I haven’t written about clothing or sustainability for ages. To be honest, the last round of doing the Wardrobe Fast and posting about it daily on Instagram sucked all interest in the topic right out of me.
I also realized that I’ve done the challenge enough and have no need to do it again. I don’t assign my clothes to days of the week and I’m likely to put yesterday’s clothes back on in the morning unless they’re actually dirty or need to be washed.
In an American context, that can sound gross. We wear our clothes for a few hours and send them to the washing machine. I remember being in seventh grade and basically just looking at clothes and thinking they needed to be washed again already.
So I’m not looking to jump back into the world of wardrobe limits, but I’d like to introduce you to two women who have done just that–and are absolutely blowing my week’s-worth-of-clothes challenge out of the water.
Julia (@oneoutfit100days) is an art teacher who decided to wear the same dress for 100 school days. Why? To fight against what she calls “our culture of excess” and shed light on how we can buy and use things in a more ethical and sustainable way.
I found Julia’s challenge just as I was publishing my book and it was exciting to see somebody else thinking about the same thing even if we approached the challenge a bit differently. It’s a reminder that there are lots of ways to do our part to fight against injustice and overconsumption.
Like this way:
She happened upon The Wardrobe Fast and also Julia’s 100 day project and she is endeavoring to wear the same dress for a year.
Yeah, a year.
While these projects seem extreme on the surface to our Western-indoctrinated minds, they’re really not that big a deal (not to minimize what these ladies are doing by any means! On the contrary, it speaks to how off-base some of our “needs” or expectations are in a wealthy context).
Both women wash their garments regularly and practice good hygiene. Both have people who love, like, and need them–no matter how big or small their wardrobes are. Both esteem an ideal higher than themselves (one secular, one sacred) and worthy of being “different” for.
The Wardrobe Fast offers greater variety day-to-day than these challenges, but they all get down to the same thing: it’s okay to use less. No one will die or kick you out of the club for not being the heights of fashion. And there’s something bigger than self to care about anyway.