Thursday, 5 September 2013

Plan A for fashion - in case anyone wonders what plan A was

What was plan A?

27 June 2013 at 15:39

Why plan B 4 fashion? (or what was plan A?)

It used to be thought that

  • Fashion will be fashioned in the far east along with everything else from ships to computers.
    This wasn't really a thought based on statistics or such. Just an every-day observation that seemed inevitable until countries like South Korea and Japan got similar living standards to the UK and still had a lot more indiustry. How do they do it? Their governments didn't fiddle their exchange rates and are much more interested in industry.

  • European jobs could come from financial services & invisibles (invisible clothes for example),
    because we are so much better and cleaverer and smarter with all our sophistication (sarcastic).
    To be fair, the new middle class in the far east are suckers for Western brands because they represent something vaguely good, but it seems silly to rip them off by selling them sweatshop goods as a symbol of the free civilised west. The next generation will choose differently.

Since the banking crisis, banks have cut-back service jobs as have walk-in retailers.
The currency manipulation that made countries like the UK look rich in the 1980s-2000s now has to be reversed, so that more things can be made here again. Fashionistas might not be very interested in monetary policy, but it's a label for rigging exchange rates so that imports look cheap and there can be less inflation. An odd policy to keep in place for 30 years, but that was the policy. It's probably not on the syllabus at fashion college.

A compromise view is that posh things can be made in Europe but cheap things must be made in the far east for high street chain stores. But there are other niche-markets than posh. The shoes worn by ballroom dancers who dance after the political party conferences in Blackpool are often made in the UK and sold for lower prices than branded alternatives made in the far east. The problem is the cost of advertising a brand and distributing it on a high street, as well as manufacturing. Now that people are buying online and may be more savvy about brands, there is a chance to promote shoes made in the UK.

Western people were different to eastern people and should not poke their noses into corruption or bad government by rich elites (who could arrest any eastern people who poked nose). In the UK it's hard to know if any one person believed the first part of this, but it's easy to see that westerners did not want to poke their noses into the politics of Bangladesh or Paikistan or India or China.

More trade might lead to a trickling-down of wealth, of human rights, welfare rights & democracy  If not, it was thought to be post-colonial nose-poking to have an opinion.
It was not the business of facebook readers. It was the business of people getting very wealthy in the far east.

If western people are much the same as eastern people, and wealth usually needs a push to trickle-down to to most of us, then there are policies to sort out on the western side, because that is where the consumer money is as the moment. Maybe in a hundred years it will be in the east. In business, it is always good to build-up good will in case someone else is making the decisions in a few years' time! So my recommendation is to keep everyone happy by writing happiness tariff laws, leading to good will and happiness all-round.

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