Monday, May 3, 2010

The Uniform Project

Most weekends, I struggle to get out of bed before 9. When I was younger, however, it wasn't uncommon for my parents to wake to find me sitting in the living room in my pajamas, waiting for my favorite cartoon, Dexter's Lab, to come on. When not longing for my own vast laboratory easily accessible from my bedroom, my early fashion obsessed side was frankly disappointed in Dexter's mono-look closet. Sure, a precocious child scientist doesn't really need to dress to impress. But does he really need to wear the same outfit every single day.

You can imagine my fascination, and admittedly initial horror, when I heard about Sheena Matheiken's challenge:
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.
Not only is she making a sartorial statement through the constant reinvention of a single look, but there's a charitable cause associated with her project:
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.
So far the project has raised $79,591, enough to provide schooling for 221 kids. Friday April 30, 2010 marked day number 365. Sheena's continuing the endeavor, and year 2 was promptly kicked off on May 1st. You can read more about the project and see a complete look book of the first year at
Sheena's efforts bring a whole new perspective to that age old female complaint: "I have nothing to wear"!

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