We live in a disposable world. Places. People. Objects. Ideas. Everything is easily discarded for something new all too soon. Yet, hidden in the folds of this maddening wasteland, is a strange sort of intimacy. In April of 2013, I started a photo fashion project exploring community, the global interconnectedness bred by an exploitative garment industry, alternate economies, and gender roles in the fashion industry. Portland, Oregon has a unique free economy, based on trust and generosity. Simply, when someone no longer needs an item, they have the option to place it outside of their door in a box, with the word Free written on it. This system is remarkably elegant though not ruled by any external guides. Each person sets their own standards for what belongs in these boxes, what they’ll do when it rains, and where they place it, how long it will remain there. Everyone, young or old, rich or poor, takes part in this economy allowing a unique portrait to be painted of each neighborhood through the contents of the boxes. Thus on the corner of streets, a person can get to know the strangers inside of the houses through the objects left behind. These objects connect neighbors to one another and connect one corner of the world to another thousands of miles away. This culture of generosity highlights a compelling, viable alternative to the combustible, and destructive disposable fashion industry.
Visit freestylepdx.com to look at all of the documentation from this project.