As I sat at my desk in my freshmen college dorm room, tears tore down my face while my heart simultaneously swelled with anger and broke with anguish. Despondency settled over me like a cloud as I read article after article; Rana Plaza, a garment factory in Bangladesh, had collapsed three days prior, killing over 1,000 garment workers and leaving many more injured. The workers had noticed cracks in the building that very morning, but despite expressing concern to management, had been forced to work in the building. They made clothing for major Western retailers. They made my clothing.
That day, for the very first time in my life, my eyes were opened to a devastating truth: major retailers have decided that a t-shirt or a pair of jeans is worth more than a human life. Knowingly or unknowingly, in supporting these companies and purchasing their clothes, we, the customers, have decided that a t-shirt or a pair of jeans is worth more than a human life.
Let me say that again lest you miss it…
We have decided that a $5 t-shirt or a $30 pair of jeans is worth more than a human life. I want you to really ingest that. Let it wreck you. May it bring you to tears. May you feel the same brokenheartedness, shame, and despondency that overwhelmed me at 2:32pm on April 27th, 2013. The garment industry is characterized by deadly factory collapses and fires, harmful working conditions, sexual harassment and abuse, 14-16 hour work days and forced labor. On April 27th, I decided I would not lay idly by, continuing to allow thousands of people to die every year in the name of fashion. Wonderfully Made was born soon after.
Our Past Work
I hired our first employees in the summer of 2015 from Santiago, Dominican Republic. The women were taught how to cut, dye and sew, making backpacks for a custom order. They were paid living wages and worked in safe working conditions. All materials were bought locally to support the local economy. The women also had repeated opportunities to hear the Gospel! Upon completion, each lady was able to transition into another job because of the work experience they had acquired. One of our employees was able to buy a car and start renting her own apartment for the first time in her life using the money she had earned working for Wonderfully Made.
I am currently in the process of moving overseas, where I plan to officially establish Wonderfully Made's first production facility and begin working with women full time. I am still finalizing the location.
About The Founder
Kaitlin is a lover of Jesus, people, Mexican food and songs in others languages. She is the founder and CEO of Wonderfully Made Apparel. When she's not trying to convince every single person she knows to join Wonderfully Made and move overseas with her, she enjoys spending time outdoors and experiencing other cultures.