Wow, I'm not nearly an anti-far east, pro-made in USA type, but that write up is so intellectually dishonest it makes me sick.
I have experience of both European production and Chinese production.
If, and it's a big if, there is an issue with a Chinese produced item they put it right and compensate you for the error to boot. The issue doesn't arise again. By contrast the European producers will make the same mistake again & again despite assurances that the understand the issue & have addressed it.
Plus if you're going to get all misty eyed about Italian artisan produced product, check this
That $1,500 Prada bag may have been stitched by an illegal Chinese immigrant slaving away in a Tuscan factory. The tentacles of globalization are starting to snake dirt-cheap foreign laborers into once-protected enclaves known for their quality swag.
According to the L.A. Times, the Sino-Italian job takes three forms:
Straight up counterfeiters who slap brand names on cheap knockoffs.
Importers who ship shoes and bags from Asia to Italy for an extra buckle and the "Made In Italy" label.
Factory owners who use illegal Chinese workers to make nominally Italian goods.
Should a "Made In" label be a straightforward declaration of origin or a broader indicator of quality and craftsmanship?
Assos make their stuff in Bulgaria, Campagnolo use Romania, Shimano use Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand & Indonesia. While China has massive issues with human & workers rights that should not preclude companies from using companies whose factories are run properly without abuse.
Before we in our cosy western living rooms point the finger we had better make sure that we haven't any skeletons in our closets. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 28022.html
Clothing on sale in the high street is being made in Britain in dirty, dangerous and “appalling” conditions, according to secret television footage which will intensify pressure on a fashion industry hit by a series of sweatshop scandals.
For three months, a reporter for Channel 4’s Dispatches worked undercover in workshops in Leicester, stitching garments for British retail chains including Bhs, run by Sir Philip Green, who is advising David Cameron on public sector “efficiency” savings.
Rapha has done something that most companies either avoid or simply refuse to acknowledge. They have responded to their customers' questions. As long as they ensure that the standards that their production partner claims to adhere to are maintained there is no issue. It's not like they're making a sub-standard product and charging a premium.
For those who are openminded enough to actually read the code of practice that is freely available on KTC's websitehttp://ktcquality.com/download/PDF/FWF% ... ctices.pdf
Fair Wear Foundation – Code of Labour Practices
On 1 May 2011 KTC Limited becomes a factory member of Fair Wear Foundation. Fair Wear Foundation aims to improve working conditions. Companies that are members of Fair Wear Foundation are committed to trading only in products that have been produced under fair working conditions. Therefore Fair Wear Foundation asks that this factory follows the rules in the Fair Wear Code of Labour Practices:
1. Employment is freely chosen
There must be no use of forced labour.
2. There is no discrimination in employment
The employer should treat all employees equally, regardless of their race, colour, sex, religion, political affiliation, trade union membership, nationality, social origin, or disabilities.
3. No exploitation of child labour
There must be no use of child labour. Workers must not be recruited until they reach the minimum school-leaving age and, in any case, not below 15 years. Teenagers [aged 15-18] must not perform work, which is likely to harm their health and safety. For example, they must not do excessive overtime or night work.
4. Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
Workers have the right to negotiate as a group with their employer (‘collective bargaining’). The employer must not punish workers who express their opinions and wishes. All workers have the right to form and join trade unions of their own choice (‘freedom of association’). When the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted under law, the employer must not hinder other forms of collective bargaining and workers’ organisations. Workers' representatives must not be discriminated against and must have access to all workplaces necessary to carry out their role.
5. Payment of a living wage
Wages must meet at least the legal minimum wage if there is one. Wages for a standard working week should always be sufficient to meet the basic needs of workers and their families and to allow for some savings. Deductions from wages, which are not provided for by national law, are not permitted. Workers should be informed about how their wages are made up, including wage rates, pay periods and deductions from pay. Workers should receive a pay slip, which gives this information.
6. No excessive working hours
Hours of work must be in line with the law. In any event, workers must not be required to work more than 48 hours per week on a regular basis and must have at least one day off for every seven-day period. Overtime should be voluntary, and working hours including overtime should not exceed 60 hours per week. Overtime should not be demanded on a regular basis and must always be paid at a premium rate, in accordance with the law.
7. Safe and healthy working conditions
The employer must provide a safe and hygienic working environment. The employer should provide protective equipment where necessary and train workers to use it. The employer should also take steps to prevent accidents and minimise health risks.
Physical abuse, threats of physical abuse, unusual punishments, sexual and other harassment, and intimidation by the employer is strictly prohibited
8. Legally binding employment relationship
Every worker should get a written contract and all legal social security charges should be paid.
If you still think Rapha are extracting the urine then don't buy it. But, when you look around your house, note the items you have from any major brand name. I'll bet that you don't apply the same logic to their production/pricing/ethics.