No New Stuff
That’s right we’re talking about no new purchases, an empty shopping cart, wave goodbye to the High Street. How long for...how long can you handle?
Don’t buy any new clothes (or jewellery/gadgets) for a chosen period of time. Choose a time frame that will stretch you.
Talk about the issues and explore with others why it is so easy to let fashion shape us rather than building our identity .
Get creative: host bling and bag sales, wardrobe swap, go barefoot for a day and join in TOMS workshops.
Get to enjoy your ‘fashion fix’ of a special pair of TOMS shoes or T-shirt. In doing so you get to ‘fix it’ for others in need.
Here's the thing: we have stuff... a lot of stuff. We have stuff we don't need and we keep buying more stuff. So it's time to mix things up a bit.
The Big Idea
In a world where ‘image’ is so important – what do your clothes really say about you? The WEAR IT OUT campaign will help us understand the forces of fashion that shape our thinking & lifestyle.
At the heart of the WEAR IT OUT campaign is a ‘fashion fast’: a commitment to abstain from buying new clothes (jewellery/gadgets) for a significant period of time (at least 3 months) – and put the money saved and the experience of self discipline & learning, to good use.
Everyone taking part in the WEAR IT OUT challenge will be asked to pay a registration fee of either £15 or £35. This will help cover the cost of running the campaign and of providing you with your ‘fashion fix’. We believe it will be easily recouped from the thrifty months spent, or rather ‘not spent’ buying clothes etc. So it will probably cost you a lot more not to join in.
Get in Touch
For more info on the campaign or you have a query about part of the campaign please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To buy NO NEW CLOTHES for at least THREE months
You may carry out the fast for longer than this time period but not beyond the final celebration on Dec 1st 2012.
To explore the issues thoroughly for yourself
Get together with others in your youth group/school/church and use the online resources provided here for free.
To take part in or organise at least one local initiative
Your organised initiative should raise awareness and funds for a charity dealing with poverty. Examples: Bling and Bag sale, Wardrobe Swap, Barefoot for a Day etc
To encourage ONE other person to join you in the WEAR IT OUT campaign
Making the WEAR IT OUT challenge known and encouraging groups and individuals to sign up.
The fast begins on 17th March 2012 (St Patrick’s Day) and continues for three months (or longer). Groups undertake the some of the ‘forum’ sessions and explore the possibility of a local wardrobe swap, a bling and buy sale or going Barefoot for a Day (April 10th)
Groups will complete their fast and receive their ‘Fashion Fix’. Groups & individuals can head to the TOMS ‘style your sole’ workshop at Summer Madness Festival (29th June- 3rd July 2012) where they can pick up a few more tips about how to change the world – one purchase at a time.
Those of us that need a bit longer for the fashion fast to ‘hit home’ and those who have just joined in continue to Wear it Out. Then on December 1st – the campaign winds up with a celebration at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.
The finer details of the campaign
STEP ONE _ Fashion Fast
The first part of the campaign is simple: you just don’t buy any new clothes (or jewellery/gadgets) for a chosen period of time – at least 3 months but not more than 9 months. Choose a time frame that will stretch you beyond your comfort zone and provoke you to think about the role of ‘stuff’ in your life.
The fast will start on 17th March 2012.
So declare your wardrobe awesome, display your ageing gadgets with pride and put last year’s tunes on repeat. But there is a lot more to it than simply hitting the consumer ‘pause’ button. We encourage you to take this journey together with others – schools, universities, churches, youth groups and families can all put the money saved and whole experience of self discipline and the learning, to good use.
STEP TWO _ Fashion Forum
This aspect of the project is where you can talk about the issues and explore with others why it is so easy to get caught up in the consumerist trap and let fashion shape us rather than building our identity on firmer ground.
You will have access to special resources, lesson plans and group discussions. These will help us talk about some of the issues that we all face when we do the everyday stuff of deciding what to wear, what to buy, how we want to look and what pressures we experience when it comes to ‘fitting in’ or standing out from the crowd. Tearfund, The Big House charity and Damaris have kindly agreed to provide these group resources so you can be assured of some excellent material to inform our discussions and help ‘us learn about ‘wearing our values on the outside’.
STEP THREE _ Fashion Fun
So who ever said fasting couldn’t be fun! Along the way you will be encouraged to join in several activities that will stretch your imagination, enhance your organising skills and test your endurance – or at least your sense of humour.
You’ve heard it said – that you should walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you judge them… but what if the other person has no shoes? Well we are going for a barefoot world record! On April 10th 2012 we will be attempting to walk a kilometre down the Prince of Wales Ave at Stormont Estate, Belfast.
We hope to attract at least 3000 people to join us and establish a new Guinness World Record
for the ‘largest barefoot walk’. Lot’s more information to come – but keep that April 10th 2012 free for a half hour stroll into the record books. Register Here
What if all of the young ladies in your church / youth group got together and donated all of those formerly-loved handbags and jewellery items that are cluttering up your bedrooms. Raise loads of dosh – for your preferred charity and have a great time picking up a ‘replacement bargain’ for your own collection. (This is the only exception allowed during the fast.)
Maybe you could do this on a school wide basis or between church / youth groups… the bigger the better. Organise everyone to bring along however many items of clothing and or shoes that they wish, give them a token for each item – and that entitles them to leave with the same amount of baggage that they started with (or less, if they wish). You can make up your own rules – all items to be pressed and clean, no socks or underwear. You must have the permission of the owner of the items before participating in the swap. Go on, enjoy yourself getting a re-fit for free!
STEP FOUR _ Fashion Fix
At the end of the fast you get to celebrate with a ‘fashion fix’. There are three options depending on the amount you pledge to do the fast.
The TOMS Fix: You get a pair of TOMS shoes (Classics). For every pair purchased, TOMS gives a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One. This unique ‘One for One’ business model is a great way to help you understand that the lifestyle choices we all make have repercussions all around us, which is why we have chosen TOMS as one of the ways to reward you.
The T-Shirt Fix: You get a WEAR IT OUT t-shirt as your fashion fix – The t-shirts will be ethically sourced ensuring ‘living wage levels’ for those involved and in addition all profits from the t-shirt ‘fix’ will be donated to Fields of Life well-digging projects in Uganda.
The Donate Fix: You simply pledge whatever amount of money you wish to take part in the campaign. We suggest you donate the amount you would have spent on clothes over the course of the fast. This money will go directly to Fields of Life well-digging projects in Uganda.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do I have to Pay?
- We generally value something a lot more when we pay for it!
- The fashion fix at the end is a nice way to keep you motivated through the fast.
- Both of the alternatives also ‘fix’ it for some one else. So you learn about how our lifestyle choices can influence others both at home and across the world.
- Over the course of the fast you will probably save a lot more than the registration fee.
Can we swap clothes with someone else during the fast?
- Yes, absolutely – why not organise a big wardrobe swap between friends, schools, university societies, churches or youth groups?
What if I need a new pair of shoes or trousers or skirt for work or school?
- Necessary purchases for work or school are excluded from the fast.
- However, your friends and family should be discouraged from offering you birthday presents or other treats of clothes or bling during this period. Be a little bit more creative and think of other alternatives.
We’re All In This Together
The WEAR IT OUT campaign has been designed to be completed together. We have some suggestions for whether you are a youth group, school or a family looking to take part in the fashion fast. Taking part as a group enables you to discuss the issues together, learn from each other and keep each other accountable.
Check out the raft of resources to give you some easy alternatives to run one or several sessions around the themes of: Image and identity, consumerism and the ‘free’ market, justice, trade and personal lifestyle, beauty, fashion, faith, or tackle issues surrounding celebrity culture. Damaris has also kindly provided us with a free assembly plan and RE lesson to use in conjunction with the campaign.
The WEAR IT OUT campaign is a project that you can undertake very effectively with the support of your mates in school, SU, etc. There are resources designed for group and individual study and Damaris have offered a specific Assembly plan and RE lesson – if you would like to spread the word around more widely. The issues of identity, image, beauty, consumer justice, and ‘marketing pressures’ fit very well into aspects of the R.E. or PSHE curricula. If you would like any further assistance with the campaign do get in touch with the office at any time.
Whether you are the ‘leader’ of the group or enthusiastic change maker – why not explore the possibility of getting your group involved together in exploring some of these issues. You could have a lot of fun with the ‘wardrobe swap’ or raising money through the ‘Bling & Bag’ sale idea – or take part in the Guinness World Record for the Barefoot Walk! There are plenty of free resources on the website – courtesy of our partners TEARFUND, FIELDS OF LIFE, STAND BY ME AND THE DAMARIS TRUST. Let us know how you get on.
The WEAR IT OUT project is some thing that may be undertaken as an entire family. It is probably best if it is not seen simply as a mechanism for adults trying to curb the excesses of ‘teenage’ acquisitiveness. This is surely a shared concern for us all to examine our lifestyle choices and issues that are at the core of our sense of identity and values. Why not give a lead and join in – of course for some of us it’ll take more than 3 months before we realize we’ve been on a ‘fashion’ fast. So bear in mind that the fast can be undertaken for as long as is ‘necessary’.
The WEAR IT OUT campaign has been directed in the first instance at young people but we feel that the issues and the learning involved should really be something that concerns the whole church family. Churches as a whole can get involved in the project through supporting the young people, joining the fast for themselves, and taking part in Bling and Bag sales, etc. It’s an ideal opportunity to connect the generations in an endeavor that affects us all in so many ways and ensures young people don’t feel isolated through the campaign.