The "where is it produced" conundrum is fascinating for a few reasons; 1) China is perceived as having some of the highest-quality production capabilities in the world. 2) When given the choice, the "voting with dollars" of North American Consumers proves that we prefer low prices over desired production locations. 3) European, North American or any other non-Asian production does not insure a product of better quality or greater suitability to purpose, especially given the additional cost.
I remember peeling the Made in Taiwan and Made in China stickers off of the "American" brand bikes we sold when working in a shop years ago. However, an engineer friend of mine works in the bicycle industry and he claims that the Chinese factories he's visited are so nice he'd gladly work there!
Just some thoughts.
On 11/26/06, Jan Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Several listmembers have contacted me, saying they are interested in a new
> CR jersey. As Dale mentioned, his order with Hincapie is a "done deal".
> I'll disregard the 'orders' I received for a Woolistic remake of the CR
> jersey. Sorry, Guys.
> I find the discussion very interesting, about where the jerseys 'should'
> manufactured so that they "fit the CR picture". Even though most of
> Woolistic's production is indeed performed in China, we still have small
> factories at our disposal in Italy. A handful of customers can and do
> specify that their custom garments be manufactured in Italy. This
> adds to the unit cost of each jersey, but atleast you get an Italian-made
> Hincapie may "fit" the CR picture, but they are not exempt from the lure
> exploiting cheap labor in garment manufacturing. Rich himself told me that
> they were able to have their products produced in Columbia...South
> Real cheap labor down there. Rich went on to tell me that import taxes and
> duties on apparel from South America were a fraction of those on goods
> coming from Europe. Good for them, but that's hardly a good example of
> Trade practices.
> An interesting sidebar on the trials and tribulations of manufacturing in
> China - Alex told me that he hired a manager to run the production at the
> Chinese factory. This young man called one day, in a desperate panic -
> telling Alex that he needed to leave work for atleast a week, to take care
> of his sick father. If the man left the company for more than 48 hours,
> production would have halted. This young man came from a poor family and
> struggling to make enough money to be able to care for his aging parents.
> The father needed medical care, but had no money to pay for it. Alex
> in and paid for the necessary treatment of the father, so that the son
> have peace of mind and not worry about his father. I was really impressed
> Alex's willingness to do whatever was necessary to keep his employees
> Jan Johnson
> Portola Valley, California
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