Every year, an incredible graphic and apparel designer in Calgary named Sam puts together a collaborative t-shirt collection with a local charitable organization. This summer, she collaborated with the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre for a collection which reimagines their "elements of kindness" concept in a new format that focuses on conveying the Drop In's bold social statements through a very wearable and versatile garment. Best of all, $5 from each shirt sold goes back to support the Drop-In Centre and their important initiatives.
I have done small collaborative design projects for a couple local social causes in the past, but I never had the chance to incorporate Style Out Here into something this important, however this year I had the incredible and humbling fortune to be chosen by Sam as one of three photographers contributing to the lookbook. Among other important social themes addressed in this project, I think from my angle it's particularly easy to forget about the disparity of opportunity between many of us in this city and the fact that many of us (including myself) can so casually follow style and the associated costs of keeping up with trends, while many can't afford basic necessities like clothing or food. Being a part of something like this that attempts to spread that reminder through wearable and attainable fashion, while directly trying to address those problems has been a very gratifying experience that I would absolutely recommend to anybody else considering getting involved in charity projects.
This year, the designs of the shirts were based off Drop In Centre residents' interpretations of what these 'elements of kineness' mean to them, with each element attached to a person's quote. With photos by other incredible photographers Andrew Pavlidis and Bec Kilpatrick, as well as myself, the lookbook features the tee collection as worn by Drop In Centre residents and staff around some of the fantastic facility spaces.
Watch out for my post when the full lookbook drops within the next couple weeks, but for now visit Ditroriginals.com to check out our shots and purchase the full shirt collection!