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Denim Blunders, Reflections and General Nonsense.

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It's about a $40 USD difference, I would put it down to freight, import & sales tax. 

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On 5/12/2019 at 3:43 AM, bencap said:

Did you go to high school in San Jose? I grew up there and there was no one at my school that fits that description. Although if you grew up in Gilroy or south-east SJ heading towards Gilroy/Hollister I could definitely see how you'd have those types of kids around in high school.

Yea, I was on the south side, right at the border of civilization and hickville.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/25/2019 at 12:03 PM, Cold Summer said:

After watching @dudewuttheheck's Viberg boots review on YouTube, and re-reading the last page of the Conner's thread, it's making me wonder: What, exactly, do we consider "quality" that justifies the prices of high-end casual clothing pieces?

For Jake, little things like loose threads on the vamp stitching are considered flaws that have no place on an expensive boot. For me, I see things like that and think, "this is where they cut off the last thread when they finished stitching." Some of these things honestly wouldn't occur to me to consider as flaws - I tend to see things like the finishing around the back heel (which I noticed when I had Vibergs in the past) as purposefully done like that - suggesting the hand-made nature of the boots rather than something perfectly, soullessly finished by a robot. Obviously, there are definitely things I consider to be defects - poorly-aligned stitchdown work, bad clicking, misaligned heels, etc.

This isn't to say that I don't have tremendous respect for guys like Goto from White Cloud or Brian the Bootmaker who do something approaching perfection, but for me things indicative of the hand-made process are features rather than bugs - similar to how many view the "flaws" of jeans like CSF (though in CSF's case, some of these aspects are done purposefully.)

My Flat Head 3005s, for example, have very narrow selvedge on the right outseam, about halfway down the thigh, which could be considered a defect (although there's no indication of this unless you turn the jeans inside out.) But I've been to Flat Head's denim houses in Okayama and seen them doing this stuff in person, the whole process is very inefficient and un-industrial so I just see this as a side effect of that. Most of my 3Sixteen shirts have had loose long threads/runoff at various points, so I just clip off the threads and move on.

I think you can go to plenty of fast-fashion stores and find clothing items that have technically-perfect stitching and construction (and maybe last longer because they're probably sewn with poly thread) because they were essentially made by robots/highly automated processes. So I don't mind the imperfect some degree of imperfection. Vintage Levi's weren't perfect either: hem roping, uneven fabrics, hidden rivets, cotton stitching, and fading in general were unintentional side effects to begin with. 

I think you summarized my thoughts pretty darn well and thanks for watching the review. Conner's is definitely an exception for me and part of that is due to the fact that out of all the clothing I own, jeans will fall apart the fastest so I don't necessarily want or need perfect construction on a garment that won't last forever. On jackets and boots it's essential for me because I will have them forever in theory. Also, as you said, with CSF it's on purpose. With Viberg, I don't think it is and if it is, they certainly don't say so. I don't like the idea that it's a sign of being made by hand when actual hand made shoes are finished so much better. Plus, I do have much more nicely constructed jeans from people like Roy to bask in the glory of the wonderful construction. 

Edited by dudewuttheheck

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Never seen this way of washing denim..

 

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Posted (edited)

...

Edited by Pedro

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Posted (edited)

@mlwdp

He doesn’t have a laundry. Thats what those plastic tubs are under the sink. 

I wouldn’t use body soap though because it has skin conditioners (emollients) and with his technique the soap is not really on the denim long enough to free up the dirt & body oils attached to the fabric but atleast he will smell nice ;-)

He probably rides a motorbike to work and wet pants feel great on a hot day !

Edited by Pedro

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Anything to get a leg up on the fading competition. ;)

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Why is it so hard to find black weft denim made in Japan that isn’t slim? :(  

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@mlwdp I feel your pain. That’s why I caved and bought some PBJs. :D

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On 6/10/2019 at 1:10 PM, mlwdp said:

Never seen this way of washing denim..

the fades look sand paper-ish as well

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As we are seeing mote of it appearing in the threads, I have to ask.

Clothing from sites like Taobao  and brands like Bob Dong, look great but what's the quality like and are they ethically made?

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Geeman said:

As we are seeing mote of it appearing in the threads, I have to ask.

Clothing from sites like Taobao  and brands like Bob Dong, look great but what's the quality like and are they ethically made?

Chinese manufacturing = Ethics?

Interesting question.

My guess is they are as ethically made as early Levi’s in the  late 1800’s US garment industry (meaning not much) so the Chinese products are true “repros” in that sense...Lol

There is a bit of exploitation sewn into every pair. 

 

Edited by Pedro

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I'm casting no stones at people wearing them but as opposed to repro's are they just copying MF, Sugarcane etc designs and churning out cheap copies? H&M for denim heads?

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Posted (edited)

Early Uniqlo selvaged denims were cheap but quite nice (i.e. Shuttle (these were made in China), Made In Japan series etc), but the current selvaged denims contains 1 or 2% of Elastine for stretching which is off-putting to me.

 

amij.jpg

Edited by Naoto Ver.2

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I tried out the Taobao thing once and was spurned by insanely inaccurate sizing. I also found the transit times to be very long. I bought like 5 things and only one worked out, so it was a waste of money. I doubt I’ll try it again to be honest.

As far as ethics go that might be a different discussion. Makes me wonder if these Chinese repro brands are trying to make things ethically or not. Given the prices it makes me think that they aren’t.

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Posted (edited)

I'll throw in an opposing opinion: to the extent to which some stores' descriptions can be trusted, it does seem like some of the Chinese companies (Sauce Zhan and Bob Dong come to mind) are operated out of smallish workshops by skilled craftspeople, and in that sense I don't think it's unreasonable to think they might be acting pretty ethically. The prices are stupidly low because the costs of living and doing business are stupidly low for the folks running them; there's no need for that to reflect directly on the manufacturing process.

Edited by julian-wolf

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That is true, I don’t doubt that some of them are running things as ethically as possible. I just wouldn’t be surprised if there were some out there that are not.

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Agreed, Sauce Zahn was not included in my question as I read about them before. Bob Dong and Taobao are unknown to me hence the question. 

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Posted (edited)

The “artisan” and “bespoke” culture are not so much a part of the business mindset from what I have seen in China. Its fascinating how different the various Asia & SE Asian cultures are unique from each other. 

I would be curious to know the history of Bob Dong denim and if it’s origin was organic (a western influenced military/denim head) or the result of a “shrewd Chinese businessman” (which is redundant...Lol) who saw an opportunity.

Since one of our forum members has found celebrity status in China, maybe @volvo240thebest could go there to delve into how much the Japanese-Western denim mindset influences exist?

 

Edited by Pedro

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7 hours ago, Geeman said:

Bob Dong and Taobao are unknown to me hence the question. 

Well Taobao's just an online market place, much like Amazon or Rakuten. Whether or not a brand does business through them shouldn't reflect much on their products or their overall ethics. (As an example, Bronson Mfg. Co. sells both through Taobao and through Amazon. You get the same products either way.)

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Perhaps I should rephrase the question then,  

Clothing from brands like Bob Dong, Bronson etc and others sold thru Taobao look great but what's the quality like and are they ethically made?

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23 minutes ago, Geeman said:

Perhaps I should rephrase the question then,  

Clothing from brands like Bob Dong, Bronson etc and others sold thru Taobao look great but what's the quality like and are they ethically made?

Taobao is a huuuuuuuge marketplace and you can find dozens of so called heritage style brands and designs, some of them (few tbh) offer similar quality to the products made in Japan, most of them just offer similar goods at a lower price point. As a general rule of thumb if you want to have the best, don't even waste your time browsing Taobao. If you don't care to have the best and if you like to get max value for money it may be worth the hassle of browsing a chinese website, translate everything via google translate, use a proxy etc etc.. I do enjoy the hazard of buying from China, I don't care to have the best (apart from jeans), and I am a cheapskate so I use it.

I have mixed feelings regarding Bob Dong, I hate the fact that he copied some MF designs, but to be honest his basics are really good, fit great and bear an incredible price x value ratio. I have lots of his heavyweight basic tees, the fit is perfect for me and they stood the test of time much better than the Japanese counterparts I had. So when it comes to t shirts to me it doesn't make any sense to buy Japan made stuff. I also love the way his jeans/pants are cut and like them for what they are (very nicely fitting jeans/pants), but there is no friggin comparison fabric and workmanship wise with Japan made denim. A pair of Bob Dong jeans doesn't give me the feel of "soul" that I get from my Tcb's, too.

I think of Bronson as a Chinese version of Buzz Ricksons, which offers lots of military repro garments. The quality isn't comparable to Buzz, but again for some type of garments I don't feel the need to have the best, so Bronson works great to me.

As far as ethically made goes, I have no idea, but between buying from a Chinese owned company that makes stuff in China and buying from a US/Euro/Jp owned company that sells stuff made in China I definitely prefer the first option. Some of these Chinese brands are very small operations, I think they're just as much ethically managed as their Japanese counterparts. I'd love to hear what our Chinese forum members think about this.

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In terms of what 'ethic' are we talking about? - Environmentally friendly? Or cheap labour? :wacko:

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Yeah, if it’s both, then the brands you can buy are quite a bit fewer. Nudie was quite early with going eco but how fun are they to most nowadays?

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Good response Volvo.  I think I'd need a bit more knowledge of the site and its retailers to make an informed decision.

Spiraltoy, nudie is a brand that's lost it's way a lately and their prices are getting ridiculous.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, volvo240thebest said:

Some of these Chinese brands are very small operations, I think they're just as much ethically managed as their Japanese counterparts.

Having worked in both cultures, I would say they hold very different paradigms on business ethics; however, I would rather hear more details about these heavyweight tees?

Any links?

BTW, Is Bob Dong an actual person or a marketing concept? Same question for Buzz Rickson.

Edited by Pedro

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19 hours ago, julian-wolf said:

Well Taobao's just an online market place, much like Amazon or Rakuten. 

How does Aliexpress compare with Taobao?

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Posted (edited)

An excellent article with an interview from an Industry “Insider”:

https://www.heddels.com/2017/11/chinese-denim-an-idea-right-outta-left-field/

And another:

https://www.heddels.com/2012/08/raw-denim-from-china-red-cloud-co/

Edited by Pedro

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I still see a lot of posts like: I don’t don’t know what it says, I don’t read Japanese. For all of you I have a handy tip.

Download the google translate so to your phone. It’ll use the camera and translate what ever is in frame in real-time. Super handy “because I don’t read Japanese”.

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