The Importance of Dressember and How Oakdale is Taking Part in the Movement

Peyton Whyte and Eli Corridon Crum supporting the Dressember movement.

Emily Lockard

Peyton Whyte and Eli Corridon Crum supporting the Dressember movement.

Emily Lockard, Writer

Dressember is a campaign in December that aims to put an end to human trafficking and raise awarness for victims. All over the world, men and women take on the challenge of wearing a dress or tie everyday in December.


At Oakdale High School, the National Honors Society (NHS) encourages members to take part in Dressember to emphasize the importance of raising awareness. Students that participate in all days of Dressember, and give a presentation to their class about human trafficking, will earn four service hours. 


As all social movements, awareness and education is key for progress.”

— Maddi Tribbit


Knowledge on human trafficking is crucial to recognizing the signs and preventing it. Junior Madi Tribbitt explained that educating people on the Dressember movement is extremely important: “As all social movements, awareness and education is key for progress. The more people are aware of human trafficking, the less susceptible you are to being trafficked yourself, and to recognize the signs of victims around you who are being trafficked.”


Students find that taking part in Dressember makes them realize how vulnerable they are to being trafficked, especially at the high school level. Specifically, research shows that 80% of victims are women and children. Tribbitt expressed that Dressember was relevant for her to be involved in because of her demographic as a teenage girl: “It really hits close to home knowing other girls like me can be trafficked.” 


Jocelynn Todd showing off her Dressember outfit.
(Emily Lockard)


Senior Maddie Oakley explained that if we were more aware of the signs of human trafficking, the fewer people we would have to call victims: “No matter who you are or how old you are, theres a risk of being apart of human trafficking.” 


The simple challenge of dressing up everyday may sound easy, but finding a new outfit for each day of the school week can be difficult. Tribbitt added, “I have bought more skirts and dresses to  be prepared.” 


Oakley shared this is her first year participating, as well as Tribbitt, and is planning on dressing up for every school day.


However, Dressember presents a much more valuable meaning, rather than just dressing nice each day. The Dressember Foundation states, “All people deserve to be free” and through fashion, we can restore dignity in victims and survivors. 


Even if you are not a part of the NHS, that doesn’t mean you can’t support the campaign. Tribbitt voiced, “You can’t be stopped for supporting, but it’s not required.” Even though members of the NHS will receive service hours for participating, Dressember is a national movement and just simply dressing up for the cause can make a change.