One woman reported back to environmentally harmful “fast fashion” by wearing the same dress every day for 100 days.
Sarah Robbins-Cole has decided to take part in the 100-Day Dress Challenge on September 16, 2020.
The 52-year-old, who works as a church leader and college chaplain, even wore the dress on December 25th.
Sarah, who lives in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, was soon so attached to Wool & Dress that she bought one for her mother, Karen, who is 81 years old.
And she says she enjoyed the challenge so much that in 20201 she committed not to buy any new clothes at all.
The Minister lives with her British husband, clergyman Adrian, 57, her student daughter Elizabeth, 20, son Will, 23, and two rescue dogs, Quincy and Olivia.
She says she was amazed at how much she enjoyed the challenge: “To my surprise, wearing the same dress didn’t take anything out of my life for 100 days in a row.
“Instead, it inspired me to go one step further and not buy any new clothes or accessories between January 1, 2021 and January 1, 2022.
“I’ve found that at my age I have clothes for every occasion and if I need a ball gown I’ll dust off one that has been in my closet since 1992!”
She continued, “I’m thinking about clearing my wardrobe and having a big disappointment, but I’ll wait and see what I wear this coming year.”
Sarah, who met her husband while training to be a minister in California and worked with him in Oxford and London before moving to the USA in 2004, was one of around 250 women who took up the 100-day challenge from clothing brand Wool & .
Designed to show attendees how wearing just one item of clothing every day will change their spending habits, reduce their laundry load, and help them save the planet by not buying quick fashions, and how Sarah is about her looks and hers Clothes feel.
“I first saw the challenge on social media and thought, why not?” said Sarah.
“Well, I really was a lady of the matter!”
Participants were allowed to wash and dry the dress overnight, but should wear it when they were awake.
And anyone who completed the challenge would win a $ 100 (£ 74) voucher towards a new piece of wool and clothing.
Sarah paired her long-sleeved, knee-length Rowena scoop-neck dress made from sustainable merino wool with a dog collar while she worked – and even tucked it into jeans for an outdoor hike.
She then documented the challenge by posting all of her 100 different looks on her Instagram page @thisdressagain.
Sarah, who has just started a sabbatical year and is in the middle of a PhD program in educational leadership, says her repetitive wardrobe not only made her life easier, but also taught her about something she calls “spotlights.”
“The spotlight is on the feeling that everyone is looking at you when in reality they probably aren’t,” she said.
“Wearing the same dress for so long helped me avoid that feeling.”
The only really tough part of the whole challenge, according to Sarah, was getting a new look posted on social media every day.
She said, “I warned my college students that I would take up the challenge because they would see me in the same dress every day, which they might find strange.”
She added, “But more importantly, I told them not to think when you look at the pictures I posted that they are a true reflection of my life and that I am always so neat and well put together .
She continued, “It was important to me that you know that.
“I remember one student telling me how she could get out of a class happy, check her phone, see what someone else’s perfect life was like, and feel depressed when she crossed campus for her next class.
“This challenge gave me a glimpse into the incredible pressures that social media brings.”
She was equally surprised by the number of random followers she attracted – including some very handsome men – who found their way to her Instagram pages – which she feared might not be who they said they were they were.
She also received some intimate and inappropriate comments from strangers, which she eventually blocked.
Overall, however, she had a very insightful and rewarding experience: “The dress was comfortable, easy to wear, and completely unobtrusive.”
She added, “I enjoyed fitting it out, and while I missed wearing jeans and found the long sleeves a bit warm at sunrise, I really didn’t miss anything about my normal wardrobe.
“It was so easy to get up and get dressed for the same thing. That saved me a lot of time and it was easy to brighten it up with accessories.
“The challenge made me think about how many clothes end up in landfills, how much water is used to make cotton, and how we don’t really know if the clothes we buy are ethically made.”
Most importantly, the challenge helped Sarah connect on a deeper level with what is really important in life.
“We watched the new Disney movie Soul over the holidays and I really got a quote that said lost souls are obsessed with something that separates itself from life.
“Keeping things simple – which helped me with this challenge – really connected me to what was important.”
The 100 Day Dress Challenge continues. For more information, click here or follow Sarah on Instagram @thisdressagain