We’ve really enjoyed finding out about Harriet’s route into the Six Items Challenge – as a long term fan of LBL’s work, she’s been revving up towards this for a while. Well aware of the issues that make this Challenge so key, Harriet’s keen to spread the crucial message about improving ethics in the fashion industry. Plus, the thrifty nature of Six Items suits her current life change – the big shock to the purse strings that is going to university… Good luck Harriet!
What made you become part of the challenge?
I found out about LBL from their stand at Graduate Fashion Week a few years ago, but was unable to get to any of their workshops etc, so I was thrilled to find out about something I can actually take part in, which also gives me an excuse to spend even more time than usual thinking about clothes!
Have you always thought about fashion from an ethical standpoint or is this something new to you?
It’s been at the back of my mind for quite some time but only recently have I given it enough thought that I’ve decided to change my shopping habits. I’m hoping that by taking part in this challenge the issue will be brought to the forefront of more peoples’ minds to the point where it actually informs what they choose to buy.
What other themes are you thinking of in relation to the challenge; sustainability? Thriftiness? Reducing consumption? Personal identity?
All of the above! Sustainability is a big one; if you look at the statistics showing the resources that go into producing a single t-shirt, packing and transporting it to the shop where you pick it up for £3, the amount of fossil fuel burned alone makes it pretty evident that high street fashion as it is cannot continue in the long term, as we all know oil prices are rising and reserves are gradually running out. This is not to mention the volume of perfectly wearable clothes currently sent to landfill. Thriftiness is especially important for me at the moment though, as I’ll be starting university towards the end of the month, and if I can live on only six items of clothing for a month, then the contents of my already bulging wardrobe should see me through the next four years, freeing up money and shopping time for secondary concerns like food, rent and studying.
How are you preparing yourself?By wearing my six items as little as possible so as not to get bored of them! And talking about the challenge to anyone who will listen.
What are you expecting to be the most difficult?
Not being able to wear most of my lovely things. Usually I wake up, think “who do I want to be today?” and dress up accordingly, and not being able to do so I may lose my mind and end up just not caring what I look like any more.
What do you think you’ll experience during / after the challenge?A confirmation of my growing conviction that dressing well doesn’t depend on having the biggest wardrobe. Once I’ve proved that to myself it’ll be far less daunting to save up and spend time researching sources of beautiful, well made clothing that doesn’t compromise anybody’s quality of life and encouraging other people to do the same.
Have you chosen your items yet? If you have, what are they?
Yes, I picked them out as soon as I found out about the challenge:
A brown polka-dot shift dress I stole from my mum when I was 13 and sewed a slightly wobbly new hem onto. Despite the many newer, more expensive, better fitting clothes I have , this dress is still my go-to whenever I’m not sure about what to wear, and it is always right.
A mustard yellow cardigan, which just brightens up any outfit and any day for that matter.
A black bodycon mini skirt, it can be worn with anything, day and night, and is so unobtrusive no one would notice if you wore it all week.
Really high waisted denim shorts. I spent about a year scouring charity shops for the perfect pair of jeans to cut up and make these shorts. Because of the high waist they’re versatile and can be even look smart if necessary.
An enormous New York Yankees tshirt my dad brought back as a souvenir when I was seven and i still haven’t grown into it! It’s big and baggy for lazy days and is almost appropriate to wear as a dress…
Another item I stole from my mum, a long sleeved red silk blouse. Great for layering, and a comfortable fabric, where polyester would be unbearably hot.