The Fashion Detox Challenge was a collaboration between ex-fashion designer and researcher Dr. Emma Kidd and the sustainability team at Glasgow Caledonian University.

In 2021 the United Nations selected the Fashion Detox Challenge as a ‘Best Practice’ for the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Fashion Detox Challenge invited people who usually buy clothing often to stop buying clothes for 10 weeks and to reflect on this process online in a private forum on our website, where they posted weekly ‘Detox Diaries’.

Through engaging with this challenge, people were offered a rare opportunity to stop and gain a new perspective on their relationship with clothing, shopping and spending money. Participating in the challenge interrupts the flow of automatic thoughts and behaviours relating to consumption, which gives the person access to new, more sustainable long-term choices.

The private forum was designed to support participants by fostering a sense of belonging and providing a mechanism for mutual support.

No existing knowledge or awareness of sustainability was necessary, which means that the challenge is inclusive and easily accessible.

In 2020 Emma’s research on the Fashion Detox Challenge won the Best Research in Sustainability Award at the Global Fashion Conference. Read the conference paper with key findings from the research here

This 10-week public challenge was set up by Dr. Emma Kidd as part of her research into Transitions in Clothing Consumption and after witnessing first-hand, as a fashion designer in South East Asia, the social and environmental impacts of fast fashion.  The video below summarises her journey.