The above pile of clothing will be my wardrobe for the next six weeks, thanks to Labour Behind the Label’s Six Items Challenge. I’m not sure if I should just be excited or be nervous and excited. I’m the type of person who tries to remember what I had on the last time I saw a friend to try to avoid wearing that outfit for a second time in a row with that person. I like to try on new things and I get tired of the same clothes quickly – which is why my way of living the ethical fashion lifestyle is by buying second hand, so that I can get a lot of clothes for little money and without adding waste to the world, because even if I bought clothes from ethical labels, I would probably end up buying too much. But maybe these are reasons why I should really be doing this challenge, maybe I can learn to be okay with wearing the same clothes for almost two months, and maybe I can learn to really value my clothes more by finding creative ways of wearing the same items. If I can pull off wearing only these clothes for six weeks, then maybe I won’t feel the need to buy new clothes so often.
Labour Behind the Label is a campaign fighting for garment workers’ rights and educating consumers on the effect of their shopping habits. They do important work in holding brands accountable for what happens in their supply chains, researching conditions in the fashion industry and raising awareness. Because their work is so important, as a part of this fashion fast, I am fundraising for the benefit of Labour Behind the Label! And I would really appreciate it if any of you who want to shop with a better conscience or feel that the fashion industry should change would go and donate even just a tiny little bit!
Here’s what I’ll be wearing for the next six weeks:
Item no. 1.
A very boring, but extremely practical choice; black jeans. These are one of the rare pieces of clothing that I have bought new. I’ve had them for a couple of years, and though they’re cheap jeans from Vero Moda, they’ve stayed in good shape – except for one hole that I’ve mended a couple of times already.
Item no. 2.
This was the item that I knew I would be using in this challenge right away when I heard about it. It’s called a Tuub and it’s a multifunctional item that can be used for instance as a top, a skirt, a dress or a scarf. I found it in Tallinn last summer and fell in love immediately. It isn’t second hand, but it’s made from mostly recycled material, and the production is in Europe, so made in much better conditions than most clothes made in South-East Asia. I also used this in my 5 Looks Challenge (pictures on Instagram) last autumn, so I know this can be a very versatile piece.
Item no. 3.
I’m a big fan of button shirts, so I knew I needed one in this challenge. I went with one of my most neutral button shirts so that it can be used in as many situations as possible and with all the other pieces I’ve chosen. This shirt was a second hand find from the amazingly lovely Relove second hand shop / cafe in Helsinki.
Item no. 4
I got these second hand pants from a friend a couple of years ago, and I’m guessing these are quite old, because they were made in Finland. They’re high waist, which I love and they’re thick enough to keep me warm since it’s still really cold in Finland. I would have loved to have chosen a skirt or a dress for this challenge, but since I bike everywhere, skirts and dresses are really impractical in the winter, so I had to go with a more rational choice. I totally adore these pants though, so these were by no means a bad choice for this challenge!
Item no. 5
Another very practical and neutral choice (I seem to be seeing a pattern here…) for early spring in Finland. This second hand sweater goes well with all my other items and can be easily mixed with accessories. I’m trying to think of ways to combine these pieces in creative ways, so though they’re all quite neutral, they can make nice looking outfits together.
Item no. 6
I can’t go six weeks without colour, so for my final item I chose this glittery (quite Christmassy) red shirt. It’s a really basic shape, so its easy to combine with other clothes, and the long sleeves are much needed in the cold.
Though this challenge is not religious, as a Christian I see this as an excellent way of spending Lent. Lent is a time for Christians to focus on their faith and try to get rid of distractions that are keeping them from spending time with God. Most traditionally, this means giving up food (or reducing it) for the period of Lent, but since food isn’t as time consuming as it was in Biblical times, I feel like nowadays it is more beneficial to give up things which we spend much more time on – like tv, social media or console games. This year, I’m giving up most of my clothes, and hopefully won’t spend so much time staring at my closet in despair trying to think of a good outfit to wear. Since this fashion fast is statement against fast fashion and violations in the fashion industry, I feel like this is a great way to do God’s work. What would be a better way to give glory to God than by showing love to others by standing up for human rights?
I will be posting on my process during this fashion fast, so stay tuned for new posts! Most likely I will be putting up pictures on Instagram (@leafable) more regularly, so you can follow me there if you want to get the most recent updates.
If you were inspired by this post and want to take part in the Six Items Challenge, you still have time to start! The challenge starts on Wednesday the 1st of March and ends on the 24th of April. And by the way, during the challenge you can use accessories etc. as much as you like, and sportswear is also okay, so you don’t have to count your work out clothes into these six items. Also, since it’s still pretty cold here in the North, winter jackets are also allowed outside these six items.
P.S. Remember to donate to my fundraising site, if you want!