The Year 7 and 8 performance of Julius Caesar was distinctive for its costumes, designed and produced by the ethical clothing company, Visible.
Once we had chosen to stage Caesar, it quickly became clear that we would need dozens of tunics and togas. One option was to buy these online, but the available fancy-dress costumes looked more suited for a flammable frat party than a school play; it also wasn’t totally clear whether we’d be supporting a questionable supply chain. It ended up being almost as cost-efficient, and – more importantly – a lot more ethical, to team up with Visible.
Visible is a fair trade clothing company set up in the wake of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh. Its founders, Andy Showell-Rogers and Andy Lower, have strived to run a company based on the principles of equality, respect, honesty, transparency, and sustainability. NCS and Visible therefore teamed up to produce forty tunics and twenty togas – all bespoke and ready for November’s performances. In addition, we were keen to turn the process into a learning experience for its pupils, so we set up a Skype meeting with the tailoring team. The pupils got to see the factory’s set-up and to ask questions about life and work in Dharamshala.