Garment worker vision – the problem hiding in plain sight
ESG is undoubtedly a priority for businesses in the apparel industry, and there is endless talk about issues such as worker safety, wages, and exploitation. Yet one issue firmly under the radar is that of eyesight; a challenge social enterprise VisionSpring and denim giant Levi Strauss are working hard to tackle.
By Michelle Russel - Just Style
Having your eyes tested and choosing a pair of glasses in order to read or enable you to do your job better is something most in the western world take for granted. In many garment-producing countries in Asia, however, this is a luxury, and not a service that is readily available, even if you do have the money.
VisionSpring was set up in 2001 with the aim of providing eye tests and affordable, quality glasses to the world’s workers and low-income communities, where previously this was unattainable. Working across a whole host of industries, VisionSpring began working with the ready-made garment industry in 2018 and has successfully on-boarded big brands including Levi Strauss, VF Corp and Deckers to the cause.
The aim of the programme, ultimately, is to provide workers with a higher quality of life, increase their productivity and earning ability, while increasing the company’s revenues – results VisionSpring is seeing in India, Bangladesh and Vietnam where the programme is running for the RMG sector.
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