Today we check in with Yuka, a fashion blogger from New York who specialises in second hand clothing, and find out what prompted her to take up the Six Items Challenge…
What made you become part of the challenge?
People shouldn’t have to suffer just because I want to buy a dress for $10. We say that beautiful clothes are “to die for,” but many of us don’t know that people really do die making them in some cases because they’re overworked or are made to work in terrible conditions. After I learned that, I knew I had to go on a fashion diet. I wanted to make sure that I could feel good about everything I put on my body and that it was made in a way that didn’t harm other human beings.
Have you always thought about fashion from an ethical standpoint, or is it something new to you?
Up until my mid-twenties, I always thought clothes just “appeared” on store shelves and that the cheaper they were and the more I could obtain, the better. Then, a few years ago, I learned about where our clothing comes from and how in many cases, garments are being made by veritable slaves just so we can have a new blouse for $9 or a pair of trousers for $12 only to have them fall apart within months. That isn’t the kind of clothing I want to wear, and I think we can all do better than that!
What other themes are you thinking of in relation to the challenge; sustainability? Thriftiness? Reducing consumption? Personal identity?
Definitely sustainability and reducing consumption, but yes, also thriftiness since splurging on a really good quality blouse for $80 actually translates to saving money in the end over buying 8 $10 blouses that are going to fall apart or go out of style in a year. In terms of personal identity, I like to see myself as a person that wears my clothing proudly, knowing that no one suffered to make it for me and that the person who made it was paid a fair wage for their work. Also, who wants to wear an item of clothing from a fast fashion shop that they’re going to see on three other girls walking down the street? I’d rather have something special from a thrift shop, a high-end ethical brand or a garment that was made just for me.
How are you preparing yourself?
I’ve been going over my wardrobe and trying to create outfits ahead of time. I’m also making myself a reversible black dress that will no doubt come in handy.
What are you expecting to be the most difficult?
I think if any last minute events pop up where I have to be really dressy, I might run into issues. Trying to hedge that bet now by preparing ahead.
What do you think you’ll experience during / after the challenge?
I think there may be moments of frustration but I think the boundaries will bring me to a higher creative plane. True creativity is born out of limitations that need to be hurdled! Afterwards, I think I’ll appreciate my wardrobe a lot more and hopefully will really question whether I need to buy something or not next time I’m faced with a purchase.
Have you chosen your items yet? If you have, what are they?
I have a few definites! Classic jean shorts that I picked up at the thrift shop for $4 and a funky aurora-pattern blouse that I got for $9 that I can easily wear with the buttons in the front or the back for a totally different look.