Some of you may have seen the new York Times article "Inside Italy’s Shadow Economy" published September 20, 2018.
If you haven't and can't find it above, head to our Twitter feed @shop_cdm for another direct link.
Yes, the article is talking about shoes and clothing produced in Puglia, Italy.
Yes, we produce our shirts in Puglia.
And yes we have agents who place the actual contracts with the factory.
We have been to Puglia, to visit both our agents and the factories. We hope to visit again soon. It's a beautiful place, the food is fabulous, and the factories we saw were tiny family affairs - clean, safe, and very Italian (by which I mean that half the enterprise passed by and offered their opinion, as we discussed production with the owners/managers). We have checked with our agents - whose standards are as high as our own - and they are confident that none of the producers they work with outsource in this manner - they also contend that such practices are far less common than the article suggests.
That said, we cannot be certain what is going on when we are not present.
However, we allow our agents to tell us how much the shirts will cost to produce, and when the factory has time to fit them in, not the other way round (as is the case with the big brands) so there is no pressure to outsource.
Of course, this costs more money, but we think this is the best we can do.
Better ideas are always welcome...
Inside Italy's Shadow Economy - from our point of view...
Posted by V. A. Bates Kassatly on