Woman from London Wears Only 33 Items of Clothing for a Year

June 6, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. self-confessed / ˈsɛlf kənˈfɛst / (adj.) – openly admitting to be a certain type of person or to have a particular habit
Example: She is a self-confessed chocolate lover.

2. splurge / splɜrdʒ / (v.) – to indulge and spend on something excessively
Example: They splurged on expensive ice cream during the hot weekend.

3. impulsive / ɪmˈpʌl sɪv / (adj.) – done without much thought and driven by a certain emotional state
ExampleImpulsive eating can lead to obesity.

4. full to the brim / ˈfʊl tʊ ðə ˈbrɪm / (idiom) – completely full and with no room for more
Example: She could not close her closet’s door because it was full to the brim.

5. pledge / plɛdʒ / (v.) – to make a solemn promise to do something
Example: After coming out of a rehabilitation center, the young man pledged to change his lifestyle.


Read the text below.
self-confessed shopaholic from London sold most of her clothes on eBay to raise money for charity.

Elizabeth Archer, a 35-year-old charity worker who admittedly loves to splurge on clothes, vowed to quit her impulsive shopping habits on May 23, 2015. Aside from donating the money she earned from selling her clothes, she also promised to avoid shopping. She then donated the money she saved to charity.

Archer confessed feeling guilty because most of the people she works with cannot buy clothes, while her closet was full to the brim with clothes she barely used.

Archer pledged to wear only 33 items of clothing for one whole year and sold the rest of her wardrobe. She was left with only three shirts, three jumpers, two coats, eight dresses, and five pairs of shoes. The project, called “#clothesoffmyback” challenge, would benefit a charity called Contact A Family where Archer once worked.

Archer had faced a lot of difficulties over the course of the challenge, which ended on May 22, 2016. For instance, she sometimes felt bad about wearing the same clothes to work and the same dress to several weddings. Some of her clothes were also already damaged or stained.

On the bright side, Archer was able to save around $150 a month for charity. Aside from this, Archer said that the challenge also liberated her from “fast fashion.”

Fast fashion is the phenomenon wherein cheap clothing collections are released and replaced at a fast rate, so consumers also buy and get rid of them sooner. Among its bad effects are tougher work conditions for factory workers, who need to produce clothes within very short periods of time, and a big increase in the amount of clothes being disposed of.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were in Archer’s situation, would you do the same thing? Why or why not?
·         What possible difficulties would you face if you also sold most of your clothes?

Discussion B

·         How do you think people can avoid shopping impulsively?
·         What are the bad effects of impulsive shopping?

June 6, 2016