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Did anyone see the piece in yesterday's Independent newspaper? Interesting read about the future of Savile Row... It also talks about Trading Standards' decision to stop companies supplying 'Made in England' labelled suits that are in fact made abroad - . Tony Lutwyche is petitioning 10 Downing Street to tighten up the laws once and for all to make sure that anything that claims to be 'Made in England' is 100% tailored in this country - to sign the petition, please visit
 

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It was a matter of time until the Richard James / Wensum thing blew up in their faces from a PR, if not legal, standpoint. So the cat's out of the bag because someone complained about it...

While the petition by the complainant is understandable and does indeed provoke sympathy from me, I wonder whether it would have unintended consequences if the petition is indeed successful. Firstly, I do not think that it is wise to have different parameters in judging the country of origin depending on the product in question. In fact, I think it is a very bad idea to have differing parameters or standards for different goods.

If the intent is to tighten the parameters uniformly for all product categories, then I think it may cause more confusion in the market. Relative to all other manufactured goods, especially mechanical or high-tech products, suits are very simple products with a very limited number of components. If one applies the same standards, viz., all transformational processes done in England, then it seems to follow that the same should apply to defining "made in France" or wherever. In a more complex product, e.g., automobiles, where different bits are done in different countries, how would the country of origin label read?

I do agree that what James and Wensum did was pushing the envelope a tad too far and certainly does not fall within the realm of what one might call good practice. That said, what Lutwyche is petitioning takes the issue to the other extreme. I suspect that there is a happy median somewhere inbetween, for example, tightening up the definition of "major transformation" when determining the country of origin.

On another note, I am bemused by that remark from Armani, coming from someone that markets expensive throw-away products. What a wanker.
 

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Bracemaker, I believe you are right. However, the rule of thumb is not perfect because you could conceivably argue, truthfully, that setting the sleeves and sewing on the buttons in the UK had the proportionate labour cost that met the threshold quite comfortably. But that would be because labour cost abroad is so much cheaper. That is why I think the notion of major transformation needs to be tightened.
 
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