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Denim Blunders, Reflections and General Nonsense.

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I can articulate via visual media for you.....or by the medium of modern dance :P

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Best way to get yellow armpit stains out of Lady White white tshirts?

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Best way to get yellow armpit stains out of Lady White white tshirts?

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10 hours ago, mlwdp said:

Best way to get yellow armpit stains out of Lady White white tshirts?

I've used the oxyclean spray with pit stains on white t shirts before with great results. 

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18 hours ago, mlwdp said:

Best way to get yellow armpit stains out of Lady White white tshirts?

Water, Hydrogen Peroxide, Dish Soap & Sodium Bicarbonate solution.

Had to do this on my Warehouse loopwheeled tee recently with good results

Edited by Sensuki

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And in other news....True Religion filed for Chapter 11 BK protection:

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/07/05/jeans-maker-true-religion-seeks-revival-chapter-11-bankruptcy/451097001/

 

Can't say I personally really care whether or not the company makes it in the long run but interesting to see how this company went from boom to bust in such a short period of time.

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Well, at least in Germany you have to go pretty rural to witness True Religion jeans in the wild nowadays :D

Edited by Cucoo

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Their business model relied on and and was built on a fad of the rhinestone/fashion denim trend, mostly in womenswear and branching into menswear.

I don't see them doing well unless they move into ththe leggings trend and abandon denim altogether or maybe some type of leggings/denim hybrid. 

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If your clothes are too cheap, then someone is getting screwed over in the process of making them.

If paying $350 for a pair of jeans that last me five plus years and ensures that no kids in a sweat shop are being enslaved by large corporations means I'm stupid then I will proudly wear that badge.

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Not all small Japanese companies are family run and operated enterprises. Short-term "trainee" program where foreigners mainly from SE Asia come to Japan supposedly to be trained how to do basic things like farming, sewing, brick layering and so on the Japanese way for two year for which they are supposed to be paid some meager monthly stipend. In reality, they are being exploited by being worked by their "trainers" for a very low salary. There was a video of one of IH suppliers at one of this denim websites where the sewing was done by such trainees. Given the labor shortage nationwide and especially in the country side, I would venture to say that a great deal of these clothes are made at sweatshops, albeit Japanese ones. 

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6 hours ago, mikkadehachikai said:

 There was a video of one of IH suppliers at one of this denim websites where the sewing was done by such trainees. Given the labor shortage nationwide and especially in the country side, I would venture to say that a great deal of these clothes are made at sweatshops, albeit Japanese ones. 

Anyone have a link?

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16 hours ago, mikkadehachikai said:

Not all small Japanese companies are family run and operated enterprises. Short-term "trainee" program where foreigners mainly from SE Asia come to Japan supposedly to be trained how to do basic things like farming, sewing, brick layering and so on the Japanese way for two year for which they are supposed to be paid some meager monthly stipend. In reality, they are being exploited by being worked by their "trainers" for a very low salary. There was a video of one of IH suppliers at one of this denim websites where the sewing was done by such trainees. Given the labor shortage nationwide and especially in the country side, I would venture to say that a great deal of these clothes are made at sweatshops, albeit Japanese ones. 

The same goes for a lot of Made in USA clothing too.

That's one big reason why I'm lucky to work with John Lofgren, because he personally visits every factory he deals with in Japan to make sure the garments are being made by people who are working legally and being paid a living wage. 

Edited by Iron Horse

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issues with Japan's Technical Intern Training Program are well documented almost since it's very beginning in 1993 - especially in regards to Chinese workers paricipating in this program. allegations go as far as human trafficing and mordern slavery addressed at the Japanese employers and the Chinese agencies involved.

How smaller Japanese Denim manufacturers are involved in abuses is unknown to me, but not implausible given the overall labour shortage and number of documented abuses...

Edited by Foxy2

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Regarding Iron Heart in particular, I decided to go "straight to the horses mouth" for clarification, rather than to speculate.

This is the reply from Giles regarding my question about who sews the jeans, and allusion to "Japanese sweat shops".

 

 

Trainees have to train.  They don’t go from ground zero to expert in 10 nano seconds.

 

Our jeans trainees train for at least 6 months on non production products overseen by the most experienced sewer in the factory.  Same as our shirts factory: See teacher half way down this post:

 

 

And yes we use some Chinese, Korean and Thai seamstresses.   This is simply because we can’t find enough Japanese who want to do the job any longer - it’s a crisis the whole Japanese industry faces.  But we pay all our workers the same whatever their race creed or colour.

 

So the two basic points are....

 

1)         Yes our sewers actually have to train, they are not born with the expertise

2)         Yes we use foreign nationals, but we treat them exactly the same as the Japanese.

 

 

Giles

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Additionally....

Oh, and a trainee on 21 and 25oz jeans has probaly more experience than most experts sewing 14oz jeans.

 
Our new 14oz jeans are sewn in a new factory, we hope with time as they get better, we can start them on 17 and 18oz construction, but it takes years and indeed may never happen…..

 

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Speaking from personal experience, I find less issues and better finishing on Iron Heart jeans than on any others I have tried. For consistency I don't think there is a better brand out there.

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^ you wouldn't allow Roy or Ooe to be a fair comparison though as they aren't 'real brands', right?

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I have never handled any Roy jeans, and only one pair of Ooe, so that's not for me to comment.

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Yeah I haven't handled any Roys, too. Ooe is for me still the pinnacle in clean construction but I don't think it's fair to compare a two person business with a brand which operates different sewing factories. Iron Hearts is probably the most transparent brand we discuss here thanks to Giles.

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Good to know that IH is looking into the salaries trying to make sure that all trainees are paid the same, fair wage!

That was certainly one point of abuse in Japan's Technical Intern Training Program in the past. For certain, trainees are paid less than experienced operators, which are often also paid an incentive based on the number of finished garements or bundles.
Also, I wouldn't expect trainees going to work on 21/25oz jeans straight away due to the lack of required skills and experience.

I haven't looked into the current issues with Japan's Technical Intern Training Program, but when I was living and working in China (6 years ago) I looked into various social compliance aspects of the company I was working for as well the garment suppliers we were working with in China. Wayback then Japan's Technical Intern Training Program's issues as portrayed in various labour watch groups and governmental/institutional reports centered around 3 main areas:
- Chinese agencies recruiting trainees in China to work in Japan,
- the absence of real training or mentoring in the factories in Japan, and
- the working/living conditions of the Chinese trainees in Japan.

The issue with the Chinese agencies was that they were charging exorbitant fees from these trainees for eanabling them to participate in the program, often working together with agents in Japan charging for the transfer cost and withholding salaries and charging for food and living in Japan. It apreared, that some workers were lured into this program with the wrong pretense of getting higher salaries and better qualification than in China and got overcharged in agency fees and living cost, while parts of their salary was withheld.
Some of the Japanese companies participating in the early days were simply looking for cheap labour and did not offer any serious training program to speak of. A lack of oversight on the Japanese side had been critized frequently.

From working for and with bigger brands producing in multiple countries I know it is difficult to ensure western social compliance standards globally, but I'm sure that companies like IH are actively involved and do their upmost to stay ahead of the game. It's in their best interest, it's part of their DNA and they are still able to ensure their standard of compliance domestically.

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13 hours ago, Iron Horse said:

The same goes for a lot of Made in USA clothing too.

That's one big reason why I'm lucky to work with John Lofgren, because he personally visits every factory he deals with in Japan to make sure the garments are being made by people who are working legally and being paid a living wage. 

Interesting, a huge segment of immigrants in the LA garment industry are legal workers sponsored for skills missing amongst native Americans, costing US companies around 5-10k per employee for visa processing. Great article about it here: https://fashionista.com/2017/07/american-garment-factories-production-immigrant-workers

Same article goes on to talk about illegal labour in the US tho, American Apparel especially were notorious for it. There's shady business owners in every country tbh

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1 hour ago, Hades said:

Interesting, a huge segment of immigrants in the LA garment industry are legal workers sponsored for skills missing amongst native Americans, costing US companies around 5-10k per employee for visa processing. Great article about it here: https://fashionista.com/2017/07/american-garment-factories-production-immigrant-workers

Same article goes on to talk about illegal labour in the US tho, American Apparel especially were notorious for it. There's shady business owners in every country tbh

The problem for the consumer is that there's often not much transparency so it's hard to know which brands are being made ethically and which are not. I know for sure my stuff is, but I know certain popular brands whose stuff isn't, or who are even having their products half made in China and then finishing them at home to give them the "Made in Japan" tag. 

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2 minutes ago, Iron Horse said:

The problem for the consumer is that there's often not much transparency so it's hard to know which brands are being made ethically and which are not. I know for sure my stuff is, but I know certain popular brands whose stuff isn't, or who are even having their products half made in China and then finishing them at home to give them the "Made in Japan" tag. 

What brands are these? :ohmy:

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22 minutes ago, Niro said:

What brands are these? :ohmy:

I'm sworn to secrecy :blush: 

I dare not say it's widespread, but it's also not unheard of. 

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awww.

I hope it's none of the brands I have bought, especially studio d'artisan as I have recently become a fan of their stuff 

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1 hour ago, Iron Horse said:

I'm sworn to secrecy :blush: 

I dare not say it's widespread, but it's also not unheard of. 

Can you at least give us a hint or say if we're getting "warmer" if we throw out a name on here?  :blush: 

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Interesting topic...I'd think it'd be safe-ish to assume that the lower cost brands or those with a larger size/distribution might be saving costs by employing such methods, unless they are specifically the manufacturer (ex: TCB, Ooe, etc.). I won't add further to the conjecture as it's not my place, but at least none of us are wearing H&M, Forever 21,  etc.!

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I wouldn't be surprised if the new Denime is doing stuff like this. Also SDA had Made in China clothing in their line-up but this doesn't say they also apply this technique of "fake" Made in Japan

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