The Six Items Challenge is finally over! (Though you can still donate to Labour Behind the Label until the 24th of April!) I am definitely glad I took part in the challenge, since it has taught me a lot about how much I need clothes and how I could appreciate the clothes I already have. The challenge was quite easy for me – sure, I felt like wearing other clothes once in a while, but it wasn’t a very overwhelming feeling. I’m actually so lazy that I enjoyed the challenge, because it was so easy to not have to think about what to wear, since you were pretty restricted.
Since the challenge was quite easy for me, I’ve realised how I really don’t need new clothes, and will probably try to not buy any new clothes for quite a while. I’ve already noticed how I’ve started to become immune to clothes shopping, thanks to the challenge – I’ve been pretty immune to temptations in fast fashion stores for a couple of years now, but it’s been difficult for me to leave a second hand store without some new piece of clothing. Now though, I notice that I don’t even want to look through the clothes at second hand stores, because I’m sure I have beyond enough in my closet already (enough outfits for 12 years should be enough for quite a while…). You’d think it would be quite obvious when you have enough stuff, but it really took me the Six Items Challenge to really get it (and watching Minimalism on Netflix – I totally recommend it!).
The challenge has also taught me to demand more of my clothes. I don’t want clothes anymore that aren’t practical, comfortable and look good – this should also be pretty obvious, but there are always those pieces in your wardrobe you think you’ll wear, because it looks nice, but deep down you know you won’t, because it just doesn’t fit right. Now I’ve learnt to let go of those pieces, and now that I can wear all my clothes again, I’ve already started getting rid of them. If I put something on, and it isn’t 100% comfortable, it will be donated or recycled. I know I have so many clothes, that I don’t need the ones I don’t absolutely love. I’ll feel much better about myself if everything I own makes me feel good, and is comfortable on me.
The things I realised during the challenge are things that should be obvious – if I don’t wear a piece of clothing, why do I have it? If I have over 30 summer dresses, why do I need to buy a new one? The answer to this is also pretty obvious though: advertising. The fast fashion industry wants us to consume a lot, and wants us to consume at an increasing pace. They normalise owning a lot, and make you feel like you need new clothes. I just saw an ad of a fast fashion brand with the text “7 dresses for 7 days” and it felt ridiculous to see that a fast fashion brand is advertising wearing more clothes in one week than I have worn in the past six weeks. If you want to dress sustainably, you have to cut back on consumerism, and you have to resist the temptations of the fast fashion industry. But that isn’t as difficult as it sounds. There was a great quote in the Minimalism documentary about consuming less to save the environment: “We’re going to have to give up a lot, but a lot of that we’re not going to actually miss”. Maybe that’s why the Six Items Challenge felt so easy for me: I was used to having so much, and initially felt like six items is much too little to wear for six weeks, but it turns out that six items is much closer to the actual amount I need, compared to what I have, that I really didn’t miss all my other clothes.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my journey through this challenge, and I really hope the challenge inspired you to think about the amount of clothes you have, and if you could manage with less. I’m quite sure I’ll be taking part in the challenge next year as well, and will be cutting back on my clothes throughout the year anyway. I really enjoyed the challenge, but I have to say that I am pretty pleased to be reunited with all my other clothes that I love!
Please remember that you can still donate to Labour Behind the Label’s work to help the victims of the fast fashion industry!