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