For the 6 weeks of Lent, from 18 February – 4 April, I have the smallest of capsule wardrobes. Not including shoes, accessories, underwear or sportswear, I have a wardrobe of six items and my coats. Yes, I have two tops, one jumper, two skirts and a pair of jeans for 6 weeks.
You may now declare me crazy. Or you can sponsor me. Part of the challenge is with the intention to raise money for Labour Beyond The Label, an organisation that seeks to raise awareness of the consequences of fast fashion. Their particular emphasis is on the consequences for the workers who are making the clothes that feed our fast fashion addiction. For other consequences of this Western habit, the Huffington Post did a really good article; 5 Truths the Fast Fashion Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know.
Fast Fashion was thrust into the limelight as a result of the Rana Plaza disaster in January 2014. I admit it did take too long for the scale of the disaster to properly hit me but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to do something. Last year I gave up buying high street jewellery (here) after learning about the conditions that those mining the necessary metals had to endure. While I have not gone to the same extremes with my clothes- in fact, I suggest not doing that as those making the clothes could end up in worse jobs- I am so much more aware of what cheap clothes really cost.
The worrying thing is that it’s not the typical culprits of Primark, H&M and Peacocks. In January I went shopping in Marks and Spencer to buy a few new bits for work. One month later, I popped in again to find that the entire stock had changed. Just how quickly is M&S, a trusted British retailer, turning around clothes to make this happen?
This trend in fashion scares me. It scares me enough to make want to do something. Does it scare you?
The post #6ItemsChallenge || Week 1 first appeared on CounterCultural. CounterCouture.