Episcopal priest goes viral for wearing the same dress for 100 days as a fashion sustainability challenge

For many who have worked from home during the pandemic, wearing the same clothes for more than a day has become a normal occurrence. But one Episcopal priest is doing it to the extreme, on purpose.

In 2020, the Rev. Sarah Robbins-Cole, rector of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Holliston, Massachusetts, and chaplain at Wellesley College, wore the same dress for 100 days in a row as a challenge to counter “fast fashion” – the now-ubiquitous practice of buying cheap, mass-produced clothing and throwing it away or donating it to charity when it’s no longer fashionable.

The challenge is intended to change people’s perceptions of how much clothing they need, and to bring awareness to the fashion industry’s unsustainable and environmentally harmful practices.

“I’ve always been concerned about fast fashion anyway and the impact on the planet,” Robbins-Cole told Episcopal News Service.

She wore a breathable black merino wool dress from Sept. 6 to Christmas – except to sleep and work out – and it only needed to be washed about a dozen times. She enjoyed the challenge so much, she said, that she’s now more than halfway into yet another 100-day dress challenge, which she started on Jan. 29 with a different dress.