Today Six items is really excited to get to know one of our new participants for September, Delphine, who is living in Brussels and on a journey of self-discovery as to what the fashion industry really means to those on the inside… And also proving what can be done with a bit of inspiration!
What made you become part of the challenge?
I work in retail, at a mall, and I live next door to Brussels’ biggest fast-fashion shopping street. After being a super-consumer of all those clothes, I started getting more and more sickened by the whole process. I quit my job… Then I started becoming more and more curious about HOW my garments were made. Then I watched a documentary about working conditions of people who make clothes for most of the brands I buy. They were showing people in Bangladesh who were standing unprotected in extremely toxic fabric dyes, and the cancer rates rising alarmingly. It really hit the nail on the head, and I started looking up alternative sources of clothing, and this is how I found LBL and the 6 items challenge. I thought it would be a great cure for me and perhaps an inspiration for people around me 🙂
Have you always thought about fashion from an ethical standpoint or is this something new to you?
It is very new to me. Up to a few months ago, I thought “the cheaper, the better! buy! buy! buy! must not miss the latest trends!”. I had NO idea that people still worked in horrible conditions to produce garments that were sold here. I thought sweatshops and bad working conditions were a story of the past, and I joyfully kept my head in the sand, as I purchased more and more. Only recently have I started actually THINKING about those things, and it feels like a huge awakening.
What other themes are you thinking of in relation to the challenge; sustainability? Thriftiness? Reducing consumption? Personal identity?
Yes, all of these, and also the feminist part of my brain that just awoke also… I’m disgusted by the big companies making us believe that looking good is the most important quality for a woman, at all cost, and that we MUST buy and buy and buy and buy more things to keep up with what’s trendy and “cute”. I just don’t want to follow this anymore.
How are you preparing yourself?
I am selling and donating a HUGE part of my wardrobe, and thinking really hard about which 6 items I am going to choose, it’s not going to be easy, I’ve never, ever lived off 6 items!
What are expecting to be the most difficult?
Getting bored of my 6 items and not being able to see a way to make them look better at the beginning (I’m sure my imagination WILL burst after a couple of weeks of this!), and also having to wash my clothes very often…
What do you think you’ll experience during / after the challenge?
I’m expecting a sense of relief. I did a temple stay in Korea once, where I was wearing a uniform, and all the monks around me were wearing maybe one or two outfits per year. I remember feeling very relieved, feeling like the pressure of looking cool / cute / thinking of something great to wear was finally off my shoulders. Hopefully this will remove those “should” ideas from my mind after the challenge 🙂
Have you chosen your items yet? If you have, what are they?
Not yet! I’m totally stuck with this task. I have A LOT of clothing, and no idea what would be most useful for the challenge!