Made in England

The world's oldest public electrical clock at Greenwich, England.

The world’s oldest public electrical clock at Greenwich, England.

There’s something inherently sad with the world’s once-proud industrial powers being reduced to using “Made in _______” as a marketing catchphrase, yet we’ve undoubtedly reached that point. In the cases of the U.S. or England it’s even odder that the few goods still made in those countries, invariably items of clothing, are valued more abroad then by their own populaces (see: Japan).

These New Balance 420s are made in the Flimby factory, which, judging by the website, is a twee, eccentric place straight out of a Wes Anderson movie. While employing some 210 local craftspeople is undoubtedly a good thing, the question has to be asked - why pitch this as such a gimmick? Unless the Flimby factory is being operated at a loss, it seems you can make shoes in England without having to charge more for them. 

I suppose profit margin really does make all the difference. If you can stand the terrible music this video offers a nice look inside the factory.

Club Monaco: Made in America?

Club Monaco is easily my favourite mall brand - in the last five years it’s become the only store of its kind that I’ll even bother browsing. Most of my shirts, for example, are from Club Monaco. A Continuous Lean has just posted about his collaboration with the brand, for a line of pieces that are made, as per his calling card, in America.

No offense to Michael Williams or American workers, but considering the brand was started in Canada I’m wondering why they’ve never tried this with a Canadian designer and Canadian garment workers. Naked and Famous has proven that Canadian-made clothes are a viable business model.

Of course, it’s probably telling that Naked and Famous chooses to emphasize the origin of its fabric more than its Canadian manufacturing.