A recent article I read about taming the “urge to buy” tugged at me this morning as I opened my closet and was presented with nearly twenty-five shirts, ten pairs of jeans, and about eight pairs of shoes. As I buttoned up my shirt, I thought to myself, “there isn’t much taming going on here.” The same can probably be said for all but a handful of Americans, as most of us have enough clothing for a small army. It is precisely this tragedy however, that inspired two friends to institute the official Six Items or Less web challenge.
You may be thinking, this can’t possibly be a challenge in which people choose six items of clothing and pledge to wear only these six items of clothing for an entire month. Oh yes, you guessed it. As a disclaimer on behalf of Six Items or Less, the exceptions are undergarments, swim wear, work-out clothes, work uniforms, outer jackets, shoes, and accessories. So you germaphobes aren’t off the hook.
The purpose of the experiment isn’t described as ruthless a demonstration against consumerism as you may have expected. Though it was founded in light of over-consumption, founders Heidi Hackemer and Tamsin Davies intended for the experiment to inspire participants to uncover the power of what we don’t wear. One-hundred people committed themselves to the challenge from Los Angeles to Bangalore and for many different reasons. Some committed just to see if they could, some for the sake of creativity, others to cut-back on spending, others in protest of consumerism, and some for the environment and the clothing industry’s impact.
Regardless of who you are or where you’re from, one of these perspectives probably resonates with you. While others may consider the proposition downright crazy, the principle behind the challenge begs the question: What in your life should or can be dietized? In light of the fact that your wallet is most likely shrinking in today’s economic climate, what habit can you dietize in order to cut back, gain control, and spend less than you earn?
Just as Heidi and Tamsin commissioned their one-hundred diehard participants to illuminate the amount of clothing they never use, we commission you to take one step back and look for an area in your life where you can cut waste. Like participants in Six Items or Less, you just may find that creativity will sprout from your frugal habits, both saving you money and putting a giant smile on your face.