The Wisdom

A whole year of Six Items Challenge 2012! Within that year, there was a huge amount of insight from participants. We at LBL towers were so impressed by all our Sixers and their experiences; a real willingness to explore personal challenges to their own buying habits and ethics.  So, we though we’d put together a bitof a compilation of wisdom: the Wise Words of the Sixers if you like.  And here it is, with practical tips, personal insights and big realisations….

Practical thoughts

Cheap items are not durable at all

Not going shopping for months leaves me money for everything else

It’s okay to wear the same thing again and again

Think outside the box when it comes to combinations of items. I added to my six item wardrobe by wearing my cardigan as a jumper, dress as a skirt and layering things in ways that I normally wouldn’t have considered.

Rather than throwing something away the minute it gets a tear or stain, try to mend your clothes.

Having a small wardrobe requires serious organization when it comes to washing. Before now I didn’t really consider washing my clothes. Something was worn and then it would more often than not go into the wash straight away. Even if it didn’t really need to. With only 6 items, I had to plan ahead so things would be dry in time for wear the next day. I did resort to drying clothes with my hair dryer at times!

I have appreciated the simplicity of picking out clothes every morning. With so few options I’ve been able to decide on an outfit pretty quickly….

Take care of your things. Lubricate your leathers, use nice hangers, remove stains and dirty spots immediately. Treating your items nicely will make you love them even more.

I was so amazed to find out that even my class mates (at fashion school) didn’t even notice that someone in their class was repeating outfits – Its funny how a few accessories, a head scarf or a hat can deeefiinattellly make your basics look TOTALLY DIFFERENT !! So if you are like me, or like I used to be, and vow to never be caught clubbing in the same dress twice, or wearing the same thing two days in a row, you can sleep safely knowing that we here at the six items challenge have done the hard yards for a month, and nobody really noticed.

Everyone would like to know where to shop ‘ethically’ but there is not a simple answer.

Personal Challenge

People can change, I can change for the better

I too, can become attached to my clothing and not treat them as disposable

At the end of it all I feel I should continue to be more conscious of where our fashion comes from and have decided to only buy fair trade clothes and accessories for myself or as gifts for the rest of 2012.

It was intense, and a lot of fun. It has given me creative confidence and convinced me that ethical and stylish is actually an easy combination and in diametrical opposite to the empty feeling that shopping in the high street gives me.

Realising your morals is so much more successful as part of a ‘challenge.’

Life is simpler when you have less choice.

I hope I can cling on to the emotions I have felt throughout this challenge, and remember them as I choose what to wear for work on Tuesday morning. I think it can be easy to feel passionate about something when you’re part of a movement, but more difficult to continue living that passion once you are more independent.

Cor blimey! Where do I start. This experience has been life changing for me, really it has. This had not been a mere journey. It has been a wild and wonderful Odyssey full of adventure!

Through this challenge I have woken up my creativity and become conscious of my surroundings. I have met all kinds of people through making my accessories and the world has opened some new doors. Doors, I thought, that were starting to become locked and bolted. I rediscovered my values and value and firmly believe that small contributions can make a difference. Through this challenge I have gained the confidence to act, to do stuff, to take risks.

Positive Outcomes

My friends and family cared about what I did, supported me, and didn’t laugh at my face when I announced my participation to the challenge

The juicy feeling of pride of making a statement that finally makes 100% sense with my values and what matters to me

When I wear something thrifted, I give it a little bit more life to be part of.

I’ve learned the value of accessories & colour, they can add so much to any outfit; I never would’ve thought of so many combinations to invent new outfits.

This challenge has taught me to appreciate all the wonderful clothes I do have & will force me to think long & hard about any new purchases. Does it really fit that well? Do I like the feel of the fabric or does it feel thin & cheap? Does this item go with existing clothes in my wardrobe or will I have to buy new shoes / bag etc. before I can make an outfit from it?

My cardigan is getting a bit ragged looking from so much wear.  One of the things that I’ve taken from this challenge is that I should try and mend things instead of throwing them away once they get the tiniest bit worn looking. So this weekend I’m going to invest in a sweater shaver to get the bobbles off. I think it should be good as new then.

I hope I will never again believe that quantity is the key to dressing well and indeed I actually think that the key to dressing well is to have fewer clothes, but good quality clothes that you love and know how to put together.  And with fewer clothes we can afford pay more and help end the exploitation of the workers who make them.

What I have realised is that it is lovely to wear things that you really really like and have chosen carefully and be creative with them.

So, it’s the end, but really for me it’s the beginning of a new way of life. I have been able to look at myself and have realised I need to change. Change how I choose to spend my money. Change where I choose to shop. Change how I think about fashion. Change how I think about others. I have realised that my choices have an effect on other people’s lives, in a big way. This challenge has been eye opener for sure…

I’m even more determined to ensure that garment workers don’t pay for my fashion choices. My favourite clothes shops have always been charity shops and this is definitely still the case. But it’s not as simple as just individually choosing the ‘good’ shops – although that’s a flippin’ good place to start! It’s about making sure that all shops & brands take responsibility for their supply chains.

We should always tell other people what it is we believe needs to be changed in the world, and telling them creatively may be the best way to get the message across.

Fast fashion has turned into a value-less system, and there is nothing I can stand less than a system/organisation that does not hold value(s)…

Having only started to take the issue of ethical clothing seriously last summer it has been so good to participate in this challenge and feel like I have made a positive impact in raising some awareness and a bit of money for a really worthwhile cause.

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