• We would like to welcome Exquisite Trimmings as an official Affiliate Vendor. Exquisite Trimmings is a UK based purveyor of the very best in clothing and accessories, from gloves by Thomas Reimer to leather portfolios from Il Micio, to watch rolls by Rapport London. Please visit their new thread and give them a warm welcome.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Discussions about the fashion industry thread

Joytropics

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Messages
548
Reaction score
490
Those are ugly af though
I think you said the same thing about my Tod's sneakers so what am I supposed to do???

Actually found this video about the Tod's factory. kind of neat:
Some may find my Tod's ugly. But they're super comfortable and durable,

The last pair of Nikes I bought were the ACRNM collab Prestos, I loved the design but they fell apart almost instantly. I had to throw them out rather than resell them.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
16,948
Reaction score
39,488
It's not always messy.

You can find US-made New Balance for $100.

[...]

I'm far from perfect, but I vote with my dollars where I can.
I think voting with your dollars means buying stuff at full price, not just when it's discounted 40%. As many made-in-USA brands and factories have shown, you can't sustain a business when people only shop on discount. People who want to support American manufacturing have to accept that they'll often have to pay more money for what they normally purchase.
 

Chaconne

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2015
Messages
1,213
Reaction score
1,276
I think as long as you don’t get on a high horse about it you should be able to express a negative opinion about something without having to make sure your lifestyle is consistent with your observations.
In other words I can say Cheetos are bad for ya even though my fingers are covered with orange dust.
 

NO MERCY

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
230
Reaction score
901
Let's not forget that "made in america" is no guarantor of ethical manufacturing practices. Many american industries actively engage in labor power suppression and break the bodies of their workers.
Nor is american manufacturing's effects confined to domestic geographies. Plenty of industries actively recruit workers from other countries, hoovering up the intellectual and physical resources of these communities, incentivizing the separation of families and displacement of labor. Remittances can't make up for that stuff.

I guess I'm just trying to point out that buying domestically made goods doesnt confine the consequences and ramifications of your purchase to the country of manufacture.
 

peachfuzzmcgee

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
137
Reaction score
109
Hey those new balances are my jam especially in grey or black. If it's popular in Japan it must be cool.

Also I don't believe in made in USA is the end all be all. Nor any first world country.

My aunt is currently still undocumented. Works in the north suburbs of Chicago making flags of all varieties, for state minimum wage for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

She recently changed to another flag maker that has far better conditions but her last employer rarely allowed for bathroom breaks, often eating their lunches next to the machine so they could finish an order as to not incur the wrath of the supervisor who was polish and the owners were Chinese.

When I was more naive, I wanted to find a way to help them but the roadblock was convincing her and the other workers to speak up. They didn't say anything in fear of being deported and separated from their family. It's tough. Now she is in a place with better conditions which decided to shut down temporarily due to covid while the other worse one chugs along.

Anyway when I buy, I like to just see transparent processes regardless of where it's made. I can't be perfect but hell I try to buy from small shops/designers/creators anywhere in the world.
 

double00

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Messages
9,129
Reaction score
11,050
Let's not forget that "made in america" is no guarantor of ethical manufacturing practices. Many american industries actively engage in labor power suppression and break the bodies of their workers.
Nor is american manufacturing's effects confined to domestic geographies. Plenty of industries actively recruit workers from other countries, hoovering up the intellectual and physical resources of these communities, incentivizing the separation of families and displacement of labor. Remittances can't make up for that stuff.

I guess I'm just trying to point out that buying domestically made goods doesnt confine the consequences and ramifications of your purchase to the country of manufacture.
imo the point of domestic manufacturing is to establish a basis of value rather than a realization of value (whatever those values happen to be)
 

clee1982

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
16,305
Reaction score
4,074
can you elaborate a bit on what do you mean by basis of value?
 

NO MERCY

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
230
Reaction score
901
@double00, If by "establish a basis of value" you mean ensure a specific degree of quality in either the final product or in the manufacturing process, then I think 'made in usa' is not a reliable indicator of either of those nor is it sufficient as a strategy to accomplish those ends.

Products at every point along the continuum of "quality" are manufactured within the usa, and labor practices ranging from despicable to admirable are to be found as well. The same can be said of many of the countries which "made in the usa" is used to market against.

If I've misunderstood your terminology though, maybe this isnt what you were trying to get at.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
16,948
Reaction score
39,488
Personally, I think it's unsustainable in the long term and on a large scale. You can have small brands and manufacturers who specialize in specific things for niche markets. So maybe a suit factory that has a custom tailoring program, which allows people to buy into the idea of the American factory, while also getting a custom fit at a quick turnaround time (useful for weddings).

But as the previous made-in-USA movement has shown, you can't rely on "buy America" trends. Those things eventually fall by the wayside and people respond to price. American-made goods are always going to be more expensive because input costs. People have to shop at full price for these things to be sustainable, and how many people can you expect to buy $150 Gitman shirts and $200 New Balance sneakers?

Let's also be clear about who's working at these factories. When people say "Buy American, Don't Buy Foreign," they're also often the same people who want to restrict immigration. But the people who work in American factories are often foreigners. Before it shut down, there were 17 languages spoke at the Southwick factory. The company had to have an English language program (which they supplied for free) because most of their workers were newly arrived immigrants (many Dominican and Vietnamese). One person I spoke to, who's familiar what's happening at Southwick, told me that the factory has a difficult time finding labor when Trump started restricting immigration. American citizens don't want to be working at these places.

I support buying American for some things. Sometimes there's a charming backstory. But it's not true that American made goods are always better in quality or free from serious labor abuses.

Instead of relying on the idea of American manufacturing to save the American economy, I think governments and policy centers should focus on finding new areas where American labor can have a real competitive edge in the global market. For people who can't work in those sectors, there should be an expanded welfare state.
 

Epaulet

Affiliate Vendor
Affiliate Vendor
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
10,928
Reaction score
7,464
I think voting with your dollars means buying stuff at full price, not just when it's discounted 40%. As many made-in-USA brands and factories have shown, you can't sustain a business when people only shop on discount. People who want to support American manufacturing have to accept that they'll often have to pay more money for what they normally purchase.
I'll respectfully disagree with that. Nearly every retailer has to do sales, and some customers only buy things on markdown. I think that these purchases are just as valid for supporting MiUSA. A shoe bought on sale gives the retailer cash flow to order more.

I also think that buying second hand is an equally valid show of support. I believe that focusing consumption on smaller scale, locally made items is a virtuous thing regardless of price or venue.

I don't shop that way exclusively. I certainly own Nikes. I bought a pair of CDG converse which the logical part of me realizes are dirt-cheap sneakers from Vietnam with a heart printed on them. But I do try to shop small and shop MiUSA as much as possible. I think it's important to encourage and applaud people for doing that, even if it's not the only way that they shop.
 

sftiger

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
525
Reaction score
91
DTC is hard. GAP pulls the plug on the Hill City brand experiment.
Damn - I've been wearing my Hill City shorts pretty much every day of quarantine. Guess I need to stock up on whatever is left. Felt like the brand never got much traction but I liked it a lot as a slightly cheaper Lululemon alternative with less branding.
 

clee1982

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
16,305
Reaction score
4,074
I'll respectfully disagree with that. Nearly every retailer has to do sales, and some customers only buy things on markdown. I think that these purchases are just as valid for supporting MiUSA. A shoe bought on sale gives the retailer cash flow to order more.

I also think that buying second hand is an equally valid show of support. I believe that focusing consumption on smaller scale, locally made items is a virtuous thing regardless of price or venue.

I don't shop that way exclusively. I certainly own Nikes. I bought a pair of CDG converse which the logical part of me realizes are dirt-cheap sneakers from Vietnam with a heart printed on them. But I do try to shop small and shop MiUSA as much as possible. I think it's important to encourage and applaud people for doing that, even if it's not the only way that they shop.
But does it support enough for them to survive? Look at Southwick and Hertling, that's already relative high value chain...
 

Epaulet

Affiliate Vendor
Affiliate Vendor
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
10,928
Reaction score
7,464
But does it support enough for them to survive? Look at Southwick and Hertling, that's already relative high value chain...
Well... I work extensively with both of those brands and I wouldn't use them as examples here. Southwick's future is uncertain at the moment, but that's more due to Brooks Brothers. Southwick as a standalone entity has a strong balance sheet and a good client list. But they're saddled to an enormous retailer who may or may not emerge alive from the Covid shutdowns. And when you look at Brooks as a whole, their MiUSA component isn't that large.

Southwick is a great factory filled with very skilled people. It's a turn-key operation with a lot going for it. Everything being said about Southwick right now is a rumor, and there's a ton of great reasons to fund it and keep it working.

Hertling has been seriously challenged this year but is still going. They cut almost 70 pairs of pants this past weekend for me. It's not what it was a few years ago.. but their MiUSA asset is actually very instrumental in keeping them in business right now. Both me and Justin took a ton of orders back in Jan & Feb for delivery in March. This got entirely sidelined due to the shutdown, and even now.. they can only operate at partial capacity. I've taken a few cancellations, but overall customers have been gracious and patient. They understand the challenges and why product is delayed. They actively want to support one of the last proper trouser houses in the United States.

All that said, times have changed a lot in the past 10 years. Outside of Alden (who seem to be in their own bubble), I think that every sizable clothing or shoe factory in the USA will have to be a lot more sophisticated with their communication. They'll have to be absolute sticklers on quality and finishing. They'll need a DTC component running alongside wholesale and private label. Some American factories had the luxury of being complacent and not changing. Those days are over. Honestly, I think that we're going to see better pieces and higher quality than we ever have before.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
16,948
Reaction score
39,488
Well... I work extensively with both of those brands and I wouldn't use them as examples here. Southwick's future is uncertain at the moment, but that's more due to Brooks Brothers. Southwick as a standalone entity has a strong balance sheet and a good client list. But they're saddled to an enormous retailer who may or may not emerge alive from the Covid shutdowns. And when you look at Brooks as a whole, their MiUSA component isn't that large.

Southwick is a great factory filled with very skilled people. It's a turn-key operation with a lot going for it. Everything being said about Southwick right now is a rumor, and there's a ton of great reasons to fund it and keep it working.

Hertling has been seriously challenged this year but is still going. They cut almost 70 pairs of pants this past weekend for me. It's not what it was a few years ago.. but their MiUSA asset is actually very instrumental in keeping them in business right now. Both me and Justin took a ton of orders back in Jan & Feb for delivery in March. This got entirely sidelined due to the shutdown, and even now.. they can only operate at partial capacity. I've taken a few cancellations, but overall customers have been gracious and patient. They understand the challenges and why product is delayed. They actively want to support one of the last proper trouser houses in the United States.

All that said, times have changed a lot in the past 10 years. Outside of Alden (who seem to be in their own bubble), I think that every sizable clothing or shoe factory in the USA will have to be a lot more sophisticated with their communication. They'll have to be absolute sticklers on quality and finishing. They'll need a DTC component running alongside wholesale and private label. Some American factories had the luxury of being complacent and not changing. Those days are over. Honestly, I think that we're going to see better pieces and higher quality than we ever have before.
Isn't Southwick set to shutter in July? And the tie factory following in August?

My understanding is that a large percentage of the employees at Southwick have already been laid off. The plans for the standalone Southwick brand has been terminated. At the moment, a small number of people have been allowed to come back to make facial masks.

The US government and Southwich have also butted heads on how the government would support the facial mask efforts. In April, Claudio was on a phone call with the White House, along with 10 or 20 other fashion-related CEOs. The WH said they could "elevate" the efforts with praise on Ivanka's Twitter account (influencer marketing!), but that they wanted these efforts to be market-driven and thus won't be providing any federal aid. Notably, in the same month, the US Navy tried to get hundreds of thousands of masks from Brooks, but without clear terms on how they would pay. At the moment, the Brooks manufacturing effort is mostly limited to selling stuff to everyday people, which seems again unstainable.
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

What's your favorite summer fabric?

  • Seersucker

  • Fresco

  • Linen

  • Silk


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
440,301
Messages
9,498,909
Members
198,858
Latest member
romaenterprises
Top