How do we view products that are “Made In China”?

Perception of Origin in Textiles

How do we view products that are “Made In China”?

Many people still believe there is a sort of stigma that comes with products that are manufactured in China but is that really still the case? I am going to look into the home and different age groups and delve a bit further into the perceptions people have with clothing produced in China. From 3 different generations I have a control group of 3 persons. One of which is a student, aged 23 and Male. The second is a Father, aged 43 and last but not least a Grandmother, age – too polite to ask (roughly 70’s). Each was asked for three pieces of clothing, preferably a sweater or cardigan to further analyse. Hopefully this will be a good starting point to generate insightful opinions on how people’s opinions of their clothing and products being Made In China.

The Student
In this volunteer’s items were 3 jumpers, the G-star Jumper and Breed Jumper were both purchased in the UK and the Abercrombie and Fitch was purchased in the United States.
Upon questioning The Student, it was concluded that he wasn’t sure of where each item was manufactured but assumed that each would have been produced in China, or Taiwan. A wild guess but rightly so – All of these items were in fact made in China.
The Father
These item’s concluded of the following, 3 Jumpers – Pringle, Taylor Made and Ralph Lauren. And again the Volunteer assumed all of these items we’re produced in China, except the Pringle Jumper – commonly misconceived as a Scottish based company – Pringle is in fact owned and based by S.C. Fang & Sons Company, Ltd in Hong Kong.
The Grandmother

Having discussed her items, the third and final volunteer was a bit more wary of where her clothes were from but still not completely sure of where each piece was made. Having worked in the Dundee Weaving Mills as a young woman, Theresa was much more aware of the conditions of factory workers and was informed of the reports on poor factory conditions in sweatshops around the world that have a big impact on the textiles and fashion industry. Her clothes were from more high street labels and was surprised to hear that her cardigan from Marks and Spencers was infact made in Turkey as opposed to China as she’d previously assumed.

Table of Products and Manufacturer.

Product Jumper Jumper Jumper Jumper Jumper Jumper Jumper Cardigan
Owner Student Student Student Father Father Father Grandmother Grandmother
Brand G-Star A+F Breed Taylor Made Ralph Lauren Pringle Primark M&S
Origin China China China China Macau China China Turkey
Notable Differences none none none none none none none none
Aware of Origin no no no no no no no no
Do British Consumers Care?
“It makes no difference to me whether it was made in China or made in Scotland – as long as it is well made and won’t fall apart in the first wash!” – Student

When asked if either had preconceived ideas about any products or garments that were produced in China, they all seemed to have similar answers. So I asked some more questions to clear up their opinions.

  • How does this effect peoples perceptions of China and where their clothes are from?
  • Would people from different generations have similar/different views?
  • Are people even aware of whether or not their clothes are produced in china?

When discussing the products with the two younger volunteers, neither of the two were aware of where their clothing was designed or made. And surprisingly so neither we’re very interested. It seems as though that all the interviewee’s found that the manufacturing was not something they found important when selecting and purchasing a garment. The only thing that came up and was the fair trade and fair working standards issue with factory workers in China and India.

It has become a common perception that all clothing and electrical items are produced in China, and it is often believed that these items are shoddily made. The real fact is that these items are the best manufactured in the world. There is a reason many companies ask for Chinese suppliers to produce their merchandise and that isn’t just because of the millions and millions of people looking for jobs, it is because the quality and speed of production outcomes are the quickest and highest quality in the world.

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