School Teacher Promotes Sustainable Fashion by Wearing the Same Dress for 100 Days

May 14, 2019 Updated: May 22, 2019

When we shop for an outfit, do we stop and ask ourselves, “How many times will we actually really wear it?” If the answer is not many, then we should pass it by. Investing in clothes that we will wear time and time again makes sense, and choosing clothes that are versatile will help us be creative. One woman had set out to prove that, hoping her actions would help others think about sustainable fashion.

When Julia Mooney, 34, decided to wear the same dress every day for 100 days, it was to give others a different way to look at fashion and not be pressured into having the latest “must-have” items. But just ask yourself, how many outfits do you have in the wardrobe that you rarely, if ever, wear? Most of us would be guilty at some point or another of impulse buying.

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Bài viết do Julia Mooney OneOutfit100Days (@oneoutfit100days) chia sẻ vào

Mooney is a middle-school art teacher at William Allen Middle School, New Jersey. She began her 100-day project in September 2018 by wearing a gray button-down dress to school. The next day, she turned up in the same outfit, then the next, and the next … She was hoping to teach her students about sustainable fashion, and what better way than to demonstrate that than by wearing the same outfit for 100 days?

“This is something they deal with every day as 12- and 13-year olds. As they try to define themselves, they are often identifying with brands or superficial things like their social media presence. Many seemed excited to have a reason to talk about how silly all of that really is,” Mooney told TreeHugger.

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We need to think about our “culture of excess” and think carefully before wantonly and impulsively filling our wardrobes with more clothes than we really need.

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Laundry on the weekends is so easy #OneOutfitChallenge #OneOutfit100Days #lineDryingInNovember

Bài viết do Julia Mooney OneOutfit100Days (@oneoutfit100days) chia sẻ vào

“There is no rule anywhere that says that we have to wear a different thing every day,” she said.

“Why do we ask this of each other? Why do we require that we each wear something different every day and buy more clothes and feed into this fast-fashion culture?” said Mooney to USA Today.

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Back to school night. I wore this really great dress. #day11

Bài viết do Julia Mooney OneOutfit100Days (@oneoutfit100days) chia sẻ vào

She feels if more time was enlisted in helping others “feel good” instead of investing it in “looking good,” the world would be a better place. Mooney decided to document her 100-day journey on Instagram, with her husband providing his version of support by wearing the same shirt for the same duration.

Brunch Date❤️

Gepostet von Julia Ranson Mooney am Samstag, 29. Dezember 2018

Simplifying our wardrobe is one way to change our lives for the better.

“What if we spent our energy trying to BE good, interesting humans instead of trying to LOOK good and interesting?” said Mooney.

Other teachers have taken up the 100-day wardrobe challenge, such as Moorestown High School teacher Beth Glennon.

For Glennon, a huge selection of clothes awaited her after her triplet sons went off to college—leaving in their rooms a full closet of shirts.

“With so many clothes left behind, there was no need for me to do any back-to-school shopping,” Glennon said.

“For me, it’s not just (about) wearing their hand-me-downs. It’s a fun way to keep the boys on my mind instead of missing them every day.

“Plus, I’m forced to clean out their closet.”

Elementary school student Sofia Rubich also decided to take on the challenge after reading about it in a newspaper.

“I thought if there’s a chance for me to be more sustainable, I’m gonna take it,” Rubich said.

“You shouldn’t be buying new clothes when you should be using the ones you have,” she added.

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Bài viết do Julia Mooney OneOutfit100Days (@oneoutfit100days) chia sẻ vào

Sustainable fashion aims to reduce any impact a product’s life cycle may have on the environment—and it’s all about making the clothes, shoes, and accessories last.

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Bài viết do Julia Mooney OneOutfit100Days (@oneoutfit100days) chia sẻ vào

“The challenge I’m presenting is this: Let’s think before we buy, wear, discard, and buy again. Can we buy clothes used? Buy responsibly? Buy LESS? Learn to sew a few things? … Are we just perpetuating a culture that defines us based on what we’re wearing rather than what we’re doing? What if we spent our energy trying to BE good, interesting humans instead of trying to LOOK good and interesting?” Mooney told TreeHugger.

If you want to learn more, here are 10 simple steps by Harpers Bazaar on how to become more sustainable with clothes.

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