About the Challenge

Fast Fashion has changed the way we purchase, wear and dispose of clothing particularly in the last 25 years. Fast fashion is the mass production of low quality, low cost clothing in the shortest lead time possible with the sole intent of supplying the demand for the latest fashion trends. In order to make a profit, fast fashion brands must produce in large volumes and this has lasting impact on the environment, the economy and people. The 180 Style Challenge is a personal experiment in fashion sustainability. Inspired by the original uniform project, I decided to find out how my life might be permanently changed if I chose to buy less clothing, recycle more and become more creative with what I already own? Could I make a complete mindset shift in regards to fashion and inspire others along the way to do the same?

As well as having an educational purpose, the project has a practical one too. It is a fundraiser. As I make changes in my personal fashion routine, I will donate $3 per day to improve the routine of others in need. Thus transferring the money I might have spent on clothing to a worthy cause. I have chosen my own children’s school as one of the recipients. In addition, because I believe in sharing from our blessings, I have selected to donate a portion of the funds to a school in need in the developing world. If you would like to help me raise funds, please check out my gofundme.com campaign. For more information on these charities, please click here.

The project is simple: wear the same dress for 180 days and give it a different look by accessorizing. The concept is not new, in the words of Yves St. Laurent, “Fashions fade but style is eternal”. You don’t need trends to look stylish. Sometimes less is more. The 180 Style challenge is not the only way to achieve sustainability in fashion, but it is a great test of our ability to be innovative and creative with less.

The rules are as follow:

  1. For 180 days I am to wear 1 dress (uniform) only and give it a different look by accessorizing with:
    • Things I have in my closet
    • Things I make
    • Donated items that meet the criteria of sustainability such as recycled, used/consigned or environmentally friendly
  2. No buying new things
  3. Absolutely no “Fast (Cheap) Fashion”

This project hopes to raise awareness about the choices we make when we buy into Fast Fashion and the consequences and repercussions those choices have economically, environmentally and socially on our global community. It strives to inspire others to consider the small changes they can make in their own life and approach their fashion consumption in a more mindful way.

I will post a daily picture of the result outfit every day and welcome your comments and suggestions. I also invite you to follow my blog. In it, I will aim to uncover the truths and myths about our current fashion industry, its practices and influence. I will look for tips on how you can become more sustainable when it comes to clothing and share my ups and downs in the process.

So, can it be done?

Some say it is going against the grain. That the masses will never buy into it. That a problem is never taken seriously until it becomes personal. I say even a little bit of awareness and education can make a big difference, maybe enough to change a mindset and turn directions 180 degrees.