we are equal - we are connected - we are one
The W.A.N. WHY, WHO and HOW Some background information about the We Are Numbers project.
We Are Numbers, a global t-shirt community art project, was initiated by the mysterious Number 1 (aka Dutch artist Twan Verdonck), as a protest against inequality and hyper-fashion consumption.
Check this video:
Why did Number 1 start the project? More info and background about this project:
One Night Stands.
“Fashion companies like Louis Vuitton, Armani, Prada, Dior and many others used to present their catwalk collections every half year in cities like Paris, Milan, London, etc. If it was up to them our entire wardrobe should change with the seasons: every half year completely new outfits. Nowadays companies like Zara and H&M are creating collections at an even faster pace. If it’s up to them we should throwaway our wardrobe and buy us an entire new one every six weeks! Or even faster. Of course I understand their (profitable!) strategy. As I’m a designer myself I recognize the love for innovation and creation of new styles. However as I see fashion industry speeding up and seeing people buying t-shirts for one night, I’m asking myself where it ends. Should we create low priced disposable “one night stand” fashion? With low quality, low costs and low ethics. Or are there more sustainable ways to create innovative fashion without the quick degradation of the product?”
Fashion divides us.
“At the same time I've seen people buying expensive branded clothing as a way of showing superior status. As if one’s identity is solely depending on the possession of these branded goods. Companies are investing largely in their marketing campaigns so they can manipulate people to buy as much as possible. Even though many cannot afford and force themselves into massive debts. Why do we do these things to ourselves?”
Recreating a new culture.
“Why is this fashion system so fucked up? And why have we been so stupid to keep following it? With We Are Numbers I’ve tried to investigate how to create a new and improved fashion culture. Where the company (me) is creating only one (1!) design and tries to keep that innovative and exciting for as long as possible. Furthermore the company should be more humble. It should accept and promote that people are different. That there's no need to create an image. We are all beautiful as we are!”
Fashion beyond recession.
“In the last couple of years we’ve been consuming much too fast, that’s why we are in recession now.”, says Verdonck. “For me it's no surprise that fashion industry who created this hyper-consumption culture is now suffering enormously. People are fed up with buying unnecessary and meaningless stuff, just to wear it shortly and then throwaway. A new and more meaningful system is on its way. We're seeing ecological fashion becoming more mainstream and I think that my We Are Numbers project is a next step. Instead of developing “one-night-trend” tees, (or organically produced “one-night-trend” tees) I decided to make uniquely numbered tees with only one simple graphic. The longer you keep the shirt, the lower your number gets in comparison to the majority of the group. An early number, such as 500, may be cooler than a later number like 10,000. And number 10,000 may be cooler than a number 100,000. So instead of going out of style, the shirts become even more stylish with time. I think that a t-shirt should be an interesting object for life. Or even an investment that becomes more valuable over time!”
How it works.
For 30 euros you’ll receive a tee that’s hand-painted by Number 1 with your own unique number. You are then asked to submit a photo or video of your numbered tee. The first 1,000 participants will appear in an art book. So far more than 300 people have joined the We Are Numbers - art project. Besides the photos and videos, the website also shows the world map and personal links, so numbers can track down other numbers and meet each other.
One graphic print means: we are all the equal.
Everyone has a different number: we are all unique.
The number system gives us some idea of how the project evolves and may give us some feeling of being together.
Your picture connected with your link gives everyone an idea of who you are - you may even want to contact each other?
The simple design of the website makes it easy to grasp and quick to moderate.
Who is behind it.
There is no big company behind We Are Numbers. It’s developed by Twan Verdonck. A dutch young designer who lives in Antwerp, Belgium. He wears the number one and makes your tee. More info here:
Your 25 euros are spend on:
-two printing rounds (one of them is done by hand)
-three fixating rounds (so the paint won’t come off with washing)
-an information printout that comes with your tee
-a small fee to support other artists that get involved
-a small fee to supply tees for free for people who cannot afford to buy one
-a small fee for me ‘cos I update the site, answer all emails, make, pack and ship your tee
Numbers on request.
You cannot request a specific number. It's a surprise!
The price of the t-shirt is 25 euros. Shipping (worldwide) and packing is 5 euro. So in total 30 euros: one price for everyone!
Some (not all!) packages will include an extra "unexpected fancy object". It can be ANYTHING that number one wants to give away. This little object may inspire you to make your We Are Numbers photo or video (???)
Some t-shirts are sealed in silver foil. Some will be shipped in an envelope.
All tees are made in Belgium by number 1. To give you an impression have a look at this Youtube video!
All people who buy a We Are Numbers t-shirt should submit a photo or video. It’s a privilege. And also a very important gesture towards other We Are Numbers members.
If you don’t want to send something in, then your number may be reissued again after some point in time. And you cannot claim it back.
Why should I join We Are Numbers?
Great unique t-shirt.
You may wanna make new friends?
You may want to show your website to others? (Your photo will be linked to your website of choice.)
You may appear in a book (first 1000 participants)
You are part of an art project!
Or as one satisfied participant wrote:
“Dear Number 1, here are the pictures...I am gonna to send you
more than one...you can choose the one you think is better! I wanna just to tell
you three things:
1) all the girls here loved your t-shirt and they asked me the address of the website to join in!
2) your t-shirt is bloody lucky! Yesterday I had one of the best days (and nights...) of my life!
3) your t-shirt makes me big boobs...could I have other four please? ;)))
take care, and have a lot of fun!!
This is a project initiated by:
Order your t-shirt: