What happened to the days of having a one set of work clothes and one set of "nice" clothes? It's so much more sustainable and environmentally friendly, with less chances for capitalist consumption. There's something endearing and inspiring about faith movements with simple dress that don't "conform to the patterns of this world." (Romans 12:2) Modest, plain dress used to be a virtue of being a member of the Church of the Brethren. At one time, dress ties weren't allowed and neither were buttons, because they were too fancy and worldly. By succumbing to the whims of fast fashion, I have become worldly and forgotten the simple values of Jesus, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?" (Matthew 6:25)
I am so much more than the clothes that I wear. Quaker Jane has a great collection and range of modest, simple dress options. She includes many different faith backgrounds and the many different ways that women express their faith through plain or simple dress.
“Since January I feel like I’ve taken huge steps to liberate myself from the constrictive prison of self-abnegating ideas of beauty, such as the belief that I need to look a particular way or keep up with the latest fashions to feel as I have worth in society. I’ve confronted the prison of my identity as a woman, and how it is a blatant fallacy to believe that my womanhood can somehow be affirmed by the status symbols of the clothes I wear. And perhaps most importantly, I’ve woken up to the prison of environmental unconsciousness, where in my striving to be beautiful through the clothes I used to adorn my body I really just became comatose to the environmental impacts of my fashion consumption.”
OneDressProtest.com, August 24, 2011…and you know what…she’s a Christian and this protest is intertwined with her Christian values. She wore that little black dress on Easter Sunday. The same dress she had been wearing for the previous four months. What a beautiful obvious reminder that God doesn't require new, clean clothes of us, regardless of what society may tell you (or your church culture for that matter!).
I've got some serious thinking to do about my wardrobe and it's environmental impact. How I manifest my relationship with God says a lot more about me than what's hanging on my back...