We’d like to welcome Debbie to the Six Items Challenge – she is pushing the boat out by setting herself the extra goal of never wearing the same outfit twice, using her six items plus accessories. We look forward to some photographic evidence of this Debbie! – ed.
What made you become part of the challenge?
I really like the idea of reducing the amount of money people spend on clothes they wear just a few times, especially because so much of the textile industry seems to be so exploitative of the workers who actually produce our clothes. Taking part is a way of showing people that you really don’t need so many clothes and that with a bit of creativity you can still look good.
Have you always thought about fashion from an ethical standpoint, or is it something new to you?
It is not new to me, but I am a bit too old to have ‘always’ thought of it – this really is an issue that has been brought to people’s attention over the past couple of decades! But yes, I have been careful with what and how much I buy for quite a long time. I particularly focus on buying second hand as I feel I don’t pay into the industry then and help to reduce some of the waste of people that discard perfectly good clothing.
What other themes are you thinking of in relation to the challenge; sustainability? Thriftiness? Reducing consumption? Personal identity?
Living on a low budget definitely helps you focus the mind – how can I spend less and still look good? Cheap low quality T-shirts don’t really do the job, so second hand (Charity Shops, EBay, even jumble sales) and Sales are my thing.
I like the challenge of coordinating colours and styles and have plenty of accessories.
I have always hated waste, so sustainability is another theme.
How are you preparing yourself?
I have thought about what the six items will be and think I am being strategic about it. I am going for simple items (plain T-shirts, jeans, black trousers and a skirt) which I can snaz up with scarfs, necklaces, earrings, etc. I have chosen the tops and bottoms such that each top can be worn with each bottom. I actually think the challenge is a bit too easy, so my challenge is to never wear exactly the same outfit more than one day. Not too hard if you remember that by just wearing each top with each bottom I already have 9 variations, so with each variation I only need to accessorize in 3 to 4 different ways.
What are you expecting to be the most difficult?
The week that I am going camping – I’ll need to plan carefully which accessories to take! As it is week 4 I may be starting to run out of ideas a bit already by then, so advance planning is the key, I think! The other thing is the weather, it has been so cold and wet, but what if it suddenly turns really hot half-way through the challenge?!
What do you think you’ll experience during / after the challenge?
I’m not sure if it will make me less or more focused on what I’m wearing! I’ll have to see how it goes. I like the idea of people setting me sponsored dares! I think I’ll ask them to lend (or even give) me whatever accessory they want me to wear. Preferably fair-trade or second hand of course!
Have you chosen your items yet? If you have, what are they?
Yes, see above, very simple items: black long-sleeved T-shirt, light turquoise long-sleeved T-shirt, rusty orange short-sleeved T-shirt, light blue jeans, black pallazzo pants and brown skirt.