When we think of fashion and clothing, the majority of us are not focused on the potential positive social impact.
The vast majority of apparel production is in the developing world, where regulation and workers rights are often minimal and where the costs of labour and infrastructure are much cheaper compared to production costs here in the West.
While it is the national government’s responsibility to ensure that they are regulating working conditions, it is our responsibility to make consumer choices in line with our values. Do we, as consumers, chose to intentionally turn a blind eye to what we know are oppressive working conditions, or do we seek to educate ourselves on the source of clothing and buy in line with our values?
Clothes-making is a very labour-intensive industry where production workers are often forced to work in very intense conditions, which begs the question as to why anyone would choose to work in such places. A great definition of extreme poverty is simply the lack of choices. The lack of choices in the developing world forces many to work
in oppressive conditions. The argument that this demographic “chooses” to work in these circumstances is simplistic, detached from reality, and unfairly relinquishes us of responsibility.
We believe that - as a direct result of our consumer choices - people can free themselves from extreme poverty.
At Visible, we want to be able to work with our production partners to assess and measure the positive social impact in the local community when people are treated fairly. We will be developing ways to learn more about the social impact that we have both on the lives of those who produce Visible clothes, but also on the wider communities.
We have choices as consumers that the majority of the producers do not have. As consumers, we can choose either to carry on forcing workers into horrific living conditions, or to start actively creating new opportunities that are fairer for all. Whether we make choices for positive impact or to maintain the status quo is up to us. Meet the people impacted by your purchase who work at The Visible Factory