fashion

The reason why this teacher wears the same dress to work every single day.

Art teacher Julia Mooney wore the same dress to school every day this week, and will continue to for the next 93 days, to teach her students an important lesson about sustainability.

In an Instagram post, the teacher explained that she would wear the dress “through ceramics projects, blizzards, whatever” and would wash it every day as though it’s a uniform.

“Not long ago Americans had only a few clothing sets. My house, built in the 30’s, doesn’t have any closets besides the one we added ourselves,” she wrote.

“Agonizing over ‘what to wear’ in the morning will be a thing of the past (helpful when also getting two toddlers out the door by 6:30am),” she added.

She continued to explain the impact of fast fashion on the environment.

 

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For at least 100 days I’ll be wearing this dress, through ceramics projects, blizzards, whatever. Disgusting? Well, it gets washed! (I also have a second one. Like a uniform!) Boring? Sure. I love to express myself through what I wear as much as the next American. This is a challenge. And yet, how hard is it really? Agonizing over “what to wear” in the morning will be a thing of the past (helpful when also getting 2 toddlers out the door by 6:30am). Not long ago Americans had only a few clothing sets. My house, built in the 30’s, doesn’t have any closets besides the one we added ourselves. What if I get a rip? I’ll sew a patch with my sewing machine, an item that used to be as common a household item as the TV is today. How will I avoid the stains that come with being an art teacher? How did people once avoid the stains of housework? An apron. Why do this at all!? Well, I’m not the first. Matilda Khal wore the same outfit for three years to simplify her life. @bethanywinz did it too and wrote “1 Year 1 Dress”. Steve Jobs, @barackobama , the list goes on. When explaining this project to my middle school daughter I asked her to look at her shirt tag. “Made in Indonesia.” We demand lots of clothes cheap, so retailers have to produce in foreign factories where US labor laws don’t protect workers. Thankfully, there are some fair trade companies that sell items (like this dress from @thoughtclothing) from factories that treat their employees well. I also told my daughter about the environmental impacts of excessive buying.Making and discarding this “stuff” uses water and pollutes. And for what? So we can look cool?! 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? (Stop shaking your head. Everyone’s great grandmother used to, so you can too. Boys too.) Do we really need so many new outfits? 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? #StylewithThought

A post shared by Julia Mooney OneOutfit100Days (@oneoutfit100days) on

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“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?” she wrote.

“Making and discarding this ‘stuff’ uses water and pollutes. And for what? So we can look cool?!” she added.

In addition to the message about sustainability, Mooney told Yahoo she also wants to teach her students a lesson about the pressure to wear different clothes everyday.

“I like to wear clothes; I like to express myself,” she said.

“I know that we are all looking at what the other person is wearing. To wear the same thing every day is uncomfortable because we have this deeply ingrained cultural expectation to change every day. It’s weird, but because it’s weird it’s making us all think,” she added.

When asked how she kept the same dress clean, she admitted to Yahoo she is struggling, and has already got blood and food on the dress.

She says at the end of the 100 days, she will change the way she dresses forever.

“I’m probably going to cut down on my wardrobe and have less, and try to buy used clothes and try to make some things more and get creative,” she told Yahoo.

We can definitely see the appeal of a work uniform.

To stay updated with the progress follow one outfit 100 days on Instagram.

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