There was a time not too long ago when being a fashion-lover and a socially/environmentally responsible citizen seemed like a contradiction in terms. Thanks goodness that is no longer the case. Fashionistas with a conscience now have a whole host of eco labels to choose from that are not only ethical, but also desirable (see Eco Fashion World for inspiration).
Even “fast fashion” brands are giving a nod to the environment – just yesterday, I saw that Topshop are lauching a Bicycle Club in NYC. So you can wheel around looking adorable in your Topshop floral dresses and feel good about taking a more environmentally friendly mode of transport! Weeeee, whirl, twirl, fun!
Nice idea Topshop, but you have nothing on what I’m about to tell you about.
I think I may have found the pinnacle of socially-conscious chic in The Uniform Project. Since May 1st, for a whole year, the oh-so-ethical Sheena Matheiken is planning on wearing the same dress, every day, in an effort to raise money for a children’s education project in India.
The same dress for a whole year?! First thoughts. One, gross. Two, borrrrrring!
Actually, far from it. Browsing the outfits from May, it is obvious that Sheena is a creative kinda chick. Every day she manages to make the dress look like a completely new outfit, accessorizing with jewerly, tights, hats, cute shoes etc. For those who are worried about hygiene, she does have seven versions of the same dress.
And just in case you aren’t yet in awe, get this… Sheena is even trying to buy/find all her accessorizes second-hand and is adding a dollar donation each day so that by the end of the year, she will sponsor one child in school. Stylish, sustainable, generous. It’s too much!
Obviously it helps that Sheena has the sort of girlish, pretty looks that allow her to pull off things like bright, green knee-length socks. Plus, she had a fashion designer friend on hand to design her dress so it was super-versatile and able to take her through the seasons. But even so, her efforts are more than commendable and a total inspiration.
I’m going to follow her progress closely.
p.s and it seems like lots of others are following the Uniform Project. The NY Times has just covered it too!