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Forget the tags, feel the dots

Parul Sachdeva is in a fashion school but she's on a mission to aid the visually-challenged to shop on their own, finds out Ranjana Maria

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Parul Sachdeva with her designed garments for the visually challenged: (inset) a clothes tag in braille that specifies the colour, size and correct side to wear the clothing
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Though the fashion industry has many firsts to its credit in terms of style and trend, rarely is a consumer consulted before a garment is introduced into the market.

Parul Sachdeva, a final year fashion design student, of Pearl Academy, New Delhi, is charged with a passion, which drives her to lend a ear to students and adults who are visually impaired. To understand what her 'target audience' needs in terms of fashion and fabric, she keeps having conversations with them to understand their psyche. "Many of them expressed how it took them hours to figure out which dress or shirt would fit them, and how life would be way easier if there was some indication of the size and colour of the garments." Clearly, for them shopping is riddled with challenges.

She decided to do something about the problem. Exploring how fashion can have some amount of social impact, she says, "I've always wanted to do something creative, and hence took up fashion designing as a career. And if my work can help people, then even better."

Sachdeva already has a business plan in place. Having already thought of a brand name, 6DOTS, Sachdeva plans to open a store, collaborate with other brands once she is done with college and market her brand on radio.
In the last few months, Sachdeva has worked on three garments and tags that carry the size, price and colour of the garment in braille. In addition to this, the tags also have a sign, showing the person the correct side to wear the clothing. "The tags will hopefully cut down on the time spent on shopping," says Sachdeva. She adds, "6DOTS gives a visually challenged person independence to shop without assistance and instil in them the confidence to make their own choices."

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