Every year when I need to buy my son’s school uniform in the last week of March; it reminds me of Envato. There were days when I would buy an HTML theme for twenty dollars or a Drupal or WordPress theme for seventy dollars. Thousands of individuals and companies would use the same template and would custom brand and set up their digital products.
The schools in Chandigarh tricity have partnered with specific vendors for their students’ readymade uniform.
There are almost 180 students in grade six, divided across four different sections. Since they are in the same age-group, they are likely to buy same or similar sized uniform. For example, the shirt size can vary from number 32 or 34. It is not about the size, it is about the body shape too.
The school students do not undergo any army school training for their fitness or some sort of standardization in body shape. They all have their own posture, stance, shape, and the personality such as dropped or broad shoulders. When I see my son’s shirt, it is fascinating to see how 40 or 50 students can use the same shirt.
When I saw the shirt more closely, all these shirts seemed to first drawn as same kind of rectangles. As if these are quickly done in Figma and then copy-pasted for the same algorithm in a sewing machine. No personalized fitting for kids for their broad shoulders or lanky and tall bodies.
We invest in their study so that they can learn and grow into informed and learned individuals. The schools invest in their own way.
Students determine the direction of the society, country, and sometimes a generation. They need to feel their individual personality, while learning. They need to feel that they are in a uniform and not in containers.
We need to design their learning experience beyond the Figma’ed shirts and trousers.
I wish it changes the way we used to have our uniform custom stitched for our fitting.
When the school bus drops my son back home in the afternoon, I see the students as if a library of templates—cheerful, enjoying, and responsive. But they deserve better.