A Teacher Wears the Same Dress for 100 Days in a Row to Show a Way to Stop Consumerism Once and For All
So you open the door of your closet, take a long sad look inside, and think, “Ugh, I have nothing to wear again.” Well, this must be a real headache. But the biggest issue here is that there are endless piles of clothes that you’ve worn once or twice. Some reports say that consumers purchased 60% more clothing in 2014 compared to 2000, but kept each garment for half as long.
Julia Mooney, an art teacher from New Jersey, was alarmed by the negative social and environmental outcomes of fast fashion behavior. She decided to drive people’s attention to the problem in a surprising way and we can’t stay indifferent to this challenge.
The Bright Side team was shocked by the underlying reasons for Julia’s message and now we believe that everyone should move toward sustainable consumption.
Julia shared her first post on Instagram at the beginning of August 2018. She announced that she was going to challenge herself and wear the same dress for 100 days. Expecting a lot of questions, Julia commented on some issues at the beginning.
“Disgusting? Well, it gets washed! Boring? Sure. I love to express myself through what I wear as much as the next American.” She also explained that if her dress were to tear, she could patch it like people did in the past. And she was going to use an apron at work to avoid paint stains. But let’s discover her reason for wanting to “suffer.”
A quest for simplicity is what partly motivated Julia. She noted that agonizing over the question of what to wear was no longer an issue. And if you have 2 kids who have to be ready by 6:30 in the morning, it really makes your life easier. She also added that this measure can help save space, since the less stuff you have, the fewer closets you need, and for some families, this can really be a sore spot.
When explaining this decision to her daughter, she touched on the social issue. People demand huge amounts of clothes at cheap prices and this forces companies to move their production to foreign countries where the US labor laws can’t protect workers. For example, there’s evidence that different countries use forced labor and child labor in the fashion industry. And some workers receive wages that are 3.5 times lower than the amount they need for a “decent life with basic facilities.”
Fast fashion pressures the whole production infrastructure and leads to a situation where profits are more important than people’s welfare.
Irresponsible consumption also leads to environmental problems, just look at the following facts. The production of one pair of jeans generates the same amount of greenhouse gases as driving a car about 70 miles. And it requires 2,700 liters of water to make a single cotton T-shirt. This can be enough to meet the average person’s drinking needs for about 3 to 3.5 years.
Sometimes we buy clothes without being sure that we will even wear them. We believe that being educated about the facts above will help us avoid these situations.
Julia encourages us to think before we step into the “buy, wear, discard, and buy again” circle. She asks us to not preserve the culture that defines people based on what they’re wearing, rather than what they’re doing. With this 100 day challenge, Julia wasn’t trying to make everyone wear the same clothes over and over again, but instead wanted to show that we do not really need as many new garments. It is better to spend our energy on being good and amazing people, instead of trying to look good.
This challenge is already over but for those who are interested, Julia does not wear the same clothes every day now. Though, she has significantly whittled down her closet and now sticks to a sustainable fashion approach.
She continues to spread her ideas and hopes to attract as many people as possible. If you want to join this challenge and show your efforts, use the #OneOutfit100Days hashtag.
Bonus: See the photos that other participants shared
What do you think of this experiment? Would you like to join it and share your results and feelings? Show this article to that friend who invites you to go shopping every weekend.