Last year was my first year to participate in Dressember and it was an amazing experience.
Being a part of our team and also the larger Dressember community was so encouraging and inspiring.
I had talked a little bit with my girls about ethical fashion, but Dressember seemed like the perfect opportunity to talk about it more and also introduce them to the world of advocating for others. My girls, at the time 3 and 4 years old, wore dresses the entire month of December with me! To be honest, this wasn’t very difficult for them since they do love dresses, but we did have a couple of days when they said they wanted to wear pants and we were able to talk again about why we were wearing dresses.
Dressember is working to eliminate some pretty dark things, so I used a lot of discernment in talking with my kids about what we were doing.
I decided that we would go with something simple so I explained that not everyone in the world was safe and free and we talked through some examples of what that might look like and how wearing a dress could raise money to help those other kids be safe and free. As stories came out from A21 and IJM, I was able to share them with my girls.
We talked about the young boys who were forced to work long days on fishing boats and little girls who were not free to play or be with their families.
My girls have asked me repeatedly throughout the year when we would do Dressember again and we are looking forward to the beginning of December so we can start our journey again. We would love to have other kids join us this year, so if you have a little one who would be interested, please consider adding them to our team! It’s a great opportunity to share with their friends at school and my girls’ teachers even donated to our campaign last year!
Along with our Dressember team hashtag #DWDGDressember, we are excited to also include #DressemberKids for all our cute kids’ posts. Pictures might not happen every day, but that’s ok – make it fun and don’t force it.
Some #DressemberKids tips:
- If you are participating, add your kids to your profile and raise money jointly to make it easier for friends and family.
- You don’t need to have or buy a lot of dresses, but if you do need a couple more, thrift stores are always full of little girl dresses. You could also host a ‘dresses only’ clothing swap!
- Be sure to stock up on tights and leggings – December can be chilly!
- Celebrate together! Every time you get a donation, do a little dance, say a prayer thanking God, and sit down and make a thank you note together.
- Introduce your kids to other adult team members. My girls were so inspired by meeting other women who were doing Dressember. I could tell they felt like they were part of something bigger than themselves. It made them feel grown up and confirmed that what they were doing was something important.
Maybe you have a little boy who wants to help – there are a lot of creative ways for them to participate in Dressember as well! Some of the ideas we have come up with are:
- Take a picture with a sign that says something like “Real men don’t buy girls” “Everyone should be safe and free” or “I support Dressember”
- Dress up every day – maybe that means wearing a tie or a vest!
- Take a picture every day with you or a friend who is participating in Dressember to show support
- Organize an event to raise money for Dressember and invite the girls wearing dresses to join you – hot cocoa stand, cupcakes stand, etc…
This is a great opportunity to let our kids know that they have been born into privilege and with that comes the responsibility of standing up for those who are not able to stand up for themselves. Even if they choose not to participate with you, be sure to take the opportunity to talk with them about why you are doing it.
These are human rights organizations that work to rescue victims of modern day slavery, social injustice, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression.
Read about what we did last year:
- 2015 Team
- Prepping for Dressember Layering
- Dressember in 7 Dresses
- Dressember 2015: Heather’s Experience
- Dressember 2015: Elizabeth H.’s Experience
If you are interested in joining our team, create a campaign page and join our team. You do not have to be local to Austin, Texas to participate. We will have several ethical brands sponsoring our team challenges and a facebook group for us to encourage and communicate as a team. We truly believe that we will raise more awareness and money if we combine our forces.