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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:43 pm 
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Quickdraw wrote:
"But in terms of quality manufacturing, to a scale that can satisfy the demand, Rapha has key pieces of performance roadwear made in the Far East." - Quote from Rapha.

It is funny (in the odd sense) that they are small when that image benefits them, or the arguments in support of them, but they are large in the sense that they have so many orders that they cannot be satisfied with manufacturing within their region (or the region of those that purchase their products). It is my understanding that their bib shorts are made in Italy. I would presume the scale of their sales is similar to that of their jerseys? So scale can't be that much of an issue is it?

Many other brands are able to meet demand through the use of European manufacturers and deliver quality that is equal to, or better than, Rapha. This would include Giordana (made in Italy?), Capo (made in Italy?) and Assos (made in Bulgaria and Slovenia?).

The article seems, at best, disingenuous. It would appear to me that the primary reason they manufacture in China is cost. Man-up Rapha! You try to portray this rugged, individualist image in your marketing campaigns. Don't be such a wuss when it comes to explaining your production choices.

By manufacturing in China Rapha can achieve the bottom line that they are after. That should be the bottom line of the article. To try to obscure this by dancing around the issue and bringing up the state of manufacturing in Japan 50 years ago does not address what appears to be Rapha's primary motivation. The things manufactured in Japan 50 years ago were perceived to be (and probably were) of inferior quality. But that changed dramatically over the ensuing years to the point that Japan deserves their current reputation. But just because Japan did evolve does not mean that China necessarily will or, more importantly, are there now. Japan also evolved in a system with more political freedoms and with a government that did not skew the market through artificial currency manipulations that impacted other economies. And we were free as consumers to judge the quality of Japanese merchandise for ourselves without the manufacturers writing one-sided spin pieces. The article was a shell game on Rapha's part and they should be ashamed to treat their customers with so little respect and candor.

And on the issue of "designed in London and made in China"... Give me a break! With so many of their core pieces the design, in terms of cut and fabric, was fixed many seasons/years ago. Now they are just tweaking color schemes, placement of bands on the chest or arms, etc. How hard is that? They absolutely do not engage in the sort of re-design that Assos does when they come out with new pieces. Rapha's design budget (true design and not marketing) would likely pale in comparison to their budget for either production or marketing. And my guess is that their marketing budget as a percentage of revenue is also much larger than Assos (or Giordana or Capo). So to say that it is designed in London isn't really saying very much. Good for you Rapha! You changed some color schemes in London.
I think I wasn't clear in what I meant by size. Nike, Adidas etc are large, long established and, most importantly, have very diverse product ranges and customer bases. Rapha are appreciably smaller despite growing massively in the 7 years they have been in business also they have a very focused product range which by definition has quite a narrow customer demographic. They have never been a clothing company like Santini or Giordana, making stuff in-house. They have, since day one, outsourced their production. The problem is that when you 're based in the one of the most expensive cities in the world, in a country that has stuff all industry capable of producing the product any more, where do you go to get it made and still turn a profit so you can stay in business and grow? Ah yes, Bulgaria, where the wages are less than €400 a month or Romania where they're €600 a month. Compare that to London's average of £2400 per month or the UK's of £2200. that's before you even look at the reliability of delivery & consistency of quality. I love Britain, but one thing we have sucked at for decades is mass production.

As for one sided, yes it is an article from their perspective. They could have just put a puff piece on their site stating that they only use companies run by nice people to produce their stuff and left it at that. No information just expecting us to take it on faith. Instead they stated who they used and linked to that company's ethics charter. That is something that you can check up on. Its more transparent than Assos's or Endura's bumph or Castelli's total lack of information.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:45 pm 
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sawyer wrote:
A fair point raised by Quickdraw. Very hard to argue against the propositions that:

1. Chinese production of Rapha's clothing is to a significant extent cost driven - or at least that this is a reasonable assumption for us to make in the absence of financials from Rapha.
I'm sure it has a significant part in the decision.

Quote:
2. That when it comes to bikes (where they have a miniscule/ non-existent profit motive) Rapha associate themselves very explicitly and overtly with boutique manufacturers - the very antithesis of low-cost, high volume far east production.
Fair comment

Quote:
Has the page in question just been taken down?
No, it's just not on the front page.


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Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:45 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:47 pm 
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ultimobici wrote:
Instead they stated who they used and linked to that company's ethics charter. That is something that you can check up on. Its more transparent than Assos's or Endura's bumph or Castelli's total lack of information.


And who created that company's "ethics charter" ?
Who created their website?
Who is marketing that company?

I'm asking because we can certainly just look up the company. Location, address (possibly even streetview), and registrant of their URL.


Edit: nevermind, found it. Manufacturer is claimed to be KTC.
ktcquality.com is the site. Registered in 2003, Registrant is from China.

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Last edited by prendrefeu on Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:47 pm 
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chipomarc wrote:
http://www.rapha.cc/made-in-china" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


If you try to execute the link provided in the first post to this thread you will get the message:

Sorry — we couldn't find the page you are looking for. Please try using the search box, or the navigation menu at the top of the page.

A/the blog is know at http://www.rapha.cc/ktc-china. I would like to know the reason for the change. Did they significantly alter the text of the original blog posting? (Note that, based upon the URL of http://www.rapha.cc/made-in-china, this does not appear to be a link to their default web page, so to say that it is no longer the on the main page of Rapha's site is a red herring.)


Last edited by Quickdraw on Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:55 pm 
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Quickdraw wrote:
chipomarc wrote:
http://www.rapha.cc/made-in-china" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


If you try to execute the link provide in the first post to this thread you will get the message:

Sorry — we couldn't find the page you are looking for. Please try using the search box, or the navigation menu at the top of the page.

A/the blog is know at http://www.rapha.cc/ktc-china. I would like to know the reason for the change. Did they significantly alter the text of the original blog posting?
Try looking then.

http://www.rapha.cc/ktc-china

http://www.ktcquality.com/download/PDF/ ... ctices.pdf

It's not hard to find, nor is it hard to check out the Fair Wear Foundation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Wear_Foundation
http://fairwear.org/


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:58 pm 
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ultimobici wrote:
Quickdraw wrote:
chipomarc wrote:
http://www.rapha.cc/made-in-china" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


If you try to execute the link provide in the first post to this thread you will get the message:

Sorry — we couldn't find the page you are looking for. Please try using the search box, or the navigation menu at the top of the page.

A/the blog is know at http://www.rapha.cc/ktc-china. I would like to know the reason for the change. Did they significantly alter the text of the original blog posting?
Try looking then.

http://www.rapha.cc/ktc-china" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.ktcquality.com/download/PDF/ ... ctices.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It's not hard to find, nor is it hard to check out the Fair Wear Foundation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Wear_Foundation" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://fairwear.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Funny, but that URL (i.e. http://www.rapha.cc/ktc-china" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) was in my post. As for trying, try not to be so snarky.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:02 pm 
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Quickdraw wrote:
ultimobici wrote:
Quickdraw wrote:
chipomarc wrote:
http://www.rapha.cc/made-in-china" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


If you try to execute the link provide in the first post to this thread you will get the message:

Sorry — we couldn't find the page you are looking for. Please try using the search box, or the navigation menu at the top of the page.

A/the blog is know at http://www.rapha.cc/ktc-china. I would like to know the reason for the change. Did they significantly alter the text of the original blog posting?
Try looking then.

http://www.rapha.cc/ktc-china" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.ktcquality.com/download/PDF/ ... ctices.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It's not hard to find, nor is it hard to check out the Fair Wear Foundation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Wear_Foundation" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://fairwear.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Funny, but that URL (i.e. http://www.rapha.cc/ktc-china" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) was in my post. As for trying, try not to be so snarky.

Ah the joys of posting on the internet!!

Just find it funny that no matter what they do they're "damned if they do, damned if they don't".


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:17 pm 
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ultimobici wrote:
Ah the joys of posting on the internet!!

Just find it funny that no matter what they do they're "damned if they do, damned if they don't".


Oh come on now... They are so persecuted and have done nothing to bring this upon themselves! Really????


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:21 pm 
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Quickdraw wrote:
ultimobici wrote:
Ah the joys of posting on the internet!!

Just find it funny that no matter what they do they're "damned if they do, damned if they don't".


Oh come on now... They are so persecuted and have done nothing to bring this upon themselves! Really????
Not what I mean.

It doesn't seem to matter what they do, there'll be a section of the cycling community dissatisfied with them no matter what. Not persecution at all!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:28 pm 
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ultimobici wrote:
Quickdraw wrote:
ultimobici wrote:
Ah the joys of posting on the internet!!

Just find it funny that no matter what they do they're "damned if they do, damned if they don't".


Oh come on now... They are so persecuted and have done nothing to bring this upon themselves! Really????
Not what I mean.

It doesn't seem to matter what they do, there'll be a section of the cycling community dissatisfied with them no matter what. Not persecution at all!


So it is noted that you are located in London utlimobici. Are you in any way associated with Rapha?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:40 pm 
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Quickdraw wrote:
ultimobici wrote:
Quickdraw wrote:
ultimobici wrote:
Ah the joys of posting on the internet!!

Just find it funny that no matter what they do they're "damned if they do, damned if they don't".


Oh come on now... They are so persecuted and have done nothing to bring this upon themselves! Really????
Not what I mean.

It doesn't seem to matter what they do, there'll be a section of the cycling community dissatisfied with them no matter what. Not persecution at all!


So it is noted that you are located in London utlimobici. Are you in any way associated with Rapha?
Full disclosure -

I worked for Cyclesurgery in 2005 when Rapha had a promotion in Selfridges. I was the only roadie so got to watch the Tour live on TV and was paid.

I am still in the industry but do not work for them, although I do know a couple of people who work there.

I do not know the owners or directors socially or have any dealings with them.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:41 pm 
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ultimobici wrote:
Quickdraw wrote:
chipomarc wrote:
http://www.rapha.cc/made-in-china" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


If you try to execute the link provide in the first post to this thread you will get the message:

Sorry — we couldn't find the page you are looking for. Please try using the search box, or the navigation menu at the top of the page.

A/the blog is know at http://www.rapha.cc/ktc-china. I would like to know the reason for the change. Did they significantly alter the text of the original blog posting?
Try looking then.

http://www.rapha.cc/ktc-china" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.ktcquality.com/download/PDF/ ... ctices.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It's not hard to find, nor is it hard to check out the Fair Wear Foundation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Wear_Foundation" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://fairwear.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


I actually did not bring up the issues of labor practices despite what you allude to above. But now that you mention it... How does the worker exactly go about enforcing that code of labor practices that you link to in your post? The FWF is an NGO isn't it? Can they, the worker, file suit in China is those practices are not implemented in full? What is the worker's recourse exactly?

(Note, I have read the Wikipedia link on FWF that you provided. What I am asking is what the reality is of the safeguards. An audit or a do-better letter from an NGO probably does not go very far in China. KTC probably pays for the certification, so biases are created. Give me something concrete.)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:50 pm 
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Quickdraw wrote:
ultimobici wrote:
Quickdraw wrote:
chipomarc wrote:
http://www.rapha.cc/made-in-china" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


If you try to execute the link provide in the first post to this thread you will get the message:

Sorry — we couldn't find the page you are looking for. Please try using the search box, or the navigation menu at the top of the page.

A/the blog is know at http://www.rapha.cc/ktc-china. I would like to know the reason for the change. Did they significantly alter the text of the original blog posting?
Try looking then.

http://www.rapha.cc/ktc-china" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.ktcquality.com/download/PDF/ ... ctices.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It's not hard to find, nor is it hard to check out the Fair Wear Foundation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Wear_Foundation" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://fairwear.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


I actually did not bring up the issues of labor practices despite what you allude to above. But now that you mention it... How does the worker exactly go about enforcing that code of labor practices that you link to in your post? The FWF is an NGO isn't it? Can they, the worker, file suit in China is those practices are not implemented in full? What is the worker's recourse exactly?

(Note, I have read the Wikipedia link on FWF that you provided. What I am asking is what the reality is of the safeguards. An audit or a do-better letter from an NGO probably does not go very far in China. KTC probably pays for the certification, so biases are created. Give me something concrete.)
I'm not sure. I like you am sussing this out. But I get the impression that FWF are European, as are the people who started KTC. KTC appears to be a company started up in Hong Kong long before it was returned to Chinese control.

http://ktcquality.com/manufacture/opinion_ktc.html


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:13 am 
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I just did a quick search on this subject and it does appear there has been a bit of a cyberstorm around the various cycing forums on this one doesn't it? Didn't realise it was quite such a hot button issue. :lol:

Anyone think Rapha are trying to quieten things a bit on this pup by moving the relevant page down into the blog? :?:


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:10 am 
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Quote:
The prejudice that Chinese-made products are cheap and inferior can be likened to that of the view taken towards electronics and machinery made in Japan fifty years ago. Now, as an economic powerhouse and technological leader, the Made in Japan label holds significant value intellectually as well as economically.


doesn't Japan have the largest national debt on earth. Something like 200% of GDP?


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Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:10 am 


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