Labelling specifying the country has always been a marker of quality. The ateliers in France, the leather workers of Italy and the watchmakers of Switzerland have built global reputations for their exacting standards. Today, 'Made in' label is also an indicator of the health, safety and wage standards under which a good was produced.
But in a world with increasingly complex supply chains that can span several countries, a jacket sold by a European brand can be manufactured in a cheap and relatively unregulated labour market in China, but finished and packaged in France or Italy, thereby earning a 'Made in France' or 'Made in Italy' label. Indeed according to EU regulations, companies need only spend a certain amount manufacturing a good in a certain country in order to qualify for the local 'made in' labelling.
At the same time, powerful alternative labelling systems, like Fairtrade and Certified Organic, have emergered, offering new tools for communicating manufacturing standards to consumers, who are increasingly concerned with the provenance of their goods. Does 'Made in' Still matter?
-Extracted from Business of Fashion