Site: The Uniform Project

, 17 May 2010

Sheena Matheiken had a crazy idea … wear one dress for 1 year using only recycled accessories … and hoped to get donations in order to send kids to school in India… then she met Eliza in the tube and everything started becoming true.

Starting May 2009, Sheena 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 she would 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.

The story behind …

Sheena was raised and schooled in India where uniforms were a mandate in most public schools. Despite the imposed conformity, kids always found a way to bend the rules and flaunt a little personality. Boys rolled up their sleeves, wore over-sized swatches, and hiked up their pants to show off their high-tops. Girls obsessed over bangles, bindis and bad hairdos. Peaking through the sea of uniforms were the idiosyncrasies of teen style and individual flare. She then decided to put the same rules to test again, only this time she was trading in the catholic school fervor for an eBay addiction and relocating the school walls to this wonderful place called the internet.

sheena & the black dress

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 Sheena and the UP crew have raised more than $80.000 which means 223 kids ($360 needed per kid).

This is not over, as earlier this month Year 2 begun…  new dress, new adventure, and hopefully the UP crew will get many more children this year!  So come on! Head this way to donate!

Sheena & a new dress by Aki Goto

And here are the 365 dresses from last year…

and the full story explained…