As promised, we want to provide opportunities for you to track the production of your first t-shirt order - 'The First One'. We have divided the production process into six stages and will inform you when your t-shirt moves to the next stage.
In line with our core value of integrity, we want to communicate with openness, directness and honesty as your product is being made. Our goal is that as we share our experiences we will provide you with more visibility into the clothing sector.
On a consistent basis you have reminded us the importance of innovation (another one of our core values), and that we have to be truly innovative if we want to disrupt the status quo. Whilst the clothing sector desperately needs more visibility, taking an innovative approach definitely makes for an interesting ride!
Your support through our crowdfunding campaign has encouraged us to keep moving things forward and embrace the approach of learning by doing. We have appreciated the opportunity to make progress whilst we refine our business model.
Rather than being frustrated by the obstacles that we are forced to confront, we want to share as much as we can so that we are all learning on this journey.
From our experience, doing business internationally always presents unknown surprises, some more pleasant than others! We are working hard to overcome some of these challenges, which range from the minor to the substantial.
For example, one of the major risks of the pre-order model is that if there are any delays in the supply chain then it instantly impacts delivery dates. One of the things that we will continue to invest resources into over the coming months is looking at ways of mitigating this risk.
We have completed Phase One of our website development and have created the core structure which we will build on going forward. Our three visibles are outlined on the site - visible people, visible costs, and visible impact - and as we slowly increase the number of products available, we will also increase the number of stories of the individuals working specifically to produce these products.
A significant challenge that we have experienced is finding suppliers who meet our criteria of both producing quality clothes, whilst also being willing and able to share with us information on the three visibles.
Finding experienced suppliers that want to work with us has been further complicated by our current small size compared to other brands in the apparel sector.
We are working on establishing regular communication, scheduling our next site visit, and reviewing future product options. We look forward to sharing more about the employees at the factory assigned with the production of 'The First One', as well as learning more about the positive social impact that is generated within their local community.
After meeting with a number of potential suppliers, we have seen first-hand the importance of establishing trust in business relationships that are more than single bottom-line driven. We are delighted to have established our first formal relationship with CAOS (Creative Art of Souls) Apparels Private Limited who will be making ‘The First One’.
When we visited their Fairtrade certified production facility in Pondicherry (South India) earlier this year, we were really impressed. We have met, and speak regularly with, various members of their team including the Founder and Managing Director, Anjali Schiavina. When she told us that “being fair is not an optional add-on; it is at the core of everything we do”, we were convinced that there was a strong values alignment between our two organisations.
The need for you!
We want - in fact need - you to be part of the journey. Please vote for our next product, follow and promote @visibleclothing and our Facebook page, email us your feedback, and help to reduce the nudity of your friends by buying a Visible t-shirt or two!