China follow up
Thanks for the comments to the post on Facebook about China, we’ve read them all with interest.
As a business we’ve always operated in a transparent a way as possible. This has been the case since day one and is even more prevalent through the brand today. We want to let people know what we’re doing, where we’re making our product and with what.
It’s why we actively put the Facebook post up.
We value our customers and hear their concerns around China. We stand by our decision and understandably some of you have asked for more information, so we’ve explained further in this blog
Our winter weight insulation is now being assembled in China; that's five products - Sastruga, Pipistral, Bise, Cumulo and Etobicoke. This wasn’t a decision we made overnight, it was two years in the making. As in the last eight years, these jackets are still made from recycled polyester fabrics and fill – we don’t use down. The decision to make in China came down to the fact that it would allow us to improve the quality of our product, move assembly closer to the raw materials and improve communication in the production process. Asia is also at the forefront of sustainable textiles, another reason for us to develop relationships there. The rest of the product line is still made in Portugal, Romania and the UK – all growing year on year, clearly labeled on the product and the website.
Making in China doesn’t mean cheaper anymore, Chinese wages have risen by over 20% since 2010 and sure, as in anywhere else in the world, there are still bad factories to be found but we are not using them. We’ve worked tirelessly to find the best factory to make our products. We have also undertaken a full third party audit with the factory (based in southern China); it is fully compliant in health, safety and hygiene, machinists are highly skilled due to the complexity of outerwear production and all are above minimum working age. Due to the skills required and also due to the growing living standards in the local area, the employees command a premium wage, well above the minimum wage. We spent two weeks there walking the floors and meeting the people before we made the decision to manufacture our winter weight insulation there.
Manufacturing is a tricky business, there are so many processes and parts involved in creating a product. We are a small company but we believe that Finisterre can have the power to change things and influence a better way for factories to work with other businesses, whilst continuing to make the best product possible.
For over 10 years we’ve always been an open book, and it’s something we’re not about to compromise on. This is why our iSPY traceability programme exists. It invites you to take a closer look at the decisions we make from the non-museled Merino fibres (since 2009), our unique British Bowmont Project (started 2008) to our use of recycled polyester and why we don’t use down (since 2006), as well as where we make our UK denim and knitwear. It’s by providing this information in as transparent a way as possible, that people can make their own minds up and ask further questions.
So please take a look at our iSPY programme and give us feedback. We genuinely appreciate your comments; it keeps us asking better questions and ultimately making better products
Lastly, if any of you are in London this week, come and meet our Product Director Debbie. She’ll be in our London store Thursday 3rd Sept from 7pm, talking through all aspects of our product design and manufacturing process, and will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.
Thanks for reading.