Rachel Dresses for Trees

Written by Annelise Jolley on January 28, 2014 in General


One girl. One dress. One year. Thousands of trees.

This is the essence of Rachel Hester’s Little Black Dress Project, a one-woman advocacy campaign to plant 12,000 trees in 2014. Motivated by her love of Creation and those who depend on the land, Rachel is wearing one dress for an entire year to plant 12,000 trees through Plant With Purpose. As you might imagine, we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with her.

Rachel’s campaign is one of many in the grassroots trend of individuals who live with – and wear – less in order to give more. Her blog, For the Love of Creation, chronicles her year in the dress and notes both the mundane and the inspiring results of the Dress Project.

Today we’re excited to share an interview with Rachel. Continue reading to learn about Rachel and how you can join her campaign!


Rachel, we love the creativity and commitment behind your dress project! How did you originally connect with Plant With Purpose?

I first heard of Plant With Purpose when I went to the Justice Conference last year in Philadelphia. I had been thinking a lot about what it means to care for Creation and the people who depend on the land, so finding an organization such as Plant With Purpose really stood out to me. I took a newsletter home and stuck it on my wall. I’ve been following the organization ever since.


What was the inspiration behind the dress project?

My main inspiration for the dress project came from a blog I stumbled upon by a girl named Tatiana ( Tatiana wanted to raise support for orphans at a home called Redeemer House, and in order to do so, she committed to wearing the same black dress for a year to raise support and awareness. Tatiana was also inspired by other young women who embarked on a similar journey for a cause that stood out to them. One day I thought to myself, Well … I care about trees. What if I wore one dress every day to gain support to plant 12,000 trees and fight deforestation? And that’s how my journey began.



How have people responded to the project?

While I haven’t received as many responses as I had expected, friends who have responded are supportive and excited for me. I’d like to be able to have more conversations with folks, but I find that the topic of deforestation isn’t one most of my peers are thinking about or have knowledge about. Since I don’t like conversations to be one-sided, I hope folks begin to feel empowered to ask questions!


What aspect of planting trees motivates you to raise enough money to plant 12,000 in 2014?

I picked 12,000 because I hope to raise enough support to plant 1,000 trees each month. I figured that even though the rate of deforestation is gradually slowing, trees are still cut down at an alarming rate. I wanted to shoot for something large. Even though it feels pretty ambitious now, I like to imagine that it’s not impossible!


How can we pray for you & support you throughout the year?

I expected this, but it can feel a little bit silly and anti-climactic wearing the same dress every day. I think the best way to pray for me right now is against discouragement. I really appreciate regular feedback and questions, so apart from giving trees, communication is another way you can support me on this journey. If you feel inspired to do a yard sale or give up a latte to help reach the goal of 12,000, I would love to hear about that, too!


Thanks so much for sharing your story, Rachel!

Please consider supporting Rachel through prayer and by giving to her campaign. Let’s help her plant 12,000 trees!

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