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Random fashion thoughts - Page 7242  

post #108616 of 109053
Quote:
Originally Posted by t3hg0suazn View Post

Seems like even Renovateur cannot remove the epic creases from my MMM sidezips. Any magic tricks out there, or do I just embrace the beatup-ness? Hard to justify buying another pair due to price / I know what they'll look like in a year. This is why you just shell out the dough for baller boots that look the same [already beat up] forever... 

fuck it embrace it... i only put trees in my cm shoes (alden, carmina)... a1923, ccp, ma+ all look great with wear, i do condition them with saphir cuz i don't like too many scratches or random spots but other than they minimal interaction from me.
post #108617 of 109053
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post


It's not necessarily about the system though (assuming you mean the system of international trade as it relates to clothing production). The things that people feel bad about have a lot more to do with foreign governments and those countries' own internal politics. There are countries who benefit from low-wage clothing production, but they're able to do so because they have better governments in place. Vietnam benefits a lot as one of the main producers for Nike. China has also taken clothing production and moved up-market to higher value-added goods.

The thing that bothers me about a lot of these stories is that they often have an implicit (or sometimes explicit) "buy American" message. If the message is to pull out of these countries and just buy domestically produced products (or products in countries where labor standards are better), then all the things that people are offended by -- children working, buildings collapsing, people living and working in terrible conditions -- will just worsen. Foreign companies coming in and hiring people helps people get out of those conditions. Even if the work is bad, the alternatives are often worse. Paul Krugman has a good essay that touches on that here:

http://web.mit.edu/krugman/www/smokey.html

Obviously, this doesn't mean we can't make things even better. There are some companies paying for children's schooling -- so instead of working five days a week or whatever, they work three days and go to school for two. They're paid days though, so the kid doesn't lose any money (this seems better than just disallowing kids to work, since the reality is the the families are poor and need the money). Some fair trade coffee programs have also bettered the lives of farmers.

But on a macro-level, it's unclear which policies are practical, which won't have unintended effects, and which won't just end up subsidizing a low-end industry at the expense of the country's growth (e.g. instead of moving into some higher value added industry, people go into coffee or clothing production because of the subsidized pay).

Stories about sweatshops or whatever never touch on those more complicated issues though. They're just rehashing another version of dependency theory. H&M and people who buy at H&M are not forcing kids to work in sweatshops. Children work in sweatshops because those countries are poor, so their families are poor. If everyone stopped buying H&M and started buying higher end clothes, the winners would be Italy and England, not Pakistan.

All of your points are pertinent.  However, @pickpackpockpuck is not wrong either.  Our desire for ridiculously cheap clothes, so cheap that they are essentially disposable, puts pressure on the factories to cut cost and cut costs, often at the expense of reasonably safe working conditions.  Certainly, those conditions could arise anyway, but the prices we demand make the conditions nearly inevitable in many cases.

 

Re. child labor, in particular, I think that it's a topic that is vastly oversimplified.  The very western ideal of the carefree child who learns and grows and plays, etc... is certainly not universally shared across cultures.  

post #108618 of 109053
Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyBirch View Post

tried on a Ten C rain parka today - shit is nice. Making me reconsider getting a Veilance rain jackit....

I have both, a veilance field jacket, a tenc short parka.. and all other sorts of highend rainwear. The jackets I wear the most are my Nanamica field jacket and pertex cruiser.
post #108619 of 109053
I'm finding this clothing production/manufacturing/supply chain discussion interesting. This is slightly tangential, but related as it reminds me of a significant research paper I wrote in law school addressing the complete lack of IP protection for clothing designs in the US… although the EU, Japan and others have provided a very robust regime for years (Japan over 50!). If you are interested in this topic check out a book written by one of my former professors called The Knockoff Economy ~ How Imitation Sparks Innovation.

I vehemently disagreed with most of the central arguments in the book and am still currently dabbling in Copyright law as it pertains to fashion. In short, however, the point is much of this cheap clothing is spurred by the "keeping up with the Joneses" routine where most of the population would prefer to purchase the shitty H&M Margielas or even worse, unauthorized knockoffs solely to be seen as having sophisticated taste or a luxe wardrobe or whatever it is they are after. Forever 21, for example (but there are others), essentially steals IP, makes a shit ton of money and then settles the lawsuits for cents on the dollar so… wtf why not? It's really an example in which crime does pay as what do I care if I settle a suit for $20MM when I've pocketed $100MM on the infringing articles that were produced in these low-wage, struggling-economy countries? I realize the problem is infinitely more complex on the whole, but this is an interesting slice as it pertains to fashion. Senator Chuck Schumer (D - NY) has been one of the main proponents of the DPPA and IDPPPA, both legislative amendments to Title 17 of Copyright that would include fashions designs under the list of protected works. This has been going on since 2006 and the bill has never made it to the floor for a vote.

Anyway… apologies if that was not enlightening. [ /Fashion Law 101]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbear View Post

definitely fold my tees and put them in a drawer

+1 .. Although I do have a few "precious" tees on hangers. shog[1].gif
Edited by Kid Nickels - 5/1/15 at 9:58pm
post #108620 of 109053
Incidentally, there's an argument to be made that Bangladesh won't be able to make the same move up the chain to manufacturing higher value-added goods as China has, at least not unless some things change. China's very controlling govt did the very smart thing of investing in the technology and education needed to diversify its manufacturing. Early on they started doing things like small electronics in addition to clothes. Bangladesh doesn't have China's resources or centralized control, and it's had a hard time moving beyond low-skill garment work. 90% of their exports are clothes and it's been that way for a while now. If you look at TradeMap.org I think it's called you can find the breakdowns of exports by country.

At the same time, in real terms the wages of Bangladesh's garment workers fell between 2001 and 2011 according to the report mentioned in that story. Bangladesh seems to be kind of stuck making clothes for now and while it's beneficial that people have jobs and income they're also being squeezed dry.

Edit: Just Jobs Network is holding a panel on how countries can move from factory to middle class today and is live tweeting. They compared Bangladesh to Vietnam and attribute difference to diversification: https://twitter.com/justjobsproject/status/594409590697033729

(Btw not saying a country needs centralized power like China's to develop but it was a significant factor in China's case)
Edited by pickpackpockpuck - 5/2/15 at 4:08am
post #108621 of 109053
The next question is, who will be the next Bangladesh?

I have a feeling it will be Africa, which is a double edge sword, as it will create a lot of growth, but also even more child labour.
post #108622 of 109053
Quote:
Originally Posted by Find Finn View Post

The next question is, who will be the next Bangladesh?

I have a feeling it will be Africa, which is a double edge sword, as it will create a lot of growth, but also even more child labour.

Child labor is not this huge bugaboo in and of itself.  The world has a long history of putting children to work.  "Summer vacation" was, for many children, time to work on the farm (literally.)  And in many states, there are special provisions that allow young minors to work at family businesses.  

 

The problem is exploitative labor practices.  Exploitative labor practices targeted at children just seems more abhorrent.

post #108623 of 109053
I don't know if I would compared working in a sweatshop 15 hours a day every day 6-7 days a week all year round, to working 8 hours a day on a family farm etc. over the summer or at something you are going to inherit down the line.


I think the issue is like you said, that clothes that cheap in disposable, which doesn't lead to anything good, other than money in the manufactures bank account.
post #108624 of 109053
Quote:
Originally Posted by pickpackpockpuck View Post

I(Btw not saying a country needs centralized power like China's to develop but it was a significant factor in China's case)

With where development in the world is now, I definitely think you need a centralized -- if not straight up authoritarian -- type of regime to get things done. There's just too much economic disparity between the rich and poor countries, so growth at this point isn't just about growth -- it's about catch up. In order to get better trade agreements and technology, you need to catch up with developed countries as fast as possible.

Imagine it like a race. Western European and North American countries had the benefit of growing relatively slow (through hundred plus years of industrialization) because they started early. At this point though, those countries are miles ahead of you, and you have Latin American and African countries still at the starting line. In order to catch up, they have to run twice as fast just to catch up to Western countries. If they grow at the rate Britain did, even in the best years, they risk still falling behind in terms of inequality.

Arguably, the only countries who can effectively marshal the necessary resources and labor to get that kind of fast development going are the ones authoritarian governments. There's a really good paper on this by Alexander Gerschenkron that's worth reading.

http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic572311.files/Mon%2022%20June%20-%201/Gerschenkron.pdf
post #108625 of 109053
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

With where development in the world is now, I definitely think you need a centralized -- if not straight up authoritarian -- type of regime to get things done. There's just too much economic disparity between the rich and poor countries, so growth at this point isn't just about growth -- it's about catch up. In order to get better trade agreements and technology, you need to catch up with developed countries as fast as possible.

Imagine it like a race. Western European and North American countries had the benefit of growing relatively slow (through hundred plus years of industrialization) because they started early. At this point though, those countries are miles ahead of you, and you have Latin American and African countries still at the starting line. In order to catch up, they have to run twice as fast just to catch up to Western countries. If they grow at the rate Britain did, even in the best years, they risk still falling behind in terms of inequality.

Arguably, the only countries who can effectively marshal the necessary resources and labor to get that kind of fast development going are the ones authoritarian governments. There's a really good paper on this by Alexander Gerschenkron that's worth reading.

http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic572311.files/Mon%2022%20June%20-%201/Gerschenkron.pdf

the only ones that are undergoing fast development are the "good" or "smart" authoritarian governments. a lot of countries that are failing cuz of shitty authoritarian governments
post #108626 of 109053
Quote:
Originally Posted by indesertum View Post

the only ones that are undergoing fast development are the "good" or "smart" authoritarian governments. a lot of countries that are failing cuz of shitty authoritarian governments

Well yes, I would consider having an authoritarian government a necessary but not sufficient condition.
post #108627 of 109053
Quote:
Originally Posted by Find Finn View Post

I don't know if I would compared working in a sweatshop 15 hours a day every day 6-7 days a week all year round, to working 8 hours a day on a family farm etc. over the summer or at something you are going to inherit down the line.

I think the issue is like you said, that clothes that cheap in disposable, which doesn't lead to anything good, other than money in the manufactures bank account.

My point is that perceptions of children, and really, any other group, are viewed is not universally uniform, and that there is no a priori reason to believe that they ought to be.  For example, one could just as easily argue that the dignity of a child depends on his ability to contribute, materially, to the family.  And that allowing children to play too much leads to shiftlessness and a lack of discipline that will serve them poorly as adults.  

post #108628 of 109053
I agree with you, but I still don't think the two are compareble.
post #108629 of 109053
post #108630 of 109053
Old knews tongue.gif
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