In May of 2009, Sheena Matheiken was bored with her corporate job and wanted to step out of her 9-5 and be inspired. She came up with the idea to wear a “little black dress” everyday for a year, 365 days. The challenge was that she had to make every outfit look unique, and use only vintage and recycled pieces and accessories.
Sheena didn’t want to just wear the same dress for a year for herself, instead she turned her project into a meaningful fundraiser. Her project became a challenge to her creativity and a fundraiser to support the Akanksha Foundation— a non-profit organization providing education to underprivileged children living in Indian slums.
She documented her experience online, titling her project “The Uniform Project” -- soon the press started to take notice. In 2009 she was featured in publications including Vogue, The New York Times, Elle, Marie Claire, NPR, PBS, and many others. Most importantly, at the end of her year she raised over $100,000 in donations for the Akanksha Foundation.
Now in 2011 The Uniform Project has grown, and has donated millions to several charitable causes. Women from all over the country are participating by wearing little black dresses for a month, and their family and friends donate to one cause for that entire month. The outfits they wear are documented online each day of their journey.
The project has also partnered with large businesses such as Ebay and Payless Shoe Source who match donations raised. The Uniform Project also sells various little black dresses on its website, and offers sewing patterns so you can make your own.
So take the challenge, and try to wear one piece of clothing for a month -- making everyday your own with recycled and vintage accessories. Learn more about the Uniform Project by clicking here ,and the next time you want to donate towards a great charitable organization, consider the Uniform Project.
Below are some of Sheena's most creative little black dress outfits: