let's unpack the dare a bit…
first exhale. it's really not going to be too hard. it'll be fine and maybe even fun, but only if you believe that. realize that it will be a challenge, but a really fun and rewarding one if we want it to be.
okay. onward, friends.
+continue to educate yourself. here is a pretty good quick article to start with. the key to succeeding in this lies in remembering the stories you read/hear, and deciding what's more important: the shirt in your hand, or the hands that made it.
+define your goal. make it yours!
personally, this is what i (jo) have done in the past:
---basic statement: i will not buy new clothes made by slaves/sweatshops this season. i can buy thrifted slave/sweatshop made clothes, because recycling is not directly supporting the company. (i define thrifting as buying pre-owned clothing sold from a store or from online that does not exist primarily so that you can keep buying more clothing with the tags still attached.)
---i will do this from now until (this date). you could do it for a month or a season, whatever you choose.
---define what you mean by clothes? clothes you wear? underwear/bras? accessories? makeup and other toiletries? to me, clothes means clothes worn, accessories, and underwear. (underwear bought new and fair-trade.)
---select a small amount of wiggle room, if you want to: i will allow myself to buy no more than 2-3 pieces that do not fit my chosen guidelines.
+at the end of that period, how do you want to be changed? make this your biggest goal, make it your more selfish moment- what do you want out of this? i want to look at what i have bought and not bought, proving that it is possible to not support slave labor/sweatshops and to still look cool in new clothing. i want to remember that it's possible and easier than i had ever thought. i want to change my perspective and find it easier to make good choices, even when i'm not taking this dare.
+tell someone. doing so will help you keep the dare. who can hold you accountable? who do you go shopping with? tell your mom/best friend/whoever can remind you gently. perhaps ask them to join you on your dare! (you might also want to tell your future self about the dare. stick a post-it note about your dare on your wallet or someplace you will see it often.)
+remember again to own it. fire yourself up and take that optimistic, excited attitude. be happy in the decision you are making! believe it! fully realize what you are doing. every buy is a vote, and you are committing to not vote for slavery/sweatshops. also realize that you don't need to buy too much. when you have a lot of clothes, you feel like... a) you need more... b) it's not a big deal to buy clothes... c) you don't have much. take a breath and realize that you don't really need a lot of new clothes- because you already have great pieces!
+try. apply yourself and try hard. enjoy the ride. don’t beat yourself up when you buy something that doesn’t line up with the dare. (but don’t be afraid to return things either.) you will be pleasantly surprised by the end of the season. i know i was!
okie dokie. i know it sounds hard, but it's not. this season, you'll discover that you can thrift clothes, make clothes and buy from fair trade brands. whether you continue into the next season is up to you... but don't yet think too far ahead. keep it to just this one dare.
i hope this helps flesh everything out a little. let us know of any questions, we would all love to help! look out for more posts and updates this fall!
jo (+a pinch of jane)