In the modern world, the concept of "product authenticity" has somehow imperceptibly blurred and lost its specificity. If earlier "English shoes" meant shoes made in Great Britain, now this is not at all the same. By the way, even the original symbol of America, the Apple iPhone, is made at factories in China and there is no talk of transferring production to the United States. Wanting to speed up the production process and reduce the cost of production, companies operating in the fast fashion format place orders in countries with cheap labor and minimal production costs. As a result, "real British" shoes can be made in Vietnam or Thailand. The rapid development of online shopping and e-commerce in general has led to the fact that the situation with "authenticity" has become even more opaque. When purchasing a product via the Internet, buyers cannot assess the quality of the product they have chosen in terms of appearance and organoleptic sensations. They have to rely solely on photographs and their trust in the sellers of the goods. But even well-known multi-brand stores (Net-a-Porter and others) have ceased to indicate the country of origin, thereby depersonalizing the goods.
What does the law say, you ask? The situation is very difficult. On the one hand, there is such a document as "Certificate of Origin" (Certificate of Origin, C / O or COO), which is evidence that the product was actually produced in the country. On the other hand, manufacturers of footwear and clothing are not required to indicate the place of origin of their goods, especially since the requirements differ from country to country. For example, in the United States, clothing and footwear require the “Made in USA” label if the final product is made in the United States from fabric that is also produced in the United States, regardless of where the raw materials are made. At the same time, all advertising materials (even on the Internet) must clearly indicate the country of production. With Europe, the situation is completely different. For many years, labeling of goods was completely voluntary, but since April 15, 2014, the European Parliament approved a bill obliging European manufacturers to label all non-food products (shoes, clothing, etc.) with the name of the country where they were produced. This was done in part to protect consumers from counterfeiting. By the way, manufacturers have the right to choose which designation they put on their products. They are given a choice between the rather vague "Made in the EU" and the designation "Made in ..." with a specific country. With regard to the Customs Union (Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus), the country of origin of goods is considered to be the country in which the goods have been fully produced or have undergone sufficient processing.
Whom to believe?
From a marketing point of view, the “Made in” label can have a very serious impact on the promotion of a brand on the market, especially if the footwear is “Made in Germany” or “Made in Italy”. The high quality of production in European countries inspires great confidence among consumers and turns out to be a motivating factor in buying. Of course, the brand “Made in China” does not give them a surge of optimism, although over the past few years the quality of Chinese footwear and clothing has grown significantly. But often, trying to earn the maximum amount of money, Chinese manufacturers do not provide normal conditions for production, do not provide the necessary sanitary standards in production, and even use the labor of young children, which is prohibited by law.
European manufacturers found a good way out of this situation, which allowed them to provide high quality products and at the same time reduce their cost. The prestigious Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program was created. Brands participating in it must not only indicate the country of origin of products, but also publish a list of manufacturing factories, which are guaranteed to comply with all ethical standards, as well as working conditions. Thus, the CSR badge allows companies to save money on production, moving it to other regions, but at the same time guarantees the consumer compliance with all brand norms, both in terms of product quality and ethical purity.
“When we created the 'How It's Made' section on our website and communicated it to our customers on social media, the response was very positive,” said Sarah Brinton, Brand Manager at People Tree. "We see that this has a positive impact on sales and are working to add even more information to the site about the production of our products."
|Please rate the article|