Lent has always been a time of year when I reflect upon my own life and the choices that I make. In the past I have given up chocolate or fasted but I have always felt they were very personal to me and didn’t have any impact on the lives of others. When my daughter told me about the challenge I knew this was a golden opportunity to do something really positive, that would challenge me and would also have an impact on the lives of others.
Is ethical fashion something that influences you in the day to day?
For many years I have been aware of the issues facing workers in the clothing trade and have tried to avoid wearing really cheap clothing made at the expense of others. However, I think there is so much more that I can do and I hope to use the challenge to spur me on to become more informed and more involved in campaigning for ethical fashion.
What other themes are you thinking of in relation to the challenge; sustainability? Thriftiness? Reducing consumption? Personal identity?
The main themes for me will be reducing consumption and personal identity. During the challenge I am going to go through all my clothes and take as many as possible to the charity shop. I also need to think of ways that I can manage with fewer clothes but be more creative in what I wear with them. I have drawers full of scarves that never see the light of day so here is my opportunity to use what I have in a more imaginative way.
What preparations have you made?
I have already dug out lots of scarves and accessories so that I can make the most of them during the challenge. I have tried to think ahead to what the weather might be like in six weeks time!!! I have also asked my friends to encourage me throughout the challenge with positive comments.
What do you imagine will be the most difficult thing?
Balancing work clothes with everyday clothes. One of my items has to be a jacket for work so I have to make sure all the others are multi purpose in their function. I also want to be warm!! Keeping up with the washing is crucial and always having something to wear in case of an accident.
Do you think you’ll experience a change in your relationship to clothing during / after the challenge?
I know I am going to find it difficult because I have so many clothes and I get a lot of pleasure out of what I wear. I think during the challenge that my attitude to clothes will change radically. I want to feel differently about my clothes once I have completed the challenge.
Have you chosen your items yet? If you have, what are they?
Yes I have, after much deliberation. They are: a jacket for work, a white blouse, a lilac tee shirt, a purple cardigan, black trousers and a black skirt.