My favorite thing about the week was the excuse I had to not have to worry about what I was wearing. Just throw on a jacket depending on the weather.. and go!
I should start with the downsides though because this was a mission to see if could be done, so I was searching for problems and there were a few to list:
-The big one was feeling under dressed at the Erdem event. I hate feeling under dressed as it is basically rude to the host of the event and although looking at pictures I didn't look too bad I would have liked to dress up a little bit more.
Having said that I attended about 25 events during the week and only felt underdressed at 1, which is a pretty good ratio.
-Walking the dog and training was also something I completely overlooked. It definitely wasn't practical to walk the dog and then train outside (mostly in the pouring rain during #LFW) and then wear the same clothes for the rest of the day. I had to break the rule for the first 2 hours of each day and wear gym kit - I did however, wear and wash the same gym kit every day.
-The washing - this was somewhat of a drawback because I wouldn't normally have washed clothes every day and in the interest of saving water I was hand washing rather than just loading the machine. However, it only took ten minutes a day, which was a worthy sacrifice for the cause.
-Expressing myself - The major thing I felt I needed to sell to people, especially at #LFW was that you can still express yourself with just a few items.
We all use retail therapy and the occasional new outfit to boost our confidence and self esteem. I assumed that after a few days I would start to feel a little uninspired by the same clothes every day. However, I was really surprised to enjoy building a new image on top of the basic look every day.
It actually made me feel more creative and the fact that quite a few people assumed I had given up on my mission because I managed to look so different every day, shows that I was creative enough to make it work!
In actual fact, I usually only changed the jacket and towards the end of the week added a few accessories as well.
What I wasn't expecting was that I really enjoyed removing the decision of what to wear every day! The day after my mission finished, I very nearly threw on the same look again just to continue that enjoyment.
I have since spent a day donating all the clothing I haven't worn for a while, so that now the choice of what to wear each day is drastically reduced. I'm looking forward to working with my basics and continuing to be creative with how I style myself for all occasions.
I am also pledging that any further clothing purchases MUST be investment pieces that I know will last for a long time and help develop my style. I hope to never make a cheap and short term solution purchase again and I will continue to avoid cheap vanity purchases to attempt to turn a bad day into a good one!
I was asked many times during the week about the more political and environmental battles that my cause could be directed towards. I feel I should explain that whilst those factors are a HUGE priority and that I am proud of all the work I have done to that end over the past 6 years, the focus of this mission was to highlight what everyday people can do to help.
People are always shocked and keen to help when I list some of the facts about the cause, however people also have a busy agenda focussing on their own lives and causes and not everyone is able to dedicate a life to ethics in the textiles industry.
For those that do, I look forward to joining you in battle on another day but for now I am trying to highlight what the everyday person can do to help and more specifically what they are doing to harm, without realising.
It is a fact that the demand for cheap clothing on the high street to indulge the consumer's attempts to look different, new (and affluent) every day, means that the stores on our high street must cater and compete with one another to supply that demand, which means offering cheap prices.
This results in the stores demanding cheaper and cheaper products at source, resulting in manufacturers facing the decision to either cater to that demand and cut corners OR risk losing business to a competitor that will.
When you consider that the consumers buying the products are the only people on that chain who are not acting in order to maintain their own livelihood, you start to realise where change in consumer trends can affect the system. This is especially true when you consider those that binge buy these products because they are cheap and not because they need or even particularly like the products.
I spoke to someone this week who said he couldn't be bothered to try a jumper on but because the jumper was so cheap, he bought 2 different styles in 3 different sizes with the intention of throwing away the ones that didn't suit him. He was completely oblivious of the damage he is causing to those who make the products and it is that habit and lack of knowledge I am trying to challenge.
I hope I have been able to inspire people to buy things they love and learn to develop them as part of your style. Hopefully people might try to express themselves using their own creativity, rather than that of the person who dresses the mannequins in shops and if nothing else I hope people are a bit more aware of how consumers are contributing to such tragic events in a world that seems so far away from us all.
Thank you all for following and supporting! See you at #LCM