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11-11-2006
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Interesting discussion.

The Chinese economic miracle has caused a paradigm shift - I think we in the west have a lagging perception from the sixties and seventies of starving millions and cheap knockoffs which is simply not the truth today. Quality of life in China is much closer to Western lifestyle than we assume.

The miracle has happened because the Chinese have excelled in becoming the world's factory. China is no longer the cheapest place to source, and the level of quality now often outstrips the decaying manufacturing industries in Europe and the Americas, where we are rapidly losing our experienced workers, lack updated equipment, and often lack the will to be competitive.

Still, I make a conscious effort to buy North American and to source North American. From an environmental perspective it makes sense to employ your neighbors and purchase as close to home as possible.

While the quality of life in China has significantly improved for now, I really wonder about the environmental impacts. If the Chinese consume per capita as greedily as we do in the west, the outcome will be unsustainable. There are longer term consequences of being the world's factory - and with the rapid desertification and reduction of agriculture, one can't help but wonder who will feed China. It's a complicated issue and is not one we can rely on assumptions to evaluate.

Hmmm. Made in China doesn't mean the same thing it meant thirty years ago. Now, to me, it signals the diminishing power of the Western world. We're so short sighted here that we're willing to sell our own middle class jobs to save a few dollars, and please our shareholders. Whatever the long term outcome will be, we'll deserve it.

I enjoy hearing the perspective from Caffeine and our other Chinese TFSers. I think we have a lot to learn in the west and we need to start paying closer attention.

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11-11-2006
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^there is one thing I'm very sure about: the agriculture production only goes up in the past 30 yrs. that is actually why so many peasants are moving to urban area to find construction jobs instead. With the advanced technology and modern equipments, the country is producing a lot more agricultural products. Now they send seeds to space every time when there is a space adventure, and those seeds got tested and mix with other plants to make huge tomatoes and things like that. it's amazing.
My concern is more on the environmental side. A government never pays enough attention to that issue, and I think that the Chinese government does too little so far.

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14-11-2006
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I think DKNY is manufactured in Thailand.

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19-02-2007
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I headed straight for this blog upon joining the site. I usually watch from the background. My comment is in no way meant to offend anyone. Don't take it so personal Caffeine =) The Chinese are talented and it's great that Europe has ALLOWED China to succeed in "the new world." However, I have to mention something that was just brushed: Outsourcing is ok if the sweat shop factors don't exist BUT if the manufacturers in China proceed to turn around and steal the intellectual work of the Western designers to profit from knockoff sales, THAT is a shame...A complete stab in the back...I can't understand why these companies overlook something as important as not having there items copied and sold in masses. So, Ipods are made in China now? That explains why there are now sooo many fake ones being sold at Flea Markets etc. LOL Who wants a $500 umbrella when u can get one that looks like it (not to mention made in the same place as it) for twenty bucks on Canal St??? It's so blatant that outsourcing to China is not working on behalf of companies wanting to save money. They should be careful what they wish for. They will eventually lose money when their customers become disgusted by seeing average looking girls with their $2,000+ handbag.
Next of importance is that people in the West cannot move forward without realizing that there well being IS in fact threatened by the almost monopololized "factory cluster" in China.
-Don't wait for the storm to reach, close ur shutters...

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19-02-2007
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I just popped in to say welcome to tFS, Adalene! Thank you for sharing your viewpoint ... it's what keeps tFS such a lively place.

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19-02-2007
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I know that some of Marc Jacobs's products are made in China.

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19-02-2007
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I'm tired but I'd like to reply briefly to this post, which contains a lot of comments I hear quite often (not just from one person).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adalene
The Chinese are talented and it's great that Europe has ALLOWED China to succeed in "the new world."
what does this have to do with luxury goods production?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adalene
However, I have to mention something that was just brushed: Outsourcing is ok if the sweat shop factors don't exist BUT if the manufacturers in China proceed to turn around and steal the intellectual work of the Western designers to profit from knockoff sales, THAT is a shame...
I won't go into the whole quagmire about sweatshops but I agree with the bit about intellectual property rights. The Chinese government needs to enforce those rights more. 'Tis a shame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adalene
A complete stab in the back...I can't understand why these companies overlook something as important as not having there items copied and sold in masses.
Companies don't overlook the issue but from what I understand there's very little they can do without the support of the government and in the end the benefits of cheaper production outweigh the downside.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Adalene
LOL Who wants a $500 umbrella when u can get one that looks like it (not to mention made in the same place as it) for twenty bucks on Canal St??? It's so blatant that outsourcing to China is not working on behalf of companies wanting to save money. They should be careful what they wish for. They will eventually lose money when their customers become disgusted by seeing average looking girls with their $2,000+ handbag.
1)Outsourcing is working out quite well for companies wanting to save money. What they 'wish for' in most cases is to keep shareholders happy, and maintaining factories in wealthier countries in many cases is just not a viable option anymore.

2) Since when does being 'average looking' bar you from buying a 2,000 handbag?

3) and thirdly...ain't gonna happen! The luxury market goods is growing, particularly in developing countries. Many luxury brands like Gucci are opening new flagship stores in the Asia Pacific...and reaping in the monetary benefits.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Adalene
Next of importance is that people in the West cannot move forward without realizing that there well being IS in fact threatened by the almost monopololized "factory cluster" in China.
-Don't wait for the storm to reach, close ur shutters...
Move forward....what? You do realize that the 'monopolized factory cluster in China' is the result of WESTERN companies setting them up because WESTERN stockholders are becoming more demanding in terms of profit returns?

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19-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novella
I know that some of Marc Jacobs's products are made in China.
That is right - my MJ wool cardigan with silk lining is made in China and purchased at NAP, so it isn't fake.

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19-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caffeine
TSE cashmere is produced in China. I assume most of the nice cashmere is produced in China as Inner Mongolia is where those animals grow
Everything is made in China, you realize that when you stay there for a while.
But I am rather sure that the Inner Mongolian cashmere is not the cashmere used for most high-end cashmere garnments. Better cashmere is available, still inside china though e.g. Xinjiang, Gansu, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Qinghai and Tibet.

Other places that produces cashmere are Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India.

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19-02-2007
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I don't take it personally, and welcome.
I never buy fakes. And I hate fakes and am always against it. Of course fakes are not "lux" so it technically doesn't belong in this thread.

But an interesting observation is that most of the Asian people buy the real deal, and the people who purchase those fakes tend to be the western people. There is supply because there is demand.

Also Korea is actually the center of nicely made fakes. I wonder why nobody mentioned it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Adalene
I headed straight for this blog upon joining the site. I usually watch from the background. My comment is in no way meant to offend anyone. Don't take it so personal Caffeine =) The Chinese are talented and it's great that Europe has ALLOWED China to succeed in "the new world." However, I have to mention something that was just brushed: Outsourcing is ok if the sweat shop factors don't exist BUT if the manufacturers in China proceed to turn around and steal the intellectual work of the Western designers to profit from knockoff sales, THAT is a shame...A complete stab in the back...I can't understand why these companies overlook something as important as not having there items copied and sold in masses. So, Ipods are made in China now? That explains why there are now sooo many fake ones being sold at Flea Markets etc. LOL Who wants a $500 umbrella when u can get one that looks like it (not to mention made in the same place as it) for twenty bucks on Canal St??? It's so blatant that outsourcing to China is not working on behalf of companies wanting to save money. They should be careful what they wish for. They will eventually lose money when their customers become disgusted by seeing average looking girls with their $2,000+ handbag.
Next of importance is that people in the West cannot move forward without realizing that there well being IS in fact threatened by the almost monopololized "factory cluster" in China.
-Don't wait for the storm to reach, close ur shutters...

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19-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesper D
Everything is made in China, you realize that when you stay there for a while.
But I am rather sure that the Inner Mongolian cashmere is not the cashmere used for most high-end cashmere garnments. Better cashmere is available, still inside china though e.g. Xinjiang, Gansu, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Qinghai and Tibet.

Other places that produces cashmere are Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India.
talking about cashmere, you might be intererested in this thread as well
http://www.thefashionspot.com/forums...ere-53928.html

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20-02-2007
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weehee Cashmere!
And talking about Korean fakes, a lot of the fakes on the Chinese market are produced in Korea, e.g. the really good fake watches (those that are waterproof, automatic etc.) you can always trust Korean technology i guess

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20-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caffeine
talking about cashmere, you might be intererested in this thread as well
http://www.thefashionspot.com/forums...ere-53928.html
Some really interesting views, some sadly some very idiotic misinformed comments towards China. Heres my 2 pennies.

We are a small indie label that manufacture in China. We have to, its the only way to get quality at a good price that the buyers will buy at. We tried producing in the UK, but it was either too expensive or the quality was atrocious. Why? because the British rents, taxes, rates are too high and cannot support a competitive manufacturing industry. The govt here haven't exactly helped the situation either

We have visited many manufacturers in China and yes, lots of designers produce their "mid range" over there, because the quality is good. The workmanship, factory spaces are very modern, they have invested (sometimes with help from outside investors) in the latest technology and manufacturing processes. Its cheap because of low running costs, raw materials and labour. BTW, China's labour force work in much better conditions than many other places around the world. Yes, they work long hours and the laws and they do not have as many benefits as their western counterparts but in relative terms they earn a good wage and you got to remember China is still a emerging economy, in the midst of industrialising. Nowhere have I seen childeren labour being used either. On a tangent, analysts are predicting that the shift in manufacturing will be to Vietnam and Cambodia in 10 years time, its already started. They are considered "Frontier" economies annd much more backwards in terms of social development and infrastructure. I have seen the manufacturing quality and its way inferior. Wonder if the China bashers will switch their attention to Vietnam in a few years time?

The only thing that annoys me about "Made in China" is not the quality (because I think in many areas it can match western made quality) itís the fact that someone like Mulberry can have the cheek to still charge so much when you know the cost price is so much lower than producing in a small factory in Italy. However, there will always be a market for high end luxe. Because of the prestige of owning something made in Italy, France, Scotland. Ironically, China's emerging middleclass will probably boost the demand for such high end goods thus ensuring that this industry will never die out. "Swings and roundabouts" as they say. Most of you guys know that Gucci, LV make most of theor money in the Far East via Japan/HK and increasingly through Mainland Chinese tourists.

Chinese cashmere is almost as good as Scottish. Though imo scottish cashmere has a better finish, more fluffy, but if you were to produce in Scotland, then have shops add their markup you are looking at £300 plus for a cardie, which most people will baulk at the price. In this age of throwaway fashion, most would rather pick up a cashmere mix from China wear one season then discard. Even if you were to buy scottish yarn, then produce elsewhere, its still works out more expensive than producing all in China.

As for IP, its not just a case of chinese copying the West, they copy everyone incl. HK chinese innovations, its indiscriminate, part of the "get rich quick" mania sweeping the whole of China that in fact also hurts their own people through fake medinies, foodstuffs etc. China's entry into the WTO is already improving things and with a better IP legistlations and enforcement things will get better. As someone pointed out Korea India and Thailand churn out substantial amounts of fakes but US has painted China as the baddie so it sticks. Anyway, these are my observations based on actually visiting China and being in the business. There are lots of things that could improve socially and politically in China, but this thread relates to quality and designer goods, so thatís all I am touching on! Peace...

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20-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesper D
weehee Cashmere!
And talking about Korean fakes, a lot of the fakes on the Chinese market are produced in Korea, e.g. the really good fake watches (those that are waterproof, automatic etc.) you can always trust Korean technology i guess
to me, a fake is a fake. A "good" fake is still a fake.

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20-02-2007
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dezzydez, thank you so much for the input. Karma!

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