HistoryI needed a new winter coat.
None of the coats I looked at fit the bill so I had one made. I bought a batch of fabric and took it to Maria Fonseca of Fashion Atelier in Vancouver. Of course, the fabric was dark. I discussed with Maria that I wanted to factor some reflective features into the coat; my sister-in-law’s accident was fresh in my mind Maria implemented my ideas and made some suggestions. It became clear that, with the right materials, it was easy to create a garment that automatically conferred safety upon the wearer. The right coat could do more than just keep you warm and dry.
It could help to keep you safe.
An undetectable life preserver, of sorts.
I then retrofitted various outerwear – both men’s and women’s - to include reflective features. Each reflective feature was silently on board and didn’t evidence itself as part of the design. The wearer didn’t have to remember anything: it was all ‘on board’, quietly doing its job.
Recreational clothing and children’s wear often has reflective features. But that doesn’t help you on a Saturday night.
Or on the way to the office, or to school.
Nobody wants to wear banners of Caution Orange, or snap on reflective arm bands.
For the benefit to be conveyed, it has to be worn.
If we want to be safe, protection has to be built in.
No one else is going to keep you safe: it’s up to you.
My own sister-in-law was struck in a pedestrian controlled crosswalk.
It wasn’t even raining.
Every time I show someone the discreet reflective features of my coats, people are enthusiastic.
And everyone has their own near-miss story to tell.