Another Day, Another Blog

These past few weeks have been focused on making a timeline as a visual representation of our progress in our project work. This is done using a Gantt chart. What is a Gantt chart you ask? Do not fret, I will provide you with a very lousy explanation. As someone with very mild Gantt chart knowledge, I can tell you that a Gantt chart consists of lines/boxes that represent the work that has been done or that needs to be done within certain periods of time. In case you couldn’t understand my description, which is highly plausible, I have provided a screenshot of my timeline below.timeline

My timeline contains all of the major steps required to complete my project, website creation, receiving clothing donations, creating pieces one through five, advertisement, photographing pieces and finally publishing the before & after photos to the portfolio. Each of these steps involve a process of tasks to be done, in order to complete said section. Each purple block in my timeline is one of the aforementioned steps, the yellow line piercing through them is the current Propel day, it shows me where I should be in my project work.

As you can see I’m currently a step or two behind in the creation of my pieces, fortunately I find that the timeline has really helped to push me to get those steps done due to the fact that I can physically see where I am in my project. The reason for these set backs is supplies, the current piece I’m upcycling requires zippers and elastics. I was able to get elastic from the textiles teacher here at Nelson Mac, as for the zippers, there have been some set backs with style and quantity as well just general disruptions one may come across through the week. Luckily this week has been very uneventful, providing me with plenty of time to get back on track with the creation of my pieces.

In the weeks to come, my project work will look quite similar to the work done in the previous weeks. I will continue to work on the production of each piece. My project has changed quite a bit, so that process doesn’t necessarily look the same. I am now creating a portfolio of before & after pictures of each piece I upcycle to show my progress throughout the semester. I found that with the intention of selling, I became too caught up in achieving perfection with each piece, which isn’t what I want my project to demonstrate.

The goal of my project is to educate people of the effects that fast fashion and clothing production have on the planet, and to show people that something can be done about it. I found that the portfolio would work better in doing so.

Now that I’ve updated you on the changes my project has come to know, I can tell you what the production of each piece looks like. The vision board is always the first step. I take which ever article I will be transforming and I decide what I’d like to do with it, I then create a vision board to represent my idea visually. Once this is complete, I begin working on the physical piece. Before I can upcycle a piece, I have to take the “before” photos with the help of one of Propel’s photographers. The actual creation of a piece isn’t quite as interesting, I simply sketch out my plan, cut and pin my fabric, and finally, sew everything together, along with other steps depending on the piece. Look at that, four blog posts in and I’ve finally told you what my production process actually looks like, its been a long time coming.

We’ve been told that it’s normal to start feeling the pressure at this point in the semester, and I think we all definitely are. According to NASA, sea levels are rising due to climate change, and at this point, so is my anxiety.

 

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Take Two

My project hasn’t had many drastic changes in the past two weeks. It’s looking like I most likely won’t be selling my upcycled clothing pieces. The situation is along the lines of “If it happens, it happens” if it doesn’t work out then it’s not a big deal. I thought I would be a lot more upset about it, but if anything, I find it to be reassuring, now I feel less pressured to make everything I create absolutely perfect.         

The only other major change that I’ve come to face in the past two weeks is my logo and name. In my last post I told you about the concept of “The Blue Box”, but after some reflection and feedback I’ve come to realize that it resembles recycling bins too much and sounds a little too environmental. While I do want my logo and name to represent my goal to raise awareness and be more “earth friendly” I also want it to reflect fashion itself.

After a lot of brainstorming, with the help of some peers, ‘Take Two’ was born. I found Take Two to be perfectly fitting. After all, for the clothing, it is in fact their second take. With the excitement fresh, I got to work on my new logo. There were many variations and stages of logo creation. I would create a group of logos, get feedback, and apply. On about the third or fourth iteration I stumbled upon the perfect one. I can say with the utmost confidence that this logo represents every aspect of my project that I want it to. You could even say that I like it more than the original Square One logo, which I didn’t think would be possible. It promotes upcycling and re-use while also looking trendy and appealing, which the previous logos had failed to do.

square one vs take two

With my logo officially finished, now I can focus on the next phases of my project. With my website almost complete, it’s time to start working on my upcycled clothing lines. I’m aiming to create five different lines. Each line will consist of a number of steps.

The first step to any line is to create a vision board. This helps to organize my thoughts and help me plan what I want my pieces to look like. After creating a vision board it’s time to get to work. This is when I complete all the steps needed to actually create and upcycle the clothing pieces. The next step is to photograph the pieces so that I can upload them onto the website and create a look book for each line to give a preview to my audience. The final step is to advertise and talk about the line via social media. This process will repeat for each clothing line I make.

With my website almost being complete, the new few weeks will most likely just look like a lot of clothing collection and production. I’ll be creating the pieces for my next line or two and collaborating with a photographer and models to photograph the clothing pieces. My goal is just to get to work and do as much as I can because if I’ve learned anything in the past two weeks, it’s that in Propel, you have a lot less time than you think you do.

 

To Be Determined

It’s been a busy few weeks since I last blogged. We are now in week 7, post-POC. My POC didn’t go exactly as planned, but it has managed to teach me more about my project. I’ve learned that my project isn’t as simple as I originally thought it to be. My plan was to collect clothing from thrift stores and upcycle them, I quickly discovered that this would be nowhere near practical. Now, I must rely on obtaining pieces through donations from people I know. It will be difficult but also rewarding seeing as I won’t have to spend so much on clothing pieces that I may not even sell. Overall, upcycling clothing is what reigns supreme in my project. As much as I’d like to sell the pieces, creating them is what’s most important to me. It is also important that my website and logo represent what I’m doing. I’ve come to realize that my Square One logo doesn’t achieve that. “Square One” with a little pink box beside it doesn’t indicate anything about recycling and reusing clothing pieces. Thus inspiring “The Blue Box”. As sad as I am to let Square One go, I’m excited to embark on the future of The Blue Box.

My central idea is to spread awareness about fast-fashion and how harmful clothing creation can be towards the environment. This is what inspired my project idea in the first place. Why promote the production of harmful new materials when I can simply recycle old materials instead? By the end of the semester I’d like to have a website that reflects my central idea. I’m aiming towards uploading several different upcycled clothing collections and themes, with a look book for each one. There will be a page on my website dedicated to informing others about the effects clothing production has on the environment and resources they can use to go more into depth on the subject. Assuming my pieces do end up selling, all proceeds will go to the non-profit organization: UNICEF (The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund). Therefore, giving people the chance to buy clothing and donate money to children in need all at the same time. My hope is that The Blue box makes a difference, no matter how small or insignificant.

Square One

New beginnings are always intimidating. For me, it was leaving everything I had come to know and joining a program where I wouldn’t know what I would be doing or who I would be doing it with for the next half year of my life. I’ve always been a planner, thus the thought of not knowing what the next five months of my life would look like was terrifying to me.

My summer consisted of attempting to convince my mother why I shouldn’t go to Propel. “What if I’m the first person in Propel history who doesn’t find a project idea?”. My mother, being much more rational than myself, assured me that this would not be the case and that this was an opportunity that she would not let me pass up. Therefore my efforts had failed and I would be forced to partake in the program come September.

The first two weeks were quite daunting. I feared that I wouldn’t find my place here and I was scared that I would fail. Now that I’ve reached the third week of this program, I can officially say that I was wrong. Not only that, but I can officially say that I am not the first person in Propel history without a project idea, I’ve managed to come up with three. Propel has introduced me to a more engaging way of learning and to an environment where I feel supported and encouraged to reach my personal goals. Unlike school it doesn’t feel like a requirement; it’s something I look forward to everyday and I’m certain it will only go up from here.

This weeks theme was Purposeful Play. We brainstormed a minimum of three potential project ideas and had to discuss them in a conference with Mr. Hansen and Mr. Patrician. During the days leading up to my conference I was very anxious about what was to come and I was doubting the possibility of my project ideas. After having my conference with Mr. Hansen I feel extremely relieved and reassured, the construction of my Proof of Concept helped to motivate me and start my work.

My project idea is to create a line of upcycled clothing and sell it at a maximum price of $25. My goal is to sell the clothing via my own online store and I plan to donate the majority of the profits to a charity of my choice. The theme of the next two weeks will be POC: Proof of Concept. These two weeks are dedicated to completing a task list that will prove to Mr. Hansen and Mr. Patrician that your project is possible. For my POC I have to make a website to sell the clothing off of, create four upcycled pieces and upload them to my website priced and photographed.

So far website creation has proven to be quite the challenging and frustrating task. I’ve managed to create an online store that will hopefully work, fingers crossed. Nonetheless, I have decided on my store’s name: Square One [hence the blog title ;)]. You’re probably wondering “why Square One?” Square One is referred to as the starting point, which is exactly where I happen to be. It’s a reminder that however successful I become, I once had to start at square one and that not everything can be done over night.

In the months to come I hope to find a model to photograph the clothing in and hopefully create a logo for my online store. My goal is to create a clothing brand that reflects myself and who I am.

I’m excited to embark on this new experience and to learn more about myself through the challenges I will be forced to face in my project.