So after being slack on the posts for a couple weeks (it’s hard when you don’t have internet at home), but still super keen on the challenge, I have reached the end of the road!
This past 6 weeks has been a great experience, sometimes easier than I thought it would be, sometimes considerably harder.
The most important thing that I will take away from this is that it really isn’t that hard to do your part to help change somebody’s life. Wearing the 6 items everyday for 6 weeks actually wasn’t that devastating of an experience. Sure, Sydney had some abnormally hot weather for this time of year, which made me question my 6 garment choices, but other than that, it was actually quite a nice experience to limit my wardrobe for a while. It has actually made me want to do a big clean out of a lot of the things that I don’t really wear and donate them all to people who will get much better use out of them. I’m planning on doing a big wardrobe detox over the Easter long weekend.
If anyone else is considering doing a wardrobe cleanse soon, (which I would highly recommend – it’s actually nice to have some sort of ‘uniform’ to wear because you don’t have to think about what you’re going to wear each day which saves a lot of time and effort which I’m all for!), here are my tips for keeping your garments in tip top shape in order for them to last longer:
* Hand wash things as much as possible – even if they say they are machine washable. This will lengthen the life of all your garments, especially if your wardrobe consists of garments that are made out of delicate fibres like wool or silk.
* Learn how to use a sewing machine! Although they managed to hold up towards the end, a few of the buttons on my skirt started to loosen up a bit from everyday wear and simply pulling them in and out of buttonholes. If one of them did actually fall off, I would have just fixed it. But this is a skill that not many people have, and I can’t stress enough how helpful it really becomes. Replacing a button here or there makes a garment almost new again sometimes, or fixing a stitch line, or cutting a pair of pants into shorts… you get the idea.
* Dry everything on a line or lying flat and never chuck anything into a dryer! This just distorts all of your clothes and is bad for the environment so it’s a definite no-no!
And here are the following things that I took away from this challenge that made all of this an incredibly rewarding experience:
* People don’t actually notice that you are wearing the same thing over and over again. I was asked a few times by a few different people “Is this part of your 6 items? I’ve never seen you wear this before! You’re cheating!” My response every time would be the same. “Of course it is! I wore this the day before last, and then the day before that! I’ve been wearing this so many times!”
* Having to wash each piece every night after a long day was a really exhausting experience. Every time I’d start to get frustrated because I was hand washing something in the basin and having to rinse it out, I just thought about the person who made my garment and how much work they put in every day for very little return. They are exhausted too, probably much more exhausted than me, and if me hand-washing my top over and over again each night means that this worker can now make one less top that will be bought by one less person, then that’s enough to keep me slaving over the basin for hours on end.
* Try to choose garments that are season specific so you have key pieces to wear for every type of weather. So this was quite difficult to do as Sydney was in between seasons during the challenge and it was incredibly hot with slight bursts of cold here and there. But this would be a solid recommendation from me. Pick a good bunch of wardrobe essentials that will have you equipped for all four seasons.
* The people around you care a lot about what you are doing and are the most important support in this process. Tell as many people as you can about the change you are trying to make and I can guarantee you that 100% of them will be insanely supportive of the cause. These are the people who truly take an interest in what you’re doing and they are all wonderful humans for helping to donate to such a great cause!
It’s been an amazing 6 weeks and something that I will definitely do again, just maybe when it’s a little bit colder to see what the experience is like without insane Australian heat!
Thank you to everyone for all your support and kind words, it’s been an awesome experience and I recommend this to anyone, even if you do it for just one week!