Anything to stave off the grim memories of the lockdown months, right? But this is a story that you really need to hear. Because Hope is a good thing—maybe the best of things. So much so that she’s holidaying in New York City right now.
You might recall how the collective resurgence of the first few months of the pandemic-enforced lockdown was eventually snuffed out by bouts of desperation of not being able to travel, endless work hours, a loss of faith in cooking, cycling and virtual travel. March flowed into April, then time stopped and by June, most of us turned into breathing zombies.
Marketing professional Siddhant Agarwal felt no differently, losing all hope and capacity for positivity. The 25-year-old, in the middle of a phase of crushing ennui, decided to pioneer a unique “beacon” of hope for the world. And this was how the travelling t-shirt, Project HOPE, was born. And by the way, the tee is a ‘she’.
Agarwal got in touch with vloggers, digital creators and artists based out of happening cultural centres all over the world—asking them if they would wear the tee and do a video interpretation of ‘hope’ when it reached them. Hope was what the world badly needed, and these strangers he had found and contacted through social media, quickly turned collaborators in this project. What’s new in the videos these people would make was that there was to be a departure from the typical style of vlogging we are used to—Agarwal partnered with a skateboarder, a free-climber, a parkour artist, a graffiti artist, a freestyle rapper, a busker and an alpine climber. The cost of Hope’s transit was born by Agarwal alone on the back of his day job.
The t-shirt’s itinerary spans five continents, 10 countries and 13 cities. Her first stop was Singapore, after which she jetted off to Hong Kong and thereafter Tokyo. An epic trans-Pacific voyage later, Hope reached Los Angeles on the US west coast, mapped the breadth of the country to reach New York City. The last we heard of our fab(ric) globetrotter was her having fun with skateboarders at the Times Square.
View this post on Instagram
Next on the schedule for the t-shirt are the city of skyscrapers and plenty of greenery—Toronto—after which she’ll make her way to London across the Atlantic. Once she leaves the UK capital, Hope will embark on the Euro leg of the world tour—shuttling from Paris to Barcelona to Amsterdam, leaving thereafter for Cape Town. She will arrive at familiar shores in Mumbai and finally return to New Delhi, the place of her birth.
Envy much? Why not hope instead? After all, it’s not just a t-shirt.