Where do your clothes come from?

How aware are people of where there clothes or belonging’s come from? As a group we decided to investigate people’s awareness to where there products came from. We developed t-shirt templates with questions to be answered on them.  We asked them “What was the last thing you bought?”, “Do you know where you products come from?”, “Do you care or does it bother you where your products come from?” and “What are your views on the quality of goods made here in the UK or elsewhere?” I also looked at items of clothing from friends and family to see if they were made in china.

 

The answer’s we got for the first questioned varied from vintage clothing to bread and Lego men.

When asked if they know where there products came the overall view was that they did not know other than where they bought the product. One interviewer did say that their products probably came from some third world country but could not afford clothes that were made elsewhere. As a consumer we have little say in where companies decide to make their clothes or products. We can only look at where products are made and decide of we want to buy them or not.

The third question we asked was “do you care or does it bother you where your products come from?” the response to this question was more elaborative but there was a few that said they did not care or felt that they should.  The general view was that they cared whether the workers conditions were acceptable.

“It is really nice to know that the people making the product are treated fairly”

Furthermore by reading “factory Girls” and “Badly Made in China” working conditions from a British point of view they are not ideal. There are many points we would disagree with like living and working in the same place, companies keeping the first two months of pay so you can’t leave, hardly any time off and low health and safety policies.

Finally the last question we asked as a group “What are your views on the quality of goods made here in the UK or elsewhere?”  The answers we got here are a lot more comparative. Overall people were happy with the quality, thought they were the same or thought the quality was better in the UK.

“It can be good, I work in River Island and we have some specific lines that are made in the UK. They seem just as good as anywhere”

“All I know per sure is that we produce the best actors. Otherwise I get the impression goods made in Asia are primarily rips of designers.”

“I think the quality of goods in the UK are of a higher standard compared to imported goods from elsewhere”.

Upon investigating people’s clothes I found that the products ranged from all over the world. One dress was 100% silk. Silk was first invented by the Chinese and was a rare and expensive commodity as no one else knew how to make it at the time. Also the material was very delicate it often did not survive the journey down the Silk Road. Marks and Spencer is a popular shop among the older generations and is often more expensive than other shops, looking at labels of these clothes show they are mainly made in Turkey. As a consumer you would not expect more expensive clothes to be made in a country where the workers don’t get paid very much. There were a few pieces of clothing that were made in china e.g.  Trainers and hoodie, which were inexpensive in clothing terms.

Overall our group research has shown that people when buying clothes don’t think about where there clothes come from except when asked and given time to consider. Then they do care about the treatment of the people making the clothes. Others do not care at all.

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