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BURLINGTON COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) — Moorestown art teacher Julia Mooney has been wearing the same dress for weeks in front of her middle schoolers, on purpose. “Why would a person do this?” Julia asked her students.
“To help the environment, not use as much water,” one student said.
Julia calls it the One Outfit 100 Days Challenge. She started it so her students can see that they don’t need labels to define them. She is also promoting sustainability and individuality.
“We all remember being in middle school and feeling like we were a little more preoccupied with what we were wearing than what we were learning,” Julia said.
One of her students said, “Rather than just how we look, we can define ourselves by our personality on the inside.”
Julia started wearing her grey dress the first day of the school year and just crossed the halfway mark to her goal: day 50.
She realized her students “operate on Instagram. So, I made an Instagram,” she said. “I thought, you know, the kids are going to talk about me. They might not talk to me, but they’re going to talk about me.”
It worked. “I follow her on Instagram, and I love seeing all of her posts,” one of her students said.
Julia’s follower count grows by the day, hitting 2,500 by early December.
“It feels like I have this really big classroom now,” Julia said.
Julia’s husband Patrick is also participating in the challenge. He chose a classic short sleeve button-down and khaki pants.
“Since we have begun the project, I’ve found myself refraining from making those extra purchases, so I myself am looking at things differently,” Patrick said.
Julia hopes this challenge will inspire others to be more mindful of what they consume and to define their identity by the good that they do rather than how good they look. For this, we give Ms. Mooney 3 Cheers!
Her Instagram account can be found here.