. By choosing just one dress for a week the decision was made; all I had to do then was dress it up or down depending on weather and my commitments for that day.
I believe the 80/20 rule can be applied to virtually everything in life. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the assumption is that we wear just 20% of our clothes, 80% of the time. Or that 80% of a project can be finished quickly; it’s the remaining 20% that takes 80% of your time. I am guilty of having things in my wardrobe I seldom wear, so by having to make the same dress look different seven times this forces me into the bowels of my wardrobe to see what I can put into use.
Shop at home
I am hoping that I might find a couple of new favourite outfits. After all, what better way to shop than in your own wardrobe – waste not, want not.
Over to you; I’d love to hear your comments on this. Maybe you all think I’m shallow and who cares if I wear jeans every day. Maybe you are perfectly happy to wear the same clothes day in, day out. Perhaps you fancy a challenge too and can relate to some of what I’ve written. As ever I’d welcome your thoughts!
Coming up next week, the photos and results!