In 2017, I was in Philippines when I met a 21 year-old girl who was illiterate, could not speak, had lost her front teeth and could only spend her time doing nothing in her village.
She left a deep impression on me and as a trained social worker, I came back with a nagging question, "What could be done to alleviate poverty in places like these?"
Subsequently, I attended a leadership conference and asked a workshop speaker this very question. "Bring a businessman there,"he said.
Somehow, the answer did not satisfy me and in December 2018, I saw a course on Fashion Design. I was not sure if I should pursue it because if it was only out of a personal interest, I felt it was not worth it.
Soon after, I left for a trip to Korea and it was there that I came across many sewing paraphernalia and it struck me that if I took up the course, I could learn the sewing skills and impart them to such disadvantaged ladies. The idea of a social enterprise came and Grateful Dress was born.
The idea is to equip these ladies with sewing as an employable skills set. If they like, they can help to make the products that Grateful Dress designs - on a paid basis, of course.
Grateful Dress is committed to designing products that are simple, timeless and tasteful. We are working towards greater sustainability in both sourcing for eco-friendly materials and employing processes that minimise negative environmental impact. We also want to ensure fair wages for the ladies who are making the products.
Will you join us in making a difference to the world we live in, both environmentally and socially?
Thank you and may God bless you abundantly!
Alvina Ng Shih Chi