BECAUSE IF IT IS CHEAP FOR YOU, SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING FOR IT
Production is a complex matter. We have had long discussions in our team about how and where we should produce our products. And we decided for China (Shenzhen) and Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh).
WHAT IS "ETHICAL PRODUCTION" TO US?
Treating your factory as a partner. Understanding that both sides need to make a living. Paying a fair price (and upfront deposit) so the factory does not have to use cheaper sub-contractors / sweat-shops, so they can pay the staff a fixed salary including holiday money, and so they don't have to work the staff to the bone. But it also means having realistic expectations. Agreeing on (not dictating) deadlines and production schedules. Discussing work flows, and sourcing methods so everybody's life becomes easier.
MADE IN CHINA EQUALS CHEAP?
China is not the cheap labour country anymore that you might remember from 20 years ago. But it is a sophisticated production location and a factory produces that quality you ask them produce. If you want cheap they can do cheap, if you want high quality, no problem either. Our bags are made from many different materials (Fabric, foam, buttons, zippers etc.) which we can all source in China. (Our shell fabrics are actually developed and produced in Taiwan). While big brands source all the materials in China, then ship them to Italy and assemble them there to be able to use the "made in Italy" logo, we keep the production local. We have been working with our factory for over 10 years. We visit the factory twice per year and have weekly contact via Email and Zoom.