As I mentioned in a previous post, I LOVE uniforms. I ran upon this project this morning and had an “ah-ha!” moment. I love it! I love this project as much as I love uniforms, and its all about uniforms (and sustainability and helping others!!)!
“Uniform Project was born in May 2009, when one girl pledged to wear a Little Black Dress for 365 days as an exercise in sustainable fashion. Designed to also be a fundraiser for the education of underprivileged children in India, the project acquired millions of visitors worldwide and raised over $100k for the cause. U.P. then continued into Year 2 with a monthly series of select Pilots taking on the 1-Dress challenge for causes of their choice. Today, women around the world continue to take on the 1 Dress challenge and wear U.P. LBDs as an expression of socially conscious fashion.”
I feel very strongly about reducing our belongings, taking care of what we have, making conscious purchases and supporting sustainable behavior in all aspects of our lives. That said, I find it difficult to follow this in a coherent, constant manner. I purge my closet, but then “things” somehow creep back in from moments of weakness (I’m a sucker for shopping when traveling, for example…). I get distracted by life. I get lazy or seek convenience (it’s easier to buy imported, non-organic fruits and veggies at the local produce vendor than driving out to a nearby farm). I get suckered in to the occasional new beauty product, chemical-filled sweets, using the car when public transport or the bicycle can be used, or purchasing yet another white tee-shirt. I use disposable diapers. And I feel bad about it. Sigh.
Obviously, I’m having a hard time finding my balance regarding these issues, my uniform that works with my life, my capability to commit to sustainability in as many realms as possible in a realistic manner. When I read about projects like the Uniform Project, I am inspired and become newly excited about executing some of the same principles inside my home, in my life. I also get that sick feeling in my stomach when I turn around from my little desk here and see all the clothes I have. All the things. Where is my coherence (I was just peeking through the Anthropologie website as I thought “I NEED those bright green skinny jeans”…busted!)?
I’ve already talked about how great having a daily uniform feels, about the benefits of purchasing less, and appreciating more what we already own, but also, imagine what a great example this would be for my little girl?
I will leave you with this 1989 Brazilian short film, Ilha das Flores, by Jorge Furtado, that has stuck with me over the years following the path of a tomato from the tomato farm to the dump as a social critique on poverty, highlighting the contrasts of those with purchasing power and those without, and the use-and-toss nature of so many. A writer from www.reverseshot.com, an independently published film journal, writes that ”it distills the logic of exchange in contemporary, capital-driven societies to reveal the nearly perverse economic inequality and social discrimination that forms its backbone” (the rest of the description of the film can be found here).
(The English version of the video)