Yeah that Italian bag you bought .... Prob not made in Italy after all
( Lauren Pires / Rowdy Magazine Fashion Writer )
The phrase “fast fashion” has been circulating around our news feeds for quite some time. Many of us have identified companies like Shein and Forever 21 as the culprits of profiting from mass-production. Don’t get me wrong, they definitely are. But what comes as more of a shock are the brands that we associate with affluence capitalizing off of cheap and unethical labor, as well
The luxury retail world is broken — many companies have chosen to manufacture in China, resulting in leather goods being marked 20 times more than what they actually cost to make. Many conglomerates can make up to a 70% profit off of just one handbag.
When companies come up with prices, it’s mostly with the intent of chopping them in half for a surprise sale that leaves the customer wondering how the company is still even making money. We see $500 bags go on sale for $130 and we think, “Wow! What a great deal!” In reality, the company is still making a huge profit off of the consumer.
So why do we keep buying these bags? They’re made in China, overpriced and there are other options available from local businesses that sell purses for half the price. The reality is that most people enjoy wearing a logo. We feel like accomplished brand ambassadors trying out for the role of successful.
Not everyone is a hypebeast, but a lot of us unintentionally succumb to “hyped” brands that no longer live up to their expectations. Having fashion freedom is an amazing thing, and we should not base our fashion ideals on brands that take advantage of the consumer.
Many of us shopaholics like to reward ourselves with luxury goods, which is honestly part of the American dream. I love the fact that I can save towards a goal and go out and rack up a credit card bill. However, it’s important to know the backstory behind your bag. Luxury stores will always try to sell you the idea that they are the best of the best, when the quality is no different from what you may find on the streets of Chinatown.
Can we also just discuss how difficult it is to find products not manufactured in China? I dare you to check the labels on everything in your closet. Maybe something will say “Made in Vietnam,” but most likely, there won’t be much that says I’m sure there’s nothing that says Proudly Made in the USA. According to NPR affiliate, WBUR News, 95% of the clothing sold in America was made abroad.
So which brands can you trust?
Louis Vuitton is one of the best brands to invest in. Their products can cost up to $800 to manufacture, and their purses and SLGs are all crafted in Italy or Spain. Although it may cost an entire stimulus check to get a leather good, this brand is worth the investment.
Mirta is another brand that’s worth the hype. They hand make their leather goods in Italy and invest in good people and great artisans. If you’re looking for a domestic purchase, Lund Leather is one to check out. You have no idea how long it took to find cute USA-made leather goods but this brand handmakes their bags and even provides a lifetime guarantee.
A bag is a woman’s best friend., Iit carries our essentials and is an amazing accessory to our outfits. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if your purse is made in China or Spain, but there’s no reason to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a bag that was manufactured for like $12. Don’t ever buy a full-price bag without knowing its origin. And make sure you’re buying the bag because you love it, not because it’s labeled as high end.
Lauren Pires is a Fashion Writer at Rowdy Magazine. Although originally a Floridian, Lauren relocated to New York City to make connections and live the city girl lifestyle. If she’s not working, you can find her shopping or somewhere in nature. As a lover of fashion and all things unique, Lauren strives to make style accessible to all. Some things she enjoys include photography, high heels, traveling, and anything pink.