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Denim Blunders, Reflections and General Nonsense.

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Don't want to be a spoilsport but I wouldn't rule this kind of exploitation out in any brand, not even those one is fan of. I don't believe many of us is in a position to really KNOW what the circumstances are in any brand. I know we want to believe that everything is fine and dandy with the brand we are fans of but what we believe is one thing, reality might be something different. To say otherwise is self-deception.

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14 hours ago, mlwdp said:

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

Um, uh...:ph34r:

Aho and BF hit the nail closer to the mark. Think about which brands, that aren't directly artisans or the factory itself (like TCB and OOE) that offer prices that are too good to be true. If a brand is selling you a chambray shirt retail for $75 they're either not looking to really make money, they're subsidizing it with great sales from their other items, or perhaps something else is afoot... There's also the possibility that a brand does make some items entirely in Japan, and others not, openly or otherwise. 

Edited by Iron Horse

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I'm wary of us getting into a guessing game about x brand being rumoured to do x thing in their production process. If exploitative labour practices exist in the Japanese denim industry (and how surprising is this, considering the prevalence of labour abuses in the fashion industry as a whole?), this issue affects the entire industry, not just certain brands within it.

Clearly judgments based on country of production are fallible—ie. made-in-China products can be made ethically, just as made-in-USA or -Japan products can be made unethically, to add to Iron Horse's point that country-of-production labels only have to represent a fraction of the total production process. Similarly, advocating for policy-based solutions, certifications, etc. seems ineffective, given how easy it seems to be for companies to flout any ethics rules that governments might attempt to enforce.

Ironically, then, a market-driven problem might best be solved by a market-based solution. As ethically-minded consumers, I argue the best response is to demand fair working conditions for the products we buy, clearly and unequivocally, across the entire industry. If brands share our concern (or at least recognize the seriousness of our demand and still desire our business), it is in their best interest to be transparent about how, and by whom, their products are made. We are consumers in a relatively small niche of the fashion world, and so have a better opportunity than most to make ourselves heard. If this is something that is truly concerning (and not just momentarily surprising), I suspect that the brands we care about here will feel obligated to make an effort to convince us that they are deserving of our business.

Edited by chicote

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On 6/8/2017 at 3:43 AM, clt3 said:

I feel like there's only so much to say before you run out of stuff to talk about or discuss, unless you're buying new denim regularly.

 

On 6/8/2017 at 2:42 AM, itsbenhere said:

It's freaky how every couple years there's a new wave of common posters... so trippy to think about all the people who used to post all the time but don't anymore. Including me kinda...

 

Totally true. I've only been in this game for 5 years and ive seen it. I've slowed down incredibly. This has been my first login in about 6 months.

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I really enjoyed watching it, its nice to see the origins after knowing brands for a while. 

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On 7/10/2017 at 1:25 PM, mlwdp said:

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

Quotes about possibly obfuscation by certain mAkers without any identification or possibly source is not helpful 

 

sorry to be harsh but if you are not willing to back up such statements or are "sworn to secrecy". Then don't post it 

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On 7/10/2017 at 7:56 PM, Megatron1505 said:

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.

anybody that has a problem with their jeans being sewn by a person from Thailand rather than Japan need to take a step back and examine their way of thinking. 

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7 hours ago, kbuzz said:

Quotes about possibly obfuscation by certain mAkers without any identification or possibly source is not helpful 

 

sorry to be harsh but if you are not willing to back up such statements or are "sworn to secrecy". Then don't post it 

Snitches wear stitches. :ph34r:;)

Here's some more discussion on this topic:

https://www.denimbro.com/whos-gone-chinese_topic228_page1.html

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2 hours ago, Iron Horse said:

Walked into Beams and Journal Standard today (I know) out of curiosity and saw plenty of Tailor Toyo stuff; didn't realize until now that it's almost all made in China, save for the special editions. Would love one of their souvenir pieces but MIC with MIJ prices? 

Actually responding to what you said on the other forum today..

I've been selling Japanese brands in North America for 11 years now, every brand I do business with with the exception of 1 has at one point produced something in China.  Some (such as Iron Heart) have stopped producing in China after a negative reaction from some of their consumer base.  100% of the time something has been made in China I've been given the same reason for it, that there was just no way to make the item in Japan and hit the price point they wanted to hit for that particular product.   The choice was always make it in China or don't make it at all, and some choose to make it in China, some choose not to make it at all, and some (like Flat Head) don't care what a product is going to retail for so they just go full blast with it in Japan and end up with something super expensive (but very nice).

To say you're getting MIC at MIJ prices is incorrect, you're getting MIC being sold by a Japanese brand which has to import the product into Japan to sell it.  Had that same item been made in Japan the retail price would have been far higher.  A souvenir jacket which is 100% produced in Japan costs about $650 to $850 USD in Japan, that same jacket made in China can be half that.   That's why a Tailor Toyo jacket is half what a souvenir jacket costs from a brand like Flat Head, one is MIC and sold at a lower price, one is MIJ and sold at a higher price.  I've never seen a Japanese brand trying to charge MIJ prices for something they've made in China, and as I do the buying for 5 stores I'm pretty in tuned with wholesale/retail prices from Japanese brands.  Souvenir jackets are a complicated example because they require two completely different factories to produce them, one for the jacket and one for the embroidery.  There are actually Japanese brands making the jackets in Japan then sending them to China to be embroidered then back to Japan to be tagged and sold.  They're upfront about this and explain that they want the jacket to retail for $500 instead of $600.  

 

Edited by kiya

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53 minutes ago, kiya said:

Actually responding to what you said on the other forum today..

Fair enough, it's just that speaking purely as a customer I was looking at north of $500 for a MIC jacket and my wallet was just saying no. If that's what it needs to retail at to make a profit though then business is business, but without knowing the production cost my first impression was that it seemed a bit high, IMO.

At the time I made that post, I was purely a customer/fan and had yet to make the jump across the great divide, so I wasn't really sure if that was a fair price for me as a consumer or not. I'm glad to know that it is though, and wish Toyo and their retailers the best. :)

Edited by Iron Horse

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I don't see a problem with made in China (or elsewhere) per se. There's the whole sweatshop or not issue etc. and there surely are brands that charge unjustified mark-ups (RRL maybe?), but if a brand hits a quality I'm fine with and doesn't use abusive labor practices I don't see why I should care where it's made... why shouldn't Chinese factories be able to reach the same standards as Japanese or US factories? It's not like in Japan every factory is staffed only by wise old sewing masters :D

If you care about where your money goes, so to speak, that's unrelated to quality.

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Anyone else not liking the big-biceps look? IMO repro usually includes an unfortunately regressive masculine caricature (miner, farmer, engineer, biker, lumberjack, etc..)..but i'm not liking SE's "modern" or "next level" take...

SDA%20Sashiko%20pants%201-680x1025.jpg

 

 

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Dude got jacked arms

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I can't think of many clothes that can hide this guy's big-biceps/masculine look lol

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4 hours ago, ironheartfan123 said:

Anyone else not liking the big-biceps look? IMO repro usually includes an unfortunately regressive masculine caricature (miner, farmer, engineer, biker, lumberjack, etc..)..but i'm not liking SE's "modern" or "next level" take...

 

 

He worked at SESF for a while before he moved from SF and when Josh couldn't make it, we asked him to step in but that was just temporary. How is this a "next level" take though? I mean his arms are big but I don't think it's alarmingly abnormal. He's not this dude...THIS guy is next level and if anybody knows his contact info, let me know. He could be the next SE model. arlindo-de-souza.jpg.893912bff4cc1c7c4bed1bb59800927e.jpg

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If you think about making products in China as the logical next step in the historical recreation of american denim, it's not so bad

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45 minutes ago, HGS said:

If you think about making products in China as the logical next step in the historical recreation of american denim, it's not so bad

If only we could get Chinese hipsters to man the sewing machines ironically too, then the circle would be complete and we'll have entered a post-modern reality where life imitates life, and one day people will repro the repro of our repro. :ohmy:

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You're right, we're now post-post-modern, and irony is no longer cool. 

All this just makes me think of accidental Chinese hipsters now:

Accidental_Chinese_Hipsters_mandenim.jpg

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^^

nice.

On an academic note, and please forgive my ramblings, the search to get beyond 'postmodernism' has been ongoing since late 90s...

the current term much wrestled with in certain areas is the 'contemporary'...

a broad brush account [worthy of debunking, but trying to keep short]: if modernism was the belief in grand narratives and movement towards enlightenment, postmodernism - at least one strand - was the critical doubt of 'progress' and thinking of paying attention to alternate 'minor' histories weaved inside the grand account of history, to think of the contemporary is to think of how we are both stranded in the 'perpetual present' of the now-now-now yet trying to put the present in touch with moments of the past to shift the axis of what is possible in the present... 

what Walter Benjamin calls fashion's 'tigers leap' into the past, what Giorgio Agamben addresses in the essay 'What is the contemporary?' (his answer: to be contemporary is to be of one's time, but at an adjunct and in contact with the archaic, but not to wallow in the past as the 'good old days'): you find that essay in this pdf here

equally, the Sex Pistol's refrain of 'No Future' has been picked up by Italian Autonomist of 1970s and US student protests preceding Occupy: here

and then: Guy Debord's thoughts on time published in 1968 are always worth looking at (where historical time is replaced by the abstract units of the global market)... found here 

and then I could ramble about Manuel Castells and his theory of 'timeless time' that digital networks produce in terms of the interruption of sequencing via instantaneity, but then you would have to shoot me. 

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and then my two favourite quotes from the Agamben hopefully of relevance to the forum...

to be 'in' fashion is to be out-of-sync... to be contemporary is to put different times in relation with each other... 

how to think retro/repro as other than historic recreation, or to think what does re-enactment do to the present?

anyway, back to work...

 

Agamben 001.jpg

 

&&&

 

Agamben.jpg

Edited by bartlebyyphonics

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Just the like eternal search for "cool", if you try too hard or become self-aware then you're no longer cool. It's not really about the clothes, but the attitude in this case, except when it is about the clothes and you don't care (too much) what others think, in which case then it's about the attitude again because you give off the IDGAF vibe, in which case you might have become genuinely cool or are just old, and possibly an accidental hipster.

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"Accidental Hipster", I think I just found my new blog name. Thank you :D

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