For the past week, my six-year-old daughter and I have each been wearing the same dress. Both are long-sleeved with great pockets. Hers is a bluish gray. Mine is a bright teal blue. We love them so far, which is good, because we will be wearing them for the next 90 days!
The 100 Day Wool Dress Challenge, which we just started, is sponsored by a company called Wool& based out of Portland, Oregon. The goal of the challenge is to draw attention to the wastefulness of fast fashion, which is currently responsible for more annual carbon emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Wool& offers a gift certificate for $100 to anyone who will wear one of their dresses for 100 days in a row, taking photos to prove it.
Several women have done this challenge without anyone noticing at all (I enjoyed this story). It turns out that people don’t really notice or care what you wear as much as you do. Those women, however, chose black or gray dresses. I chose bright teal blue because I wanted people to notice. I’m hoping for questions. Here are my answers to some of them. Feel free to ask more!
Now, to answer your obvious questions…
- No, these aren’t normal dresses. Our new dresses, which are certainly more expensive than the second-hand clothing I usually buy ($100 won’t get me a new Wool& dress), are made of a merino wool blend that is particularly well suited to the 100 Day Wool Dress Challenge. They naturally resist both odor and wrinkles and even seem to wick away rain (and water spilled/thrown by two-year-olds). The dresses are also super comfortable, lightweight, and fun to wear.
- Yes, we intend to wash our dresses (and ourselves) during this challenge. Apparently some people don’t wash the dresses at all over the hundred days and the dresses really can take it, but I doubt many of those people have a two-year-old in the house. I have already washed my daughter’s dress once (guacamole explosion) and it washed easily and dried quickly on the line. I am wearing the same natural refillable deodorant from We Fill Good in Kittery that I always wear (and LOVE).
- Yes, we are changing our other clothing, but not too often. We’re wearing fresh underwear and socks daily, but we’ve both been alternating pants every two to three days (which is normal for me thanks to my capsule wardrobe). I’ve been wearing my wool shawl over my dress to keep me warm (the house is 63 degrees). We wear pajamas at night and hang the dresses up to air out.
- Yes, they have lots of different styles and colors (i.e. No, you don’t have to wear teal).
So, here we are. Day 8. Wish us luck with the challenge. I’ll check back in in 50 and 100 days!
Not ready to wear the same dress for 100 days? Read about my capsule wardrobe if you want to reduce your consumption and learn to live with less clothing (but more than one dress).
Want inspiration? We are currently reading Anne of Green Gables and recently re-read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. In the times of these books, wearing one, two, or three dresses (and mending and caring for them) was common place.