For all of 2013, Christina Dean, founder of Hong Kong based non-profit Redressed, wore nothing but dumped, discarded or donated second-hand clothes. The 365 Challenge — designed around the concept ‘redress it, don’t bin it’ — promotes the possibilities of actually wearing the clothes we already have, inspiring us to keep clothing “out of landfill and in the fashion loop.”
Each day, Dean posted a photo of her outfit on Redress’ Instagram, allowing us all to follow her journey in real-time.
The idea for the challenge came about because I was standing on one of Hong Kong’s giant landfills, watching as all these rubbish trucks were queuing up, ready to dump their trash into the landfill. I realized that whatever efforts the fashion industry takes to make the production of clothes more sustainable, it’s urgent that consumers take drastic measures to decrease the amount they throw away. - Christina Dean
Each month was given a different theme and, because Dean herself was not (yet) that interested in fashion, twelve fashion stylists were enlisted to help create unique, inspiring looks for her to wear every day. The team of stylists — Tania Reinert of A Boy Named Sue, Geneva Vanderzeil of a pair and a spare, Reemé Idris, Claire Zhang, Julie Shah, Kate Jones of Miele Hong Kong, Anupreet Bhui, Vivian Lau of Elle HK, Charlotte Felix O’Conor of Stylecab and Zoe Robinson of The Good Wardrobe — provided tricks of the trade to help prolong both the functional and fashionable lifespan of Dean’s clothing, which was sourced from various second-hand sources with support from recycling organization Friends of the Earth.
During the course of the year, Dean developed a new appreciation for fashion. “I’m surprised that I have fallen in love with fashion for the first time through this project,” she says. “I have never been someone who loves the creative and expressive side of fashion. But through having worn so many diverse clothes, many of which are not my usual taste, I have come to find a real emotional attachment to the feelings that fashion conjures. This has fueled my interest in this area because if people can learn to love true fashion, creativity and quality, they will become more in tune with sustainability.”
I think really the best advice I could give is to go through your wardrobe, check out what you have in there, what you like, what you can repair, what you can restyle and basically learn to love what you already have. – Christina Dean
After a successful year, the project will continue in 2014. The Get Redressed Challenge will invite others to join the challenge and share highlights and tips on Instagram. January kicks off with LBD (Little Black Dress) month, inspired by Sheena Matheiken’s Uniform Project, in which she wore the same LBD for an entire year. “It’s been an amazing personal journey this year,” Dean says, “but now I’m going to be inviting other people to join me, because its time for everyone to get redressed.”
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