In our quest to find the right product-market fit for Arrecife, we contracted a company to manufacture 70 swimsuits, which marked the beginning of our journey. Due to a series of events during the production process, I found myself making frequent visits to the factory, working closely with the person crafting these swimsuits. It was during one of these visits, amid frustration and tears, that this person stood up and told me that it wasn't fair to make 70 swimsuits for a payment of $0.20 each. Those words struck me profoundly, and it was at that moment that I truly comprehended the pervasive nature of labor exploitation in the industry—a harsh reality for many individuals worldwide involved in clothing production.
Following that eye-opening experience, I made a solemn commitment to myself that Arrecife would never be a part of this problem. On the contrary, we would become a driving force in the fight against it. So, as soon as I realized the potential that Arrecife held, I took a significant step. I purchased the first sewing machines and hired the first seamstress in Colombia. We took full responsibility for the machinery and paid her a wage significantly higher than the industry average.