Coach Factory and China.

  1. I love my bags and have been a loyal customer to coach. So not getting all snobby here, just a few questions and hope someone can assist me that may know like an SA.
    I noticed that when I looked at my bag it said "MADE IN CHINA"..I know some people refuse to walk into walmart and other similar places because of the poor working conditions and child labor etc..anyone know of the kind of factory that Coach is running or do they even give that information out to customers?
  2. I don't know about the specifics of Coach and China, but I know that many high end designers either bring in workers from China or have bags manufactured there. I read an article awhile back posted by another tpfer that talked about how some high-end italian designers of handbags and shoes were still manufacturing in Italy but bringing in Chinese workers.

    I do hope they are doing this with integrity and in such a way that benefits everyone involved. I imagine that Coach is protective enough of its brand identity that they would make sure these things are done properly and with respect.
  3. this is something i've always wondered too. i'd be interested in the specifics...
  4. Pandy..glad I am not the only one!
    Tejas mama..I would think Coach wouldnt want to tarnish their good name. But I sometimes can't help but wonder....
    Thank you ladies for responding to my post, I hope others can post some info as well.
  5. I've never thought of this until now.
  6. My mom was disapointed that Coach was made in China. Such expensive bags should not be made in China. Gives it a bad wrap.
  7. You do know that a lot of 'premiere' designer bags are made in China, yet the finishing touches are done in a country like Italy or France. Which of course provides the company the luxury of being able to put 'Made in Italy' on a tag. Which further perpetuates the brands 'snob' appeal. A lot of leeway is given as to what is actually put on the tag.

    But who cares, if you like it, and you feel your money is well spent then that is your prerogative. :tup:
  8. Burberry is one company that has started to make their 'lower end' bags in China. Bad call, in my opinion...
  9. The country of origin has a lot to do with the fact that Coach can sell a leather bag for 1/3 the price of LV, Balenciaga, Chloe, etc.
  10. As that information is not given to the public, I am not sure how working conditions are in the Coach factories in China. I can say, however, based upon a recent documentary called China Blue (which chronicles the lives of workers in a blue jean factory) and books I have read about China's economy that the conditions are mediocre at best.

    To fully understand the scope of the problem, you need to have an understanding of what China is like. There are a lot of very poor people in the country side who desperately need jobs (lack of opportunities) and these migrant workers make up the majority of the work force in the factory cities in China. Many of these workers are younger and female (16 and up) and migrate to the cities to find work. There are many, many factories manufacturing everything you can think of (from plastic beads to high end jeans and handbags). The workers eat and sleep in the dormitories the factories provide.

    Now, some dormitories are very nice and the workers are well taken care of but this is generally not the case. Not that the factory owners are evil (although some are) but they are pressured by outside countries to keep making their product faster and cheaper. They can do this partly because they have the upper hand and can always threaten to take their orders to another factory. There are reports of sexual harassment, lack of pay (overtime and regular pay), working 24 hours straight to fulfill orders, etc. Also, with these young girls (away from family in the big cities, often the first time they are away) depression is very common. Due to these economic factors and deeper cultural reasons, Chinese females have the highest suicide rate in the world!

    I want to mention this because sometimes people see "made in China" products as inferior. If you take a careful look at products made everywhere, there are many recalls and lack of quality control issues. Now, I agree China has to be much better in making sure their exports keep up with the standards posted for whichever country it is going to and do something about their human rights issue. But we must be careful not to fall into xenophobia and the automatic assumption that "made in China" automatically means an inferior product. I have bought many products from different countries and they vary dependent on the company, the factories that make it, and the workers in the factories. Truth is, the head companies will no longer pay the money that the "old world artisans" deserve. Instead, things are made by machines and workers they pretty much see as dispensable (this happens everywhere, not just in China). Question is, would we as consumers pay much, much more for the same product if it was made not in these conditions?

    I hope Coach treats their workers well but based upon what I see from the sweatshops and immigrant farm workers here in America (where we have laws protecting them), I assume it would be worse in a country where the treatment is completely up to the factory owners, the foreign head companies, and a country which has a poor human rights record. All that being said, I hope it was informative! And yes, although I am concerned, I am still a Coach consumer. :hrmm:
  11. Mine is more a Human Rights issue. I know not everything made in China is bad. I love the way the stitching and leather comes together on a coach the quality. But as I was doing the rounds on my Amnesty International site, I thought about this as well.
    Human Rights.
    Thanks so much for a very informative post! I want to read up on that book you mentioned.
  12. err I mean the documentary. China Blue.
  13. As some have stated, a LOT of companies piece together their product in China and Coach is no different. Outsourcing labor is a very cost effective option for most companies. Now, Coach leather and signature and fabrics for the bags are all made in other countries, mainly the US. It is just pieced together in China. Coach still has quality standards and gladly backs any Signature bags with a 3-5 year warranty and Leather bags with a 5-7 year warranty for the stitching binding and hardware. All Coach asks is that you pay a minimal shipping fee to the Distribution center in Jacksonville Florida of 20 dollars and it will be shipped back to your house! :smile: Coach does have standards, and they gladly meet them even with producing goods in China. After all they are a corporation that is looking for a maximum profit from the cost of production!
  14. Thank you very much, this clarified a lot for me!
  15. I disagree. Even considering country of origin, the bulk of what anyone pays for a luxury bag is for the luxury label, not for workmanship, materials or country of origin. Making bags in Asia is done simply out of corporate greed. Although they can make profits with the bags at semi-reasonable prices (as far as luxury goods go) and have them made in the US or Europe, they prefer to maximize profits at the cost of human rights.

    That doesn't mean that I am innocent in encouraging this behaviour, as I sometimes buy Coach products. But the more I think about it, the angrier it makes me. Instead of companies helping to bring workers wordwide UP in their standard of living, companies that are still manufacturing in the US are trying to bring their workers DOWN to compete with workers in other countries. It is unconscienable and is wreaking havoc with our domestic economy, too.