The Story of Us! (apologies to Taylor Swift)
What Is Your Industry’s Greatest Flaw?
The garment industry does not listen! More specifically when it comes to trendy t-shirt, pants and jacket side of all garment things. Both the past and newer generations have always asked for one thing; a made in Canada product, manufactured and assembled with those workers in mind, fairly affordable, and accessible in the Canadian market. Is that asking far too much? Apparently so. Secondly, they continue to use non-recyclable polyester and non-degradable fabric. We do use cotton in Canada (Phillips, 2013).
I’ve talked with many consumers left disheveled and scruffy under pile of shirts, jackets and pants looking, nay, seeking the elusive Made in Canada sticker. Benjamin Cartwright tells me he’s not necessarily patriotic. He may not show up at a park or concert on Canada Day. But he does want to give the working guy a break in his own country. Ben was an online observer looking for such goods and I had met him at a golf and travel show in Toronto. Preening himself after demolishing a table of rag tag clothing, he drew back his hair over his forehead, and I remember him saying, “I just want a break. I’m tired of being a hypocrite in my own country. I just want a few more made in Canada shirts in a world where everything is already from overseas. There’s too much abuse of people in factories in some places”. I couldn’t agree more since studying international labour developments in third and developing world manufacturing centres.
Clothing Ahoy! From Around the World
Some people are not oriented to a label that says Gucci, Ralph Lauren, or George’s; made in China or Honduras, or Mauritius; made of polyester, or spandex, or rayon. In fact, some people are drawn to Jericho, Ethica, or Ludachris. Manufactured in Canada. They are made of cotton and organic cotton weaved from Canadian and American resources. The workers are within a decent working environment, and many belong to unions. But the real label people look for are not the names above, but on the clothing label that says “Made in Canada”. Not a label with a large red maple leaf that says “Made in China”, but an authentic Canadian manufactured product (Government of Canada, 2000).
Rebecca Morely entered the fray of a discussion regarding manufacturing in Canada and the idea of quality apparel. At Queen’s Park, Rebecca introduced me to a type of ad hoc assembly of researchers and assistants. It was time to gripe and plan as the holiday “buying” season was on the horizon, and Christmas gifts were preoccupying lunch breaks in the legislature.
“Never had a problem buying good solid clothing for the kids. Something that was durable, tough, scuff able (sic). You remember, Great Western Garments and other Canadian clothing. The grandchildren? Forget it. To cloth them would require imported armour as the clothing just won’t stand up like it used to”.
T’was a sign.
She didn’t want an imported shirt with Canadian iron on design, but a real, honest to goodness, 100% Canadian manufactured and made t-shirt. The abused t-shirt. The cool t-shirt. The not wicking t- shirt. The cotton t-shirt. Where do I find it?!!!(Urbankova,2018). Will somebody out there help me? So, I did. Did I wrap myself in a Canadian flag? Perhaps. But as a choice in the Canadian market, it is not easy to find. It is the adventures of Captain Markup of prices on Canadian wear, for that matter, most retailed textiles, that causes concern. Not for me. I look for sell offs, bulk, clearance sales, mutual deals, discounts, and partnerships. Based on trust and based on the stories we tell. They are out there, and I ‘ll find them, damn it. Oops, pardon the malediction, ah, cursing.
Give Me Canadian Clothes
We need clothes that will rot, effectively recycle, use as rags, and vanish into the abyss of compost as they have for years. No, the garment retailers do not listen enough (Norrington,2013). The retail industry is doing more than making a living…they are making a killing on imported and non-recyclable goods.
Balsom, Aly, Image is everything for a successful industry, Poultry World, 00325813, Apr2014, Vol. 169, Issue 4
T shirt Photo
Pile of Clothes Photo
“Hubby: ‘So I think I’ll clear out my wardrobe today…'” by HannahWebb is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
“The Canadian flag flyer over the Weber Group building in Kitchener” by Ken Whytock is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Ferna´ndez-Llamazares ,Alvaro & Cabeza, Mar, Conservation Letters, Rediscovering the Potential of Indigenous Storytelling for Conservation Practice, (May/June 2018), 11(3),PP. 1–12
Government of Canada, Competition Bureau Canada ,Guide to the Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations, Enforcement guidelines, September 2000
Jantsch, John, (n.d.) Duct Tape Marketing, Do People Know Your Story?
Norrington, Alison, May 2013, COMMUNICATION WORLD, Transmedia Research, Find your voice In our new economy of listening, respect for your audience and open dialogue are paramount. PP. 26-28
Phillips, Andrea, (May 2013) COMMUNICATION WORLD, Transmedia Strategy, Help your brand speak for itself, Three transmedia storytelling principles every communicator should know. PP. 19-22
Reid, Calvin, Publishers Weekly, (April 24, 2017), Storytelling, Innovation, and Digital Disruption At Pub Tech Connect, an eclectic mix of businesses discussed how to adapt and prosper in a perpetually changing marketplace, PP. 4-5
Smith, J. (n.d.). The Sitcom Cringe. Retrieved February 15, 2017, from http://www.inoveryourhead.net/2010/10/20/the-sitcom-cringe/
Urbankova, Tereza , Communication World, 07447612, Internal and External Communication Are Merging Are you prepared, Sep2018 http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.eztest.ocls.ca/ehost/detail/detail?vid=60&sid=1c8e0d12-a810-4d2e-af6b-a63e8198f1e2%40sessionmgr4006&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=131875399&db=a9h