Fabric Shop Culture Comeback

New (2010) argues that how now customers want to know more about where do their clothes come from, who made them, the quality if the garment, environmental impacts and so on…

This just reminds me of a time in my country, Cyprus, not so long ago. Cyprus is a small island and it has been ruled by Britain for almost 90 years till 1961. The reason why I am telling this is to make you understand the culture and the lifestyle back then. My grandparents opened their fabric shops in Cyprus around 1960s and I have been listening to their stories they have been telling me about the past. During those years, there was not many retailers around who were selling ready-to-wear clothes and therefore people had to go to fabric shops and tailors. If a Cypriot wanted new clothes, he/she would first visit a fabric shop to buy fabric and then take it to a tailor. My grandmother and mother tell me, people used to question them about the fabric’s origin, quality and the type. These people were usually Turkish people from Turkey. They wanted fabric which were produced in Europe because of their quality. To satisfy their customers, my grandparents visited UK every single year for several months to buy fabric from several suppliers and bring back to Cyprus during the peak time of tailoring, which dates before 1990. After 1990, ready-to-wear and fast fashion brands from Turkey opened their stores in the Northern part of Cyprus and European brands in Southern side. As the process of buying clothes got faster, people lost their interest on the provenance and quality of the garment since they were mesmerized with the new fast-pace system.

As time passed and costumers got used to this system, they started to question again. Customers are aware that they are running force in this industry and they have the power to get what they really want. This is like a trend coming back from past.

New (2010) states that in today’s market a product need to be able to transparent about where it is coming from and this should include more than first tier information.  He also suggests that companies can benefit from how they product do in the hands of their end users (New,2010). As we are working on a tech fashion range, I believe we need to be able to provide provenance data to our customers by using advanced technology. Even if not really advanced we can use 2D barcodes (QR Code) which provides information when scanned. There is not any information about Beat’s manufacturers on their website, however if you purchase a Beats product you can register it online to get product updates. We can certainly add more information about our manufacturers for the fashion range.

This process above is like at the end of production stage. On the other hand, there is another important aspect which we need to pay attention, manufacturers/suppliers. McCormack, N. (2017)’s story on jean production in China and finding the right manufacturer has called my attention to have enough time left for searching the right manufacturer. It is really fascinating to see jeans can be produced with only 0.4 liters of water lost via evaporation where as traditional method requires up to 1,500 liters. (For more information on this please visit: https://www.everlane.com/denim-factory ) A detailed research must be carried out in order to find the right manufacturing technique and the manufacturer.

 

References

New, S. (2010) The Transparent Supply Chain. Harvard Business Review, October pp. 76-82

McCormack, N. (2017) What Goes Into Making Everlane’s Earth-Friendly $68 Pair of Jeans? Business of Fashion. 7 October. [Internet] Available from:
https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/news-analysis/what-goes-into-making-everlanes-earth-friendly-68-pair-of-jeans

Everlane(2018) The world’s cleanest denim factory. Available at: https://www.everlane.com/denim-factory  (Accessed: 25 March 2018)

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2 Comments

  1. Posted 18th April 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    You said your grandparents opened their fabric shops in Cyprus around 1960s. I really think it is an interesting story and a good example. It reminds me of a time in my country too. In ancient time, people used to buy fabrics and hire tailors to make them into clothes, same as the situation in Cyprus. However, only rich people had the time to pick fabrics and they cared about the origin of the fabric and so on. The only thing poor people care about is whether they can afford the fabric that can keep them warm. Therefore, I think it’s almost the same situation now, as we talked today. Those people who bought expensive clothes are more likely to obtain more information of clothes. I am pessimistic that only a small number of people will care about the detailed information of the product.

  2. Posted 18th April 2018 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    It really an interesting story about your grandfather’s fabric store! As Ye also mention, in China there were also some situations like Cyprus in the past. And now the price of these kinds of ” customized” clothes are relatively more expensive than mass production clothes. And I also have the same feeling with you about the transparency of Beats products. Although people now get access to know the composition of materials and the place of productions, they eager to know more detail information, even the origins of the materials. Therefore, in order to make the product more transparent, the technology is developed to fulfill the need.

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