Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I just read a fabulous post by Finnish blogger stellagee of outrageous outings. I can't entirely relate, as I don't think we have exactly the same situation in Canada, i.e. previously having a solid and supposedly high quality Canadian fashion industry, and now having it disappear in the face of cheaper and lesser quality exported fashions. I could be wrong, but I've always found 'made in Canada' to be quite rare when it comes to clothing. Nonetheless, the article brings up some good points.

1) Is it more ethical to give employment to a local rather than to a Chinese labourer?
2) Does handmade equal artisanship, and is artisanship better than factory labour, as the artisan may have "wasted precious time in producing something meticulous by hand and will never be compensated accordingly"?
3) Do factory produced brand-name products have the same quality as no-name products produced in the very same factories?
4) Were/are nationally made products better than globally made products?

Do read the article, as I can't summarize everything that stellagee says. I just find it interesting, as it touches on a lot of my beliefs re: mass produced clothing. I've never been one to try and only buy Canadian made clothing since I haven't found many Canadian designers to suit my needs. Nevertheless, I do feel that it's important to emphasize that the level of quality of mass-produced clothing has in general dropped exponentially, and this should in no way affect the acceptable quality of handmade/artisanal clothing. As you well know, I am entirely willing to pay more for something that was handmade by its designer, but I do have a very high standard that I am expecting, especially since I'm paying more money and the 'labourer' is already focusing a lot of their time on that piece of clothing (you may remember a past unseemly experience of mine with a certain pair of Canadian-made jodhpurs...). I suppose I'm just afraid that, if the level of quality of mass-produced clothing continues to drop, we may see a corresponding drop in the quality of (some) handmade clothing. So perhaps we as consumers need to all change what labels we support, either brand-names or indie labels, in order to bring back/maintain a level of quality in our clothing that will mean we can wear something for years and years, regardless of who made it. And this would be better environmentally, would it not?

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