We hear from Vicky – self- confessed former fashion addict and mother of two – today, on how the issues involved with fast fashion resonate with her on many different levels…
· What made you become part of the challenge?
I used to be the biggest serial shopper and fast fashion addict – you name it, I bought it. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I really got into charity shops and thrifting, and after a while I found that I was turning away from the high street – everything seemed to be increasing in price and decreasing in quality. I read a piece in a newspaper about sweated labour and that, along with reading Lucy Siegle’s marvelous book, made me look into the subject further. Already a charity shop addict, it was pretty easy for me to do my best to steer clear of the worst shops involved – now I want to raise awareness and encourage other people to do the same.
· Have you always thought about fashion from an ethical standpoint or is this something new to you?
It was having my son almost four years ago that made me think more about all the injustices in the world – I think becoming a parent tends to do that to you. When I considered that some children involved in sweated labour aren’t much older than him, it really hit home how terrible the whole thing really is.
· What other themes are you thinking of in relation to the challenge; sustainability? Thriftiness? Reducing consumption? Personal identity?
The thing with disposable, fast fashion, is that it not only affects the people who make the garments, but it’s also ruining our beautiful earth – from the pollution caused by dyes and waste from factories, to the tonnes of unwanted clothes and accessories sent to landfill. For me, I want my children to not only have as little impact on the planet as possible, but also to leave them a world which is still pleasant to live in, rich with natural life and beauty. And I’m always happy to save as much money as possible along the way!
· How are you preparing yourself?
I’ve already accepted that I’m going to be spending a lot of time in grubby clothes – being a Mum to a toddler and a five month old is a messy business at the best of times, but when you’re limited on how many times a day you can change… it’s going to be interesting to say the least! I’m going about it tactically – looking at the long range weather forecast and working out which tops dry the fastest.
· What are you expecting to be the most difficult?
The really awful, changeable British weather – I can’t stand being uncomfortable, so being too cold or too hot would be my worst nightmare. Oh, and not having my usual choice of cardigans (I’m a bit of a knitwear addict…) is going to kill me!
· What do you think you’ll experience during / after the challenge?
I really don’t know – I’m hoping for some sort of feeling of achievement afterwards. If I get one extra person to shop in charity shops more often, then I’ll be satisfied!
· Have you chosen your items yet? If you have, what are they?
No not yet – I’ve left it right until the last minute! I’m thinking probably a dress, two tops, a cardigan and two bottoms. And a whole lot of scarves!