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Beyond the Bale : September 2019
Thirteen women wore this wool dress 100 days in a row. Read on to see what they learned. 100 DAY CHALLENGE Wool& is the sister-brand of Wool&Prince, the American menswear brand that was famously launched when its founder successfully wore a wool button-up shirt for 100 straight days without washing or ironing. Following in these footsteps, wool& threw out a challenge to its female followers. The premise was simple: wool& would provide its Rowena Swing Dress, and the participant would wear it for 100 days in a row. Fifty women took on the challenge, and thirteen completed it. What is the Rowena Swing Dress? It is a long sleeve and pocketed wool blend dress made predominantly from 17.5-micron Merino wool. The garment is designed to have a flattering fit suitable to be worn every day of the week, dressed up or dressed down. “Our brand, wool&, was founded on three principles: live simply, consume carefully, and do good,” said wool& founder Mac Bishop. “We created the Rowena Swing Dress as well as the 100 Day Challenge to encapsulate all three principles. We want to encourage people to find happiness and fulfilment in a life of less. The modern age supports a life that favours over-consumption, and we think that this is unsustainable on every level. “However, we love Merino wool. Known for its wearability and need to be washed less, it has a myriad of other benefits including everything from wrinkle and odour resistance, to climate control. And of course, it’s a naturally renewable resource. “In the 100 Day Challenge we sent dresses to the first fifty people who volunteered to wear our dress for the duration of the challenge. We were beyond pleased with the results.” HOW DID THE CHALLENGERS FARE DURING THE 100 DAYS? Several women observed how people really don't notice when you wear the same thing day after day. Others were pleasantly surprised by the versatility of the dress: “The fabric was more comfortable than I expected for every situation. I was never too heated or too chilly,” said participant Grace. Nancy said she was always appropriately dressed no matter where she went: “One Saturday at 6:50pm we remembered that we had symphony tickets for a 7:30pm curtain. I already had my Rowena on, so I just grabbed my coat.” A candlemaker was “shocked that after one hundred days, the dress showed zero signs of wear” even working in her studio six days a week with “five sets of little hands tugging on me”. Each challenger took on a different approach regarding care. Miranda didn't wash it the entire hundred days! One woman made it the entire 100 days only spot-washing as needed and another washed it only three times, while others had a more ritualistic twice-a- week routine. Overall, the women from the challenge demonstrated that Merino clothing greatly reduces the need for washing, which has a positive impact on our planet. A challenge of this scale doesn’t go without difficulties, boredom being the most prominent. But Kjerste noted: “Honestly I loved not having to think about what to put on in the morning, and always knowing that I looked good.” And Sarah remarked: “I was surprised that I didn’t get sick of wearing the same thing! In fact, I’m still completely in love with my Rowena.” “Merino wool allows us to live with less and do more of the things we love.” Mac Bishop, founder of wool& The challenge spurred other goals in these women’s lives. Rebekah said: “My goal this year is to have zero waste.” For Johanna, it was a lesson in styling: “Pushing myself to style the dress in different ways will probably overflow into how I can be more creative with styling items that I have in my wardrobe.” Sarah learned: “Quality, versatile pieces of clothing will wear well and be staple items in your wardrobe for a long time.” THE TAKEAWAY “This challenge was intended to be an exaggerated experiment of what conscious, slow fashion can look like,” Mac said. “But the takeaway is obvious: wearing something more often than we currently do can lead to a real benefit. We’ve seen for ourselves that this can create a shift towards doing good and feeling good.” The following testimony exceeded all expectations. Kjerste wrote: “Here’s the deal: the biggest impact – the completely unexpected impact – has been on the inside. The Rowena Swing Dress is universally flattering and easy to wear, and putting it on every day took my focus off how I looked in my clothes or how I felt about my body. My focus shifted to the real person inside the dress, and I have never felt so comfortable in my own skin.” The Rowena Swing Dress is available in five sizes (XS to XL) and five colours (marine blue, black, burgundy, burgundy/terracotta stripe, green/black stripe). wool& has recently launched four more wool dresses, each designed for maximum functionality: a reversible wrap dress, a reversible belted tank dress, a midi tank dress and a split neck shirt dress. The Rowena Swing Dress will be restocked in fall 2019, in both black and a new colour. The Woolmark Company provided support for the launch of wool& and advice to wool& regarding the manufacture of its dresses. MORE INFORMATION www.wooland.com The Rowena Swing Dress from US brand wool&. 16 OFF FARM
In the Shops - September 2019