The Ultimate Fast Fashion Detox: Six Items Challenge Comes to the U.S.

Clothes strewn on bed

The Six Items Challenge is a fashion fast to oppose fast fashion – are you in?

I used to be quite the Tasmanian devil when it came to fashion, but after a while it became exhausting (and expensive). Once I realized how many pieces of clothing I owned that still had the tags attached, oodles of icky feelings bubbled to the surface. (My mind’s purposely suppressed the number so I don’t feel compelled to bathe with a toaster.)

All kidding aside, the average American buys about 70 pieces of new clothing each year. (That’s 20 billion garments annually.) We’ve become obsessed with quantity over quality – “I have to have one in every color!” – and have become so focused on what’s on trend each season that many of us have lost our sense of individuality when it comes to our duds.

The Six Items Challenge is a UK-based campaign by Labour Behind the Label that challenges participants to only wear six articles of clothing for six weeks – the goal is to raise awareness of the dangers of fast fashion and give us the chance to recalibrate our relationship with the garment industry.

Because there’s no U.S. branch of the initiative, Sarah Mazzone, blogger at Made In USA Challenge is taking action by spearheading a local campaign – and formally participating in it herself.

Directly from her campaign page:

Americans have become dependent on the “fast fashion industry”. Cheap, disposable clothing readily available in everyday shops has created a pattern of increased consumption and waste. While the demand for the latest trends has grown exponentially, creating wealth for large clothing brands, the wages of the garment workers actually making these products remain stagnant. Struggling to feed our need for an endless influx of new apparel, garment workers are subject to dangerous labor conditions, often ending in tragedy.

The official challenge runs from March 5 – April 17, 2014.

For the next six weeks, you’re challenged to wear only your designated six pieces of clothing. There are certain items that are unlimited: Underwear, socks, shoes, pajamas, accessories and coats. The idea is to become more mindful of what you wear, how you wear it, and gain a sense of independence from fast fashion.

To learn more, visit Sarah’s blog.

To sign up, visit her campaign page.

Will you be putting your fashion foot forward?

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Image: Steve Johnson

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).