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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:47 pm 
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So it's settled then: Rapha is a hypocrite, prejudice company, catering to the well heeled customer and employing the cheap labor force in the East to make their world renowned clothing designs and sell them at inflated prices making their margins to they bottom line extremely fat. Although that's what other companies are doing but they haven't placed it into words like Rapha has really. Thanks Rapha :lol:

prejudice:
The confidence implied by 'Made in England' does not guarantee the people making it are homegrown artisans in cosy workshops with wood burning stoves. It’s just as likely that they are machinists from Eastern Europe toiling away on cold industrial estates.

hypocrite:
Much of this snobbery is based on ill-conceived perceptions of manufacturing in the Far East.

Whilst a label stating 'Made in USA' implies quality, it doesn’t necessarily mean the product has been made with more skill or craft, materials or energy.

The only way you can be heard is not to buy Rapha products. :beerchug:

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Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:47 pm 


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:49 pm 
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I'm chiming in again (even though I did say I thought this thread should die a quick death) just to keep this real here in terms of what they (or any company like them really) actually save money-wise in terms of manufacturing in the far east because a whole lot of people seem to think that because of this, they have amplified their profit margins (thus making it way overpriced). None of this is true at all... (and come on, they are hardly priced above everyone else in the market).

The overwhelming majority of the costs to make these goods such as these comes in the way of the textiles themselves. I can tell you that with what Rapha pays for their fabrics, their manufacturing costs only account for no more than 1/5 of the total cost to produce the garment whether overseas or in Europe / USA (and honestly it's probably significantly lower than that). So just because they are manufacturing in asia, it doesn't mean their profit margins have skyrocketed. In most cases for a luxury goods company, manufacturing in the far east simply comes down to who can do the volume you need in the time frame needed. (And with Rapha, I can assure you their profit margins from manufacturing costs to wholesale are likely way less than someone like castelli or giordana or even capo). Hell, right now manufacturing garments in the far east is really not any less than anywhere else when you consider shipping and all duties / landing costs. (And again, when that accounts for less than 1/5 of the total costs of production, it's really not that big of a deal in how it relates to a retail price).

I am certainly no fan of the perceived transparency and pisses me off they have gone to such lengths to justify their decisions. But I also despise the short-sighted thinking that just because something is manufactured in the far east, it must be way cheaper to make and thus impossible to justify as a luxury good.

... end of rant... just trying to keep it real here.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:47 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:01 pm 
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now THAT's funny!!! Bravo...

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:20 am 
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"Made in Benghazi" is the next hurdle for you.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:21 am 
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The Chinese economy’s meteoric rise

Do meteors rise?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:51 am 
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mattiTWOROADS wrote:
In most cases for a luxury goods company, manufacturing in the far east simply comes down to who can do the volume you need in the time frame needed. (And with Rapha, I can assure you their profit margins from manufacturing costs to wholesale are likely way less than someone like castelli or giordana or even capo).


This is my understanding these days as well. It has been thought of for a while that Rapha wasn't exactly making massive profits. And while people keep going on about Rapha, remember they do sponsor and promote a whole load of cycling much more than a lot larger cycling brands do.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:53 am 
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djm wrote:
The Chinese economy’s meteoric rise

Do meteors rise?


Thomas Shaw used it so that makes it OK:

He [Lord Byron] called himself, in one of his poems, “The grand Napoleon of the realms of rhyme;” and there is some similarity between the suddenness and splendour of his literary career and the meteoric rise and domination of the First Bonaparte.

A Complete Manual of English Literature, by Thomas Budd Shaw, 1865.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:49 am 
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worstshotever wrote:
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.
Explain please.

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 out.
Quote:
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

Quote:
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 website
http://ktcquality.com/download/PDF/FWF% ... ctices.pdf
Quote:
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.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:29 am 
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I'm inclined to believe what ultimobici is saying. Don't get me wrong, Rapha is not my thing, as far as the gear goes. Their videos make for good entertainment, and the marketing can get you 'in the mood' if you let your guard down. They've just 'done a Rapha' with this China angle, i.e., they have a point, but have ended up milking it too much. This steers people's attention to the wrong things and turns the 'Chinese manufacturing bad' / 'Old European manufacturing good' even more against them.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:09 pm 
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ultimobici wrote:
Rapha has done something that most companies either avoid or simply refuse to acknowledge.

Agree. No matter how naive Rapha's marketing sometimes is they deserve credit for this. At least we, as customers, have some clearer information.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:45 pm 
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kgt wrote:
ultimobici wrote:
Rapha has done something that most companies either avoid or simply refuse to acknowledge.

Agree. No matter how naive Rapha's marketing sometimes is they deserve credit for this. At least we, as customers, have some clearer information.
I think if you look into where stuff is made you find that few companies are as frank as Rapha have been.

IMO, many of the detractors will not change their view, yet they'll still buy from other brands who are less than forthright in divulging how they produce their products.

I wonder how many of the people deriding Rapha's business have bought Chinese carbon frames or rims/wheels. I wonder.....


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:47 pm 
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kudos ultimobici... well said, and what I've been getting at too for a while here when people start to bitch about the whole made in the far east nonsense.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:22 pm 
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Other than the write up being a bit more rosy that reality, I don't really think it's that bad. Labor costs have gone up a lot in China in the past 36 months, and workers are paid much more that's for sure.

Re sweatshops and working conditions, etc., some jobs in the US can be much harder on one's well being than most jobs in China. It's all relative.

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Last edited by elviento on Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:22 pm 


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:37 pm 
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elviento wrote:
Other than the write up being a bit more rosy that reality, I don't really think it's that bad. Labor costs have gone up a lot in China in the past 36 months, and workers are paid much more that's for sure.

Re sweatshops and working conditions, etc., some jobs in the US can be much harder on one's well being than most jobs in China. Investment bankers and lawyers, for example, routinely work 12-20 hour days and after loans and tax they (the junior ones) can make as low as $20 per hour. It's all relative.

Diddums!
The idea that one can even consider comparing a sweatshop inmate with a Wall Street broker beggars belief.
There's an expression that's used in the military when someone complains about their lot which applies perfectly to a banker.

If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have joined!

Not something that applies to a factory worker in a sweatshop. Generally little choice is involved.


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