We live in a global village where we are all connected more than ever before. In part, this is because of the global connectedness that the internet and many modern technologies have allowed.
There is also a shift in our collective mindset that makes us willing to be connected to people thousands of miles away.
Conventional business models in apparel often encourage us to negate our own moral responsibilities as consumers.
When the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Bangladesh in 2013, faceless victims of the global apparel sector suddenly had faces on our TV screens. They became visible. With this glimpse into the reality of the situation it became impossible to plead ignorance.
Yet while it is possible to feel connected in times of tragedy, it is often hard to feel that same sense of connectedness when we make a choice about what clothes we are going to purchase.
As global development continues to foster greater wealth and technological advancement, so our world continues to shrink as previously insurmountable barriers are overcome.
The opportunity to connect with the workers who make the clothes we wear is something that intrigued and excited us (Andy and Andy - Visible Co-Founders) as we built our new wardrobes from scratch - wardrobes containing only fairly made clothes. To know that Charlotte made our shirts, or that Sister Maria was involved in the production of our coats, humanises the industry. Being able to travel and actually meet these workers in the factories face-to-face is a truly humbling experience.
At Visible, we want to be able to provide that type of experience to everyone. While it wouldn’t be practical for us all to go overseas, we can provide the opportunity for every customer to connect virtually with the worker who produced his/her specific piece of clothing. To be able to learn about their lives, hopes and dreams shows the similarities that we all have in common.
It is easy to ignore people we don’t know. So let's change that.