The Free Fashion Challenge – One Year Without Shopping

Goodlifer: The Free Fashion Challenge - One Year Without Shopping

How much of what is in your closet do you wear regularly? Honestly. You’ve probably heard about the rule that says you should give anything you haven’t worn in a year away, but what if we instead did not buy any clothing for a whole year? That’s exactly what a group of fashion addicts from across the world did on November 11th, as part of the Free Fashion Challenge.

These ‘fashion addicts’ are a mix of fashion students and fashion professionals. Every two weeks they will share their experiences on the Free Fashion Challenge website, based on assignments. Some of the participants will get customized assignments, since going cold turkey on a fashion addiction is not quite the same for everyone. Below is a short introduction of the project.

So why would anyone do this? Especially someone who is a self-professed fashion addict? Well, over the last few decades fashion has become more and more about consumption. Fashion became fast fashion and clothes have become disposable. Generations are growing up believing that a t-shirt truly can be made for 50 cents, when the actual cost is much much higher than that — we’re not paying for it in money, but in social and environmental costs. The Free Fashion Challenge wants to explore the meaning of consumption within the definition of fashion.

Fashion Addict: Melanie Hollywood, The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict: Melanie Hollywood, The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict: Nadia, The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict: Nadia, The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict: Renée Lacroix, The UK/Canada.

Fashion Addict: Renée Lacroix, The UK/Canada.

We think fashion is more than shopping. Don’t get us wrong, we are no fashion haters. We love fashion but we think it is not necessarily about buying stuff. Fashion should be about creativity, adornment, joy, quality and good design.

 

Fashion Addict: Ruud, The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict: Ruud, The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict: Julia Eden, Australia.

Fashion Addict: Julia Eden, Australia.

Fashion Addict: Inna Sokolovsky, Israel.

Fashion Addict: Inna Sokolovsky, Israel.

 

Consumption has always been deeply ingrained into the fashion industry, but fashion today seems faster than it’s ever been. Traditionally, designers showed two collections per year — Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer, but many now do twice that with a Resort/Cruise collection (before Spring/Summer) and Pre-Fall (before Fall/Winter). It’s a miracle that even the fashion editors can keep up! At the same time, more and more of us are trying to live more sustainably, which is not exactly compatible to the kind of consumption patterns the fashion industry are trying to make us follow. So, is it possible to be a “fashion addict” and still live a sustainable life? I believe so, but fashion as we know it needs to change — the future is about slower and smarter.

Fashion Addict: Max Verhoeven, The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict: Max Verhoeven, The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict: Juliana, Brazil.

Fashion Addict: Juliana, Brazil.

Fashion Addict(s): Gerdien and Noor Koster, The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict(s): Gerdien and Noor Koster, The Netherlands.

With the Free Fashion challenge we try to find out what the meaning of consumption is within the definition of fashion. What happens to people who are fashion conscious if they cannot buy trends anymore? If they don’t ‘follow’ the strict rules of fashion, trends and mass consumption? What are their demands of clothing when they need their garments for a longer period of time?

 

Fashion Addict: Leonie Kootstra, Australia.

Fashion Addict: Leonie Kootstra, Australia.

Fashion Addict: Clare Holder, Australia.

Fashion Addict: Clare Holder, Australia.

Fashion Addict: Floor, The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict: Floor, The Netherlands.

 

Free Fashion Challenge is an initiative of Laura de Jong in collaboration with Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) and Beyond Green. The original idea for the concept came from Kate Fletcher, sustainable designer/consultant/author, and Frank Jurgen Wijlens, lecturer at AMFI.

Fashion Addict: Emmi Ojala, Finland/The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict: Emmi Ojala, Finland/The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict (& Free Fashion Challenge founder): Laura de Jong, The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict (& Free Fashion Challenge founder): Laura de Jong, The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict (& AMFI lecturer): Frank Jurgen, The Netherlands.

Fashion Addict (& AMFI lecturer): Frank Jurgen, The Netherlands.

Laura de Jong is a graduate of the Fashion & Branding course at AMFI. Specialized in fashion and sustainability, her final thesis examined how the definition of fashion should change to become truly sustainable. While most ‘green’ brands focus on the use of sustainable materials, Laura believes the real barrier is the way people consume and how brands stimulate this overconsumption.

How fast is your fashion? What percentage of the clothing you are wearing right now have you bought in the last year? Could you go a whole year without buying any new pieces of clothing? What about a month, or a week? Let’s all make up fashion challenges for ourselves and slow this out-of-control fast fashion train down.

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
1 comment on this postSubmit yours
  1. Brilliant! Love it a lot. Please consider us as a resource. Refashioner is invite-only CURATED swapping–call it hautecycling. Chanel, Dries, Comme, YSL, Marc, Marni, you name it. We’re new, and growing fast. We invite y’all! http://refashioner.com/apply/

1 pingback on this post
Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Your name is required

Please enter a valid email address

An email address is required

Please enter your message

About

What constitutes the good life? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves since the dawn of time and something we all strive for. To us, the good life is not a destination but a journey. We want to see more positivity in the world. Thinking happy thoughts makes for happy people, and happy people are more productive, innovative and at peace with the world. We believe in the transformative power of good news.

Goodlifer © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress