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The Uniform Project

November 11, 2009

Until I turned 16 I went to school in Cameroon, where uniform is mandatory in high school. Consequently, I wore a uniform approximately 6 years long. It’s an effective way to at least minimize the social status differences. Many would probably barely have anything to wear if it wasn’t for the uniform, whereas others still found a way to show off despite it. So when I stumbled on Sheena Matheiken’s Uniform project in my internet wanderings, I felt compelled to spread the word.

Here’s an excerpt of the project description (published with the author’s permission):

Starting May 2009, I have pledged to wear one dress for one year as an exercise in sustainable fashion. Here’s how it works: There are 7 identical dresses, one for each day of the week. Every day I will reinvent the dress with layers, accessories and all kinds of accouterments, the majority of which will be vintage, hand-made, or hand-me-down goodies. Think of it as wearing a daily uniform with enough creative license to make it look like I just crawled out of the Marquis de Sade’s boudoir.

The Uniform Project is also a year-long fundraiser for the Akanksha Foundation, a grassroots movement that is revolutionizing education in India. At the end of the year, all contributions will go toward Akanksha’s School Project to fund uniforms and other educational expenses for children living in Indian slums.

I was amazed at how she succeeds in transforming the look of a garment by layering or using  jewelry, belts, vests, collars, hats, tights or knee highs, shoes, brooches, scarves or any kind of accessory. She even wears the dress back to front! Consequently, even if the ultimate goal is to raise as much money as possible, donations can also be made in the form of an accessory. Don’t hesitate to visit the site or its blog and support the project.

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