Deodand (deodand) wrote,

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Shop Talk

(Please note that my car photo below is no longer buggered up.)

If you are one of the five people left that feel world events don't affect your daily life, well, think again.   And I'm not just talking about the price of oil.
Apparel has really fallen off in quality.  I know you've noticed it in the retail sector, but buyers notice the subtle details falling off steadily.  I have had more snaps & zipper repairs in the last six months than there were in this business in the last six years.  Today I got a shipment of shirts with mismatched dye lots, and a batch of polos with ridiculously crooked pockets. 
Companies are unsatisfied with China's quality.  Of course there's the language barrier; don't let anyone fool you into thinking all the Chinese speak passable English, and well, our Chinese is a little rusty.  Then there's the fact that Chinese manufacturing shuts down for almost a month for New Year's celebrations, creating a spring backlog of work.  Now our suppliers are telling us there's a shortage of labour in China, now that the One Child Law kids are in the workforce.  Many Chinese parents are educating their children into professions, which leaves the bottom rungs empty.  These are a few reasons why your clothes must be chucked out after six months instead of being passed on to your children.
The CBC news featured a piece on how large-scale garment manufacturing may be coming back to Canada after becoming nearly extinct a decade ago.  Apparently Quebec is looking like a good place to set up a clothing company these days, since they still have a lot of seamstresses there.  I guess the European market loves Made in Canada goods because we're socially conscious or something, plus our strong dollar makes buying equipment & raw goods much easier.  So hooray!  Buying Canadian-made apparel may actually become feasible in the near future.

On another, similar note, an order of towels I placed on Monday may be delayed because the factory is in Pakistan.  Yes, that Pakistan.  We have to wait and see if the towel factory was bombed flat.


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