We’ve been regularly looking at the trends of ‘local‘ and ‘craft‘ in these pages, but the future-focused December 07 issue of Monocle magazine explores these trends further by looking at the concept of ‘provenance‘. Monocle says:
Provenance became a big issue for brands low, medium and high in 2007. A spate of scares involving Chinese-made products saw the world’s largest toy maker, Mattel, recall 21 million toys due to concern over lead paint. Gap was stung when it was found that children in India were employed to make garments for their Western peers. In the showrooms of many luxury brands, buyers were starting to question if the clothes and accessories were really made in the UK, France and Italy.
In 2008, provenance is going to become more important at luxury goods companies as CEOs decide whether to downgrade their brands (they wouldn’t call it this, but we would) by shutting workshops and moving the work to Asia to improve margins, or take a long-term view and keep investing in craftsmanship, education and maintaining manufacturing facilities above the shop.
The decision should be a simple one. The fake handbag might be made in China, but if 90 per cent of the real thing is made there as well, where’s the point of difference other than price? Against this backdrop, a growing movement for authenticity, craftsmanship and heritage is creating greater opportunities for artisanal companies.
The magazine lists five brands that have ‘territorial ties’: