Thomas pink

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Pink22m, Dec 20, 2003.

  1. Pink22m

    Pink22m Senior member

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    I have noticed that Thomas Pink has made a few changes with their shirts. They have changed the sizing on their shirts, as well as the labels. But the biggest change I have noticed is the place where the shirts are being manufactured. All my Pink shirts have been made in Ireland, but that was under the old label. Now, on my recent trip to Pink, I was noticing that alot of the shirts were saying "made in Morocco" Now is it just me, or has Pink totally shifted the manufacturing place of a vast majority of their shirts? What do you think this could do to the quality of the shirts, shifting their assembly to some African country instead of Europe?
     


  2. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    I'd like to know this as well. I had planned on getting a couple of their shirts during their New Years' sale...
     


  3. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    How depressing; first they get bought by LVMH and turned into a global brand, and now the manufacture of a "Jermyn Street" shirtmaker gets moved out of the UK. FWIW, I believe that the new owners of the Hawes and Curtis brand name have done the same; I think ALL of their shirts are made in Morocco. But, at least their shirts are inexpensive, whereas the Pinks are expensive. When Pink started out, their shirts were considered a great bargain compared to Turnbull & Asser or Hilditch & Key; nowadays, they are priced pretty much they same as the Hilditch shirts, which one would hope would at least get you a UK-made shirt. [​IMG] Plus, I'm a 15.5/33, the old Pinks were a perfect fit, so there was no expense of getting them altered; now, I'd have to pay to get the sleeves shortened. Bah Humbug.
     


  4. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    what matters is how something is made - not where - as long as the materials and construction methods are the same. are you suggesting that moroccans can't use a sewing machine as well as the irish or english? the whole jermyn street mystique only applies to custom made shirts anyway.
     


  5. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    Well, that depends on your pespective; I don't mean to suggest that only the British know how to use a sewing machine, but at a minimum there is an issue as to honesty -- these companies market themselves as Jermyn Street shirtmakers, which in my book connotes British manufacture. FWIW, I have not been impressed with the Hawes and Curtis shirts. I think the specifications (fabric + construction) seem to me to be pretty poor; one hopes that Pink will hew to higher standards.

    For a point of reference, wouldn't you feel deceived if you bought an Hermes tie or Kelly bag or a Kiton suit and found it was made in China -- regardless of its quality? The best companies continue to make their mainline products in their home countries. Furthermore, I for one have some interest in encouraging companies which try to support and maintain their home country's skill base in the traditional clothing crafts; that is one reason that I am disappointed by the deterioration of Brooks Brothers over the past few years. To have the traditional BB oxford cloth button down/polo-collar shirt made overseas is a shame, at least in my book.
     


  6. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    shoefan, i agree with you on the honesty issue. i've never seen a thomas pink shirt in person and if i had ordered one on the web, then found it was made in ireland, i'd feel misled. however ireland is not jermyn street either, and it's not even part of the u.k. so i don't see a difference between having a shirt made in ireland or a shirt made in morrocco. this is why i found the thread a bit disturbing. no one complains about pink shirts actually being made in ireland but they do complain about them being from morrocco. smacks of eurocentrism at best - and racism at worst.
     


  7. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    They're quite eurocentric shirts, I believe. Just as in other threads folks have bemoaned that Brooks Brothers shirts are no longer made in the USA, so one can regret the internationalization and homogenization of the product of Pink. Whether Moroccans make as good a shirt isn't the point, but changing from Ireland to Morocco certainly changes the brand.
     


  8. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Oh, bull. Is Morocco known for its shirtmaking tradition? Its quality of manufactures? No, of course it's not. If you knew nothing whatsoever about a shirt other than that it was made in Morocco, would you be skeptical of its quality? Of course you would, and with good reason. Irish factories have been making shirts for British labels for years, and they've been doing a reasonably good job.
     


  9. js1023

    js1023 Member

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    A few weeks ago I read an article in Financial Times about clothing brands moving their manufacturing sites out of Europe. The conclusion was basically that as long as damages to brand image are greater than manufacturing cost savings, firms wouldn't move their factories. For example, Louis Vuitton would never move their factories out of France (or Italy I'm not sure) because many people, especially customers in Japan, associate the brand with European luxury.

    So if firms apply the same quality control standards, I wouldn't really care about where their products are made. Let's hope they are scrupulous enough to pass some of savings to customers.
     


  10. Pink22m

    Pink22m Senior member

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    Don't accuse me of racism.
     


  11. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I read a similarly-themed article in the Wall Street Journal last week about textile production in China. Italy has been the king of luxury textiles since the 1950s, but they're seeing their dominance challenged by China. It used to be that high-end Italian textiles were clearly superior to Chinese ones and that Italian manufacturers could compete on quality if not on price. However, the quality gap is steadily declining, and it's possible to get wonderful textiles from China for a significantly lower price than in Italy.

    This is certainly true. The point is, though, that it doesn't happen over night. Japanese cars and electronics used to be crap; it took a long time, a lot of money, and a lot of will for them to become what they are today. For that matter, the same is true for Italian textiles. France and Great Britain used to be the producers of the world's best textiles. Italy managed to supplant them in the two decades after World War II.

    Moroccan manufacturers can produce some of the best shirts in the world if they are willing to spend the time, the money, and the effort and if they're run by people with the managerial smarts to do it. But it's not as simple as just wanting to.
     


  12. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    for all we know the factory in morocco may have been making shirts for domestic distribution for 100 years. what we do know for sure is that thomas pink has chosen to put their label and stake their reputation on these morroccan-made shirts. thomas pink is ultimately responsible for the quality.

    it comes down to examining these shirts in person. if they are well made, it makes no difference where.
     


  13. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It is sad to see the closing of so many clothing factories in the USA.

    I recently saw the dismanteling of two.

    The first was a neckwear factory that made all of the ties for POLO Since Ralph started his Neckwear business. The ties will now be made in China. I hope Polo will still purchase the fabric in England and Italy.

    The second was a shirt factory near Scranton PA. They had made shirts for Sulka, Paul Stuart, Barney's, as well as many up and coming designers.

    There are fewer and fewer places to make quality gaments in this country.

    How do the Italians keep labour in the factories? Imports from Albania?
     


  14. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    southern italy is practically a third world country. labor is very inexpensive there.

    the reality is that the richest countries in the world are creating economies based on white collar labor, but i don't see any reason why quality should necessarily suffer. i think most people would prefer their nation to be one of highly skilled/educated white collar workers rather than a nation of factory workers. the young people in our country understand that in order to make a good living nowadays, they have to have a high level of skill or education. the days are gone when guys could finish high school, get a job at the local factory, and expect to be able to sustain a family that way. of course i'm speaking in general terms.
     


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