Kiwi woman sparks debate after starting 'Wear Dressing Gowns to Supermarket' Facebook Event

Must See 24/07/2019

An Auckland woman is organising a 'wear your robe to the supermarket day' after being shocked at people's hostility toward the practice.

Claudia Ainscow was inspired by a post on the Warkworth community Facebook page asking if wearing a dressing gown or robe to the supermarket is acceptable.

"There was such a huge unnecessary debate," she told Newshub. 

"To be honest, I was shocked so many people had a problem with it! Why should someone else's clothing be someone else's problem? Especially when there's no dress code, you don't know who that person is or what someone's circumstance is either."

She and a few friends commented their support for donning sleepwear before running to the shops, but found themselves being attacked for their views. Some said it was a disgrace, while others accused people wearing robes in public as "most likely predators".

But the negativity only strengthened her resolve, prompting her to set up a Facebook event page encouraging others to wear their comfiest robes on their supermarket shop - and take a selfie while they're at it. 

While she says the event was initially met with a negative response, there are now hundreds of people who have indicated their interest in this Sunday's challenge.

"This is amazing, I'll just have to wear my dressing gown to work instead," one woman said.

Ainscow says any reason someone might have for wearing a robe in public is valid, from mental health struggles to just pure laziness.

"No one should be shamed for something like that," she says. "It's 2019, it's about time we stopped judging. 

"Life's too short to be serious and wasting time putting down others for something like a bloody robe!"

She hopes to spread positivity and tolerance for other people's freedom of expression, and empower Kiwis to wear what they like, when they like. 

"What's the best way to squash hate? Unite, ignore them and do it anyway!"