I dare you to value the planet more than a new shirt.
I dare you to have less in your closet.
I dare you to wear, care for, and repair your clothes.
I dare you to buy only fair, when you need to buy.
I dare you to love your simple wardrobe.
::Take the fairdare as is.
-Quit fast fashion. Commit to learning "enough". Wear what is in your closet. Mend + repair. Thrift. Make. Buy fair brands.
-Take time to learn from + observe your findings. Were you able to identify the difference between need + want? What are the motivations behind your shopping habits? Did you establish a deeper connection to the pieces in your closet? Do you feel good about how you are supporting garment workers, farmers + the environment?
::No new clothing for a year (or six months, or...).
-Take a year to wear what is already in the closet...to detox from the pull of the internet, the mall, the allure of "new". Connect with the clothing you have already taken responsibility for...mend, repair, refashion.
-Make space to learn from + observe the findings. How do you feel? What has changed? Do some feelings get stronger or lessen? What do you find out about enough + need? What really motivates shopping? Did you get to know what you like to wear better? Will you go back to shopping in the same ways as before or will you be more mindful? Did it feel like deprivation or mastery?
::Make any new clothing added to the wardrobe this year.
-Learn new skills like sewing, knitting, or sewing with knits. Try making things that you haven't tackled before...maybe intimates, a swimsuit, or shoes. Connect with the process + materials. Slow down + choose fabrics with intention. Perfect fit.
-Observe + learn. How does wearing something that you've seen from fiber to garment feel? Do you feel a greater connection with garment workers + farmers? Do you want this piece of clothing to last longer? Will you care for it differently? Did you learn about how something comes together + does that help your understanding of repair? of garment pricing? of the fairness of wages paid to garment workers? of the skill required?
::Buy only second-hand clothing this year.
-Explore the second-hand market or make a commitment to shop + exercise creativity locally. Wear what you have, mend, swap, borrow, refashion. Explore style with what can be found. Take in the sheer volume of second-hand clothing. Find out what happens to the clothing that doesn't sell at the thrift store.
-Observe + learn. Do you value clothing more now or less? How do you feel about quality? What fabrics last? Is it difficult to accommodate style or did you discover style? Is it easier or harder to feel original? How do you feel about donating clothing now? How important is it to wear the clothing in our possession?
::Make a "local" outfit.
-Search for materials grown in a certain radius of home. Visit sheep or alpaca. Meet farmers + growers at a fiber fest. Explore origins + make connections.
-Learn + observe the findings. Does deeper connection to fiber make the garment more valued or meaningful? Will it stay in your wardrobe longer? Is it wearable + useful? Did your style bend with the fibers available? Can you honor existing fibers with deeper commitment now that you know what it takes to grow them? Are natural fibers more important to you now? What surprised you?
::Dress with less.
-Compose small wardrobes out of the clothing you already have for each month or stick to a certain number of pieces year round. Explore how much is enough. Get good at knowing what you like to wear. Explore what is truly necessary.
-Observe + learn. How many options do you need for formal wear? Can you wear certain pieces a number of different ways? Do people notice that you are wearing the same things over + over? Do you care? How does dressing with less feel better or worse than having access to more?
::Wear a uniform...whether this is just one jumpsuit or a sort of formula outfit (black pants + striped top + red flats, for example).
-Choose wisely. :)
-Observe + learn. How does the reduction in decision making affect your morning? Does it give you a sort of peace about being appropriate for different situations or does it cause a problem? What kinds of conversations does it spark? Do others tell you about their perceived bondage to fashion? How does the clothing wear? Do you feel more engaged with its care + repair? Are you surprised about the resiliency + longevity (or lack thereof) of this piece? Do you get bored? Why do you think that is? What are you trying to use your clothing for? Were you able to focus more on the person wearing the clothes rather than the clothes?
::Allow yourself a certain number of new additions to your wardrobe...one a month? three per season?
-Plan purchases. Wait out desire.
-Did you find that you still want what you thought you wanted after a little time has passed? Did you make better purchases by really assessing what would be a good addition? Do you have any regrets about certain purchases? Why? Is this something you'll carry forward? Did it feel good to be more disciplined? Did you miss out on joy along the way?
::Set a clothing budget + stick to it all year.
-Test need versus want. Plan ahead. Be strategic. Test out different fair price points...thrift, fair brands.
-Observe + learn. How does it feel to know that no debt is involved in a purchase? Were you more likely to mend or repair? Did you feel more in control? Did that feel good or like a drag? in the moment? in the long run? Did you make less mistake purchases? Do you love + wear what you chose more than usual? Did you feel deprived? Will you continue to adhere to a clothing budget?
::Make a category list of clothing items + stick to it for a year.
-Decide what is truly necessary for the seasons, events, workout, sleepwear, + outerwear (10 tops, 5 bottoms... for example). Dress from the list. A new top is needed only if one is on its way out.
-Observe + learn from the findings. Has your perspective on "need" changed? Has you list changed? Do you feel less wasteful? Do the pieces in your closet earn their place there? Do you feel prepared for different situations? Does it matter if you wear the same dress to multiple events? Do you think about clothes less? How does that feel?
The best motivation for sticking to any of these challenges is knowing your reason for doing it. I've touched on a number of reasons that motivate me, but your reason might be different. New reasons might crop up along the way...take note! That's the exciting part! Check in with yourself periodically...schedule it on your calendar.
Please do let us know what you come up with as a challenge...whether fairdare, simple living, zero-waste, compassion related or not...I'd love to hear + it can motivate others too!
And obviously...have fun with it! Be kind to yourself. Observe + learn. :)