Author: Heidi Hackemer (@uberblond), Planning Director, BBH New York
What do our clothes say about us? Why do spend so much time on what we wear? What happens when we don’t?
Starting Monday, June 21st, a group of people from California to Dubai are going to take part in a little experiment: each participant gets to choose six (and only six) items of clothing and pledge to wear only these six items of clothing for a month. They’ll share their experiences via a group blog throughout the course of the month.
People have asked what the philosophy is behind the experiment and most assume it’s a statement about consumerism. In reality, we haven’t dictated a driving thought. Rather it’s about putting a challenge out there and seeing what people bring to it and do with it. Even in this pre-experiment era it’s turning out to be a nice brief: tight enough that there are walls and consistency, loose enough that the output will be varied and ripe for discussion.
To understand what people are bringing to the table, the one question we ask at sign up is “why”? So far, the primary motivation falls into one of four camps:
2) the mental freedom that comes with a uniform
3) creativity (“let’s see how inventive I can be with this limitation”)
There are a few things that we’re really liking about this experiment that will hopefully make us smarter about people and communities down the road:
1) The experiment itself. We’re deadly curious to see how the month will go and what it will unveil about the participants and their relationship to their clothes.
2) The speed at which it went from a little idea amongst two friends (myself and my former colleague at Fallon London, Tamsin Davies) to an idea that has been embraced by people globally and how digital tools are allowing to manage and keep pace with the spread.
3) The fact that this isn’t about an agency or a brand, but rather it’s first and foremost about collaboration with a community of curious people. The experiment has grown and breathes with that community and if we can help it continue to do so, should be quite interesting. That being said, in true spirit of BETA we’re the midst of updating the blog so it can handle a larger community (should be ready by Saturday) and also looking to add in some data capture and perhaps a sponsorship mechanism into the site experience.
It starts Monday the 21st – brave enough to give it a shot? You have until Sunday to sign up, details are here.
If not, please still let us know what you think about the project here and follow along @sixitemsorless or sixitemsorless.wordpress.com.