Comments on: 100 years of magical thinking http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/100-years-of-magical-thinking/ How to start a clothing line or run the one you have, better. Thu, 27 Nov 2014 16:02:27 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 By: Raya Saabhttp://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/100-years-of-magical-thinking/comment-page-1/#comment-95999 Thu, 13 Dec 2012 20:49:38 +0000 http://fashion-incubator.com/?p=12241#comment-95999 Articles and events like this is the pure reason why I am a big advocate for local production. Offshore production can be valuable and great if businesses cared for social responsibility. But unfortunately, our mass-market environment triggers businesses to go offshore just in order to eliminate costs and produce economies of scale. Focusing too much on profitability, makes them ignore how important business ethics and social responsiblity are when you have workers who are trying to make a living involved. We have many experienced workers here in the U.S who are skilled and educated in their profession, but we still choose to take advantage of poorer countries who are willing to work for very cheap in order to barely make ends meet. I admire businesses who are trying to be more socially responsible such as H&M who worked with the Bangladesh government to increase wages by 80% I also admire local designers who enable manufacturers, pattern makers, and skilled workers get involved and be part of a great opportunity. As desginers, entrepreneurs, and creative individuals we need to not be a part of the typical process and really stand for social responsibility and sustainability as we are the future.

Here is the link about H&M:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/05/hm-bangladesh-minimum-wage_n_1858743.html

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By: Mr. F-Ihttp://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/100-years-of-magical-thinking/comment-page-1/#comment-93718 Sun, 09 Dec 2012 02:43:25 +0000 http://fashion-incubator.com/?p=12241#comment-93718 People pay $6000 for a single sewing machine? And it comes with a table and automatic thread trimmer, right?

Disney apparently claims that they haven’t done business with this place in a over year. While I’m reluctant to give Disney a pass, they probably have good records because of this kind of risk. It could be that the unscrupulous management at this place also engages in piracy? But if so, why doesn’t Disney think about *that* risk of doing business offshore? Or maybe they figure that whenever they get caught dealing with these places, they can claim piracy and avoid blame.

How many of you using offshore contractors are thinking, “Compliance and safety are important to us and we EXPECT all our licensees to have in place compliant standards for fire and safety conditions at any factory that may produce our brand.” Well, that’s what Sean Combs’ ENYCE says about this place. They don’t deny doing business there, but instead they place the blame squarely on the contractor. Maybe ENYCE should sue them for breach of contract and, I don’t know, throw defamation or loss of goodwill or something in for good measure. Much of the blame does belong on the local management, but I suppose P. Diddy can’t afford the airline ticket to go check the place himself?

6,000 people a year die in factory fires? Wow. That’s like twice the annual US death rate from ALL fires.

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By: Sarah_H.http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/100-years-of-magical-thinking/comment-page-1/#comment-92442 Thu, 06 Dec 2012 17:05:10 +0000 http://fashion-incubator.com/?p=12241#comment-92442 Almost exactly on the nose for price. My Bernina 630 (one down from top of the line) is over $6000, maybe more this year. The 800 series is over $8000.

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By: Natasha Ehttp://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/100-years-of-magical-thinking/comment-page-1/#comment-92166 Thu, 06 Dec 2012 04:49:17 +0000 http://fashion-incubator.com/?p=12241#comment-92166 Which sounds about right for a machine made in Switzerland since only the higher end Berninas etc are still truly Swiss made vs Swiss engineered. All the rest including mine are made in Thailand.

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By: Alison Cumminshttp://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/100-years-of-magical-thinking/comment-page-1/#comment-91834 Wed, 05 Dec 2012 14:51:48 +0000 http://fashion-incubator.com/?p=12241#comment-91834 Frances, I was curious so I googled.

1 USD in 1967 had the same buying power as 6.93 USD today. (I can’t find the equivalent for Canada but I’ll assume the change was proportional.)
1 CHF was worth about 0.2375 CAD in 1967 and 1.07 CAD today.

So the Swiss-made machine you paid $250 for in 1967 would cost you on the order of $6,800 today.

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By: Franceshttp://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/100-years-of-magical-thinking/comment-page-1/#comment-91560 Wed, 05 Dec 2012 06:00:56 +0000 http://fashion-incubator.com/?p=12241#comment-91560 I too found the disclaimers very suspicious. It would look good if one of the big retailers did its own investigation and published the results.
@TPN: I didn’t mean that you yourself felt that low prices are a right. I really don’t know how you feel about such things. I meant that, in general, we have swallowed the claim that things made in developing countries mean that it make for lower prices for us and that that is good. I have been wondering for some time how we managed to set up and run a household when we had to buy things made at North American wage rates but we did. When I paid $250 for that sewing machine, it represented a considerable sum of money for me but I was willing to pay it. It would cost many times that amount at current exchange rates. And, just as a point of interest, that sewing machine is still usable although it does need a minor repair right now.

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By: Christina Weberhttp://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/100-years-of-magical-thinking/comment-page-1/#comment-91368 Tue, 04 Dec 2012 23:15:13 +0000 http://fashion-incubator.com/?p=12241#comment-91368 @Russel: Though I’m not aware of the exact policies and procedures, I suspected the statements on behalf of those big box retailers rushing to dis-associate their brand from the incident were far from the truth. It’s sad that your inside knowledge has now confirmed these suspicions.

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By: Traci Akiermanhttp://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/100-years-of-magical-thinking/comment-page-1/#comment-91278 Tue, 04 Dec 2012 19:28:15 +0000 http://fashion-incubator.com/?p=12241#comment-91278 @Russell White: speaking as a former reporter (albeit for small publications) I strongly urge you to share your insights with the publication of your choice to get them on the right track to investigating this further. The reporters won’t necessarily know where to look and should be happy to be pointed in the right direction.

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By: TPNhttp://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/100-years-of-magical-thinking/comment-page-1/#comment-91082 Tue, 04 Dec 2012 12:37:43 +0000 http://fashion-incubator.com/?p=12241#comment-91082 @Frances: My fabric comes from overstock from local and New Zealand retailers and from op shops (i.e. used/ vintage/ second hand or harvested from other clothes). My mum lives in Asia and sometimes sends me worked fabrics from artisans/ workers co-operatives. It takes a little more effort and certainly costs more but it means I buy (a smaller amount of) high quality material. I don’t think low prices are my right at all. In fact I automatically assume when I see a low price that the item has been made from slave labour. My sewing machine is locally assembled from parts made in Japan, Korea and Singapore (the parts are machine-made, the assembling is done by humans). I don’t have so much of a problem with fabrics because most commercially-made fabric today (I’m not talking hand-looms here) is made on a very large scale by machines-even then there is always the option of buying certified fabrics with minimal environmentally impact in its production. It just costs more but it’s not like I need a huge amount-I only sew for myself.

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By: Russell Whitehttp://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/100-years-of-magical-thinking/comment-page-1/#comment-90867 Tue, 04 Dec 2012 07:08:53 +0000 http://fashion-incubator.com/?p=12241#comment-90867 This incident has made me so mad and what bothers me the most is the fact that the companies (WalMart, Disney, Sears) that had work in these factories denied knowing about the conditions or the fact that their goods were subcontracted to this factory.

I have worked for major companies–including Sears–and worked in the sourcing departments (I have personally sourced and have done full factory inspections in hundreds of factories all over the world–including Bangladesh). All of the above companies (and I have read their sourcing and vendor manuals) have stated policies that full factory inspections must be done for all facilities that are handling their products.

PLUS, these companies have full time inspectors that must inspect the goods while they are in the production lines being cut, sewn, finished and packed. All of the above companies also have offices overseas in various locations with staffing that travels to the factories. (When I was at Sears we had offices in South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, India, and Italy.) Not only do the overseas offices’ merchandisers travel to the factories, but the technical staff and QA inspectors travel to the factories that are producing the goods.

So, something is very fishy here with the corporate offices saying they did not know that their goods were made in a factory that the order was not placed with. By the way, this is also written in their manuals and in their contracts and their purchase orders. Shipping documents would be wrong, the carton markings would be wrong, and most of all the QC inspections would not be done according to their written policies and would have to be forged to get the goods passed and accepted. Then there is the issue with TOP samples (top of production)–these items would have to come from the actual factory making the goods. There are other steps in the process of getting goods made overseas–label/hang tag orders have to be made and shipped to the factory, poly bags, hangers, lab testing–the list goes on and on.

It takes a lot of work to fool a major company with offices overseas to have product made in a subcontracted factory. Was someone in the overseas offices taking money under the table (trust me it is done all of the time)? Was someone in corporate sourcing covering up? What the press needs to do is a full investigation with an experienced person in the import business who knows what questions to ask to find out the real story. If more of this information comes forward, then companies will stop using factories that treat humans as animals–think of chicken farms. I have seen many factories that were absolutely horrible and refused to do business with them because of their treatment to their workers.

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