CAMPAIGNS // Six Items Challenge: Treating Your Clothes Better

Stitched Up are taking part in the Six Items Challenge – a sponsored ‘fashion fast’ to raise funds for Labour Behind the Label Trust, who support garment workers from around the world to secure a better future.

We are wearing only six items of clothing for 40 days. Please visit our fundraising page and sponsor us!

Today, Bryony is blogging about her experience doing the Six Items Challenge so far…

When I signed up to the Six Items Challenge this year, I did so mainly with the intention of raising awareness and raising funds for Labour Behind the Label.

But added to that, I also hoped I might emerge from the Challenge with a new clarity on my clothes – and a more streamlined wardrobe.

I would describe myself as an aspirational minimalist. I’ve read Marie Kondo’s Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and am sold on the idea of more minimal living, in theory(!). The idea of a capsule wardrobe has always appealed to me.

But actually choosing just six items of clothing which all interchanged was harder than I thought. In the end I was forced to make the disappointing choice of practicality (maximum interchangeable outfit combinations) over joy (the clothes with colours and prints that make my heart sing).

What I’ve been interested to discover, only a week or so into the Challenge, is the change in my attitude towards these six items of clothing. They’ve become so much more important to me than they were before. Yesterday I spot-washed my jeans immediately after getting bike chain oil on them, instead of chucking them in the wash basket and forgetting about them till it’s too late. I’ve been noticing when repairs are needed, washing them carefully, folding or hanging them up neatly at the end of the day, rather than dumping them all on The Chair.


And because I’m wearing less clothes, there’s less clothing-based clutter lying around in my flat.

Once I’d chosen my Six Items, I washed and put away everything else, making it to the bottom of my laundry basket possibly for the first time ever. I feel content in knowing that the laundry basket won’t be filling up again for the next five weeks – I simply don’t have enough clothes in use. There’ll be less damp laundry drying in my flat, less hanging clothes out, folding them, keeping them in piles for days before FINALLY putting them away…

This could be the start of a new me!

Having said that, if I do manage to jump on the capsule wardrobe bandwagon, I’ll definitely be wearing a lot more than six items of clothing. Already, one-and-a-bit weeks in, it’s proving to be a logistical nightmare.

Today for example, I’m sat in a thin, short-sleeved dress, with my big cardigan over the top which is too hot, and also scratchy on my bare forearms (the smaller cardigan and my long-sleeved top are still drying). First World Problems, I hear you cry!

But challenging nonetheless, when you’re trying to fit in the extra laundry, outfit planning and clothing care around your usual weekly routine.

The boredom with my six items has yet to set in, but having done this challenge before a couple of years ago, I know it will. In a week I’m sure I’ll be desperately raiding my long-forgotten stash of jewellery and accessories in an attempt to introduce something, anything new. We shall see!

We’re taking part in this Challenge to raise funds for Labour Behind the Label Trust, and our target is £500. Please sponsor Bryony and the rest of the Stitched Up team, to help garment workers around the world get fairer working conditions and pay.