My Fashion Revolution Week
HAPPY FASHION REVOLUTION WEEK GUYS!!!! Ok you can tell I’m a bit excited for this can’t you? It’s just that I’ve been waiting ages for this week to arrive and now it has I’m so pumped (yes actually used the word pumped) I’ve been thinking about what I could do for FRW for so long and I came up with loads of ideas, but the biggest problem was choosing which one I should do… So then I thought, why do just one? Yes that’s right people; I am setting myself the challenge of doing one act of Fashion Revolution EACH DAY of this week!! Starting today I will post on my Instagram page the challenge I’m doing to support the Fashion Revolution, seven different challenges, each one with it’s own purpose and meaning. Some will be big and others small, but the point is that I’m going to use this week to campaign like crazy for the cause that is nearest to my heart (along with animal welfare obvs!) Next week (30th April) I’ll do a blog post about the past week and how things went and I will try and add posts on here during the week but I don’t want to make too many promises that I can’t keep haha!
Why am I doing this? Because fast fashion sucks and I want to karate chop its head off. No seriously, the way the industry has just grown into this giant, conglomerate, capitalist machine turns my stomach and I love fashion too much to sit back and do nothing to stop it. I know I’m just one person, but I can make a difference and besides, what the hell else am I going to do with my time? The Rana Plaza disaster on the 24th April 2013 was the collapse of a five-storey building that included 5 clothing factories. The collapse was caused by compromised structural integrity and the day before, cracks were seen in the building and it was evacuated, but the owner of the building, Sohel Rana told everyone the building was safe and managers of the garment factories ordered the workers to go back to work the next day. The collapse left 1134 dead and another 2500 injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. The factory managers knew they couldn’t afford to loose a day’s labour, so knowingly sent the garment workers back into an unsafe building that led to the deadliest garment-factory accident in history.
Fashion Revolution was set up in the wake of this tragedy to try and combat the issues facing the fashion industry, including garment workers rights, wages and working conditions. Every year, during the week that includes the 24th April, Fashion Revolution Week remembers the lives lost that day and campaigns for a more accountable industry and encourages brands to become more transparent. Transparency is the only way to show consumers who you are as a brand and what buying clothes from you will do for the people involved in the process.
So that brings me to today; day one of my seven day challenge. I’ve decided to take part in the 6 Items Challenge, set up by Labour Behind the Label (the charity I volunteer for). This means that for six weeks from today, I will only be allowed to wear six items of clothing as a way of challenging our reliance on fast fashion. The rules are I can pick six different items of clothing, for example jeans, t-shirts, dresses, etc, and underwear, gym wear, shoes and accessories are unlimited – phew! How awkward would it be lifting weights at the gym in a dress! I’m doing this to raise a small amount of money, but mainly to spread awareness of this challenge and get people talking/thinking about the rate they buy clothes and the impact this is having on people, the planet and our lovely animals. And of course, all of my items will be vegan and cruelty-free :) You can read more about the 6 Items Challenge here.
What I picked
I decided to go for a pair of black skinny jeans, a pair of grey culottes, a long-sleeved black top, a white t-shirt, a blue + white striped shirt and a plain white shirt. Ok this is scary, this is like 0.4% of my wardrobe and I’m freaking out that this won’t be enough! I’m so glad that gym wear is unlimited, I might just hang out at the gym for 6 weeks to kill the time… probably not though. Also, accessories will be my saving grace here I think as I can resort to hats and belts to jazz up a repeated outfit. Another good point to mention is that these are all clothes that I already owned, I did not go out and buy new things for this challenge, as that would clearly defeat the purpose!
I watched a few videos on YouTube of people who had done the challenge or something similar, a lot of ‘capsule collection’ videos came up actually – will look into that another time. One that I loved was Sabina from The Little Fair Trade Shop, check out one of her videos here. It was good to get some inspiration before starting this challenge and I could see the importance of getting creative with what you have, and trying to style outfits in new ways. It’s also good to look at all your clothes (just literally sit on your bed and stare at your wardrobe) and think about what you love, what you always wear and what you could live without. Another great video to watch is Lucy Fink's 5 day capsule wardrobe challenge, it's so good for styling tips (I'm so gunna steal some) check it out here!
My hopes for the next 6 weeks
I’m hoping that I can use this time to think about my relationship with clothes and reassess how often I need to buy new clothes. I’m wondering if people will even notice without me telling them about the challenge, I do wear a lot of the same things multiple times in a week. I think I can survive on less clothes but it’s about how I feel when I’m doing it, if I feel uninspired or restricted, then it’s not something I’m going to want to continue. But maybe it will be more of an extreme version of something I could introduce into my lifestyle – those capsule wardrobes did look tempting… I also think it will be the ultimate test of my styling skills, seeing how many ways I can wear the same pieces or outfit! Another outcome may be that I have clothes left at the end of the challenge that I realise I don’t wear anymore and then I could donate them to charity! Ultimately my aim is to inspire other people to either take part in the challenge or just think about the amount of clothes we buy and consider reducing it, any change is progress! Oh and also, I’m trying to raise £100 during these six weeks for Labour Behind the Label so that they can continue their vital work campaigning for garment workers – so if you wanted to donate something I would be so unbelievably grateful!! You can find my 6 Items Challenge donation page here (all donations go directly to the charity Labour Behind the Label, charity number 1159356).
So, wish me luck and keep an eye out on my Instagram page for updates on how I’m getting on!