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Discussion in 'Other Chatter' started by NoName, Feb 23, 2017.
Not sure where it's produced but Montane are a British company.
I get the idea of using BCUK as a UK forum to promote good quality UK produced bushcraft, outdoor and other goods to protect UK crafts, jobs etc but I am curious as to why you think it is appropriate to use a UK forum to promote products from some other countries rather than others?
If the point behind this thread is to encourage people to buy good quality kit, designed and made locally by locally owned businesses (or ideally an individual artisan or cooperative group) then I get it but randomly prescribing the list of countries makes this a rather meaningless exercise. I have plenty of good quality locally produced outdoor clothing and kit acquired on my travels in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa (all countries with strong historic ties to the UK) and elsewhere such as Mongolia - is this kit and the people who made it somehow less worthy than comparable stuff and workers from Romania or the USA?
If this thread is really about not liking stuff being manufactured in China and elsewhere in the Far East then it would be better to say so explicitly rather than drawing up a random list of countries you do like stuff from. Bear in mind that not all stuff produced in the Far East is poor quality tat and that it is not just established businesses that outsource work (and potentially jobs) to the Far East.
There are plenty of jobs being created by people setting up small new businesses designing innovative outdoor (and other) products which create jobs in the UK (and presumably the other countries on your list) which rely on low cost manufacturing in China and elsewhere to get to market. It would be great uf all the manufacturing as well as the design and marketing etc could be done in the UK but that is not always realistic once you get beyond the high quality and expensive work done by artisans including many of the makers in this forum.
If this thread is really about protecting the environment, workers safety and rights then perhaps a list of companies that have (and properly enforce) strict ethical policies to protect those rights both for their own workers and those of subcontractors wherever they are the world would be more appropriate.
If this is a general anti-globalisation issue then perhaps we should boycott goods from countries whose governments have policies which prejudice small local businesses elsewhere in the world. FWIW, the Netherlands is currently #4 on the Oxfam worst offending tax haven list - the corporate tax structure in the Netherlands is notorious for providing a tax haven for multinational corporations enabling them to avoid paying local taxes and undercut local businesses elsewhere in the world.
Sorry for the directness but once you go beyond using BCUK to promote UK products to preserve UK jobs it starts to get complicated!
@nomad64 while I agree there's definitely blurred lines as to promote British vs rest of first world I think (and this is my presumption) that rather than (just) local, people are often just wanting smaller, artisan maker's and smaller manufacturers where workers are cared for, products are perfect and made with pride and care. Thus producing and enduring product that's a joy to use or just look at.
As to the far east: I think most are aware that China doesn't have our best interest at heart. If you don't think they're making subsidised iPhones, cameras etc to steal the intellectual property and destroy the western manufacturering you're way off, and they'll even enslave their our people and destroy their own country's ecosystem to do it.
I work for a UK company that produces IP. One of our primary markets is the cores uses in iPhones and tablets.
You are talking conspiracy theory stuff and are wildly wrong. It simply isn't worth their while to 'steal IP'. I can't explain in detail with examples why you are so wrong, because I'm not allowed to do so (company confidential and all that. Please just accept that it just isn't worth their while to do so.
Sure, Chinese firms will rip off designs (as do firms in other countries, see Zenimax vs Facbook). But as far as advanced chip IP goes, it simply isn't worthwhile. When they try to do so (and attempts have been made in the past by small companies), they don't get the support required to get the cores up and running. The manufactured devices are unreliable and fail.
It is borderline xenophobic to say this, and totally non-PC, but I have wasted quite a lot of money over the years buying things made in 'low wage countries' that do not last as intended.
Hosehold things mainly and to my garage workshop.
When I did the more dangerous type of trekking, I wanted to be as certain as possible the equipment did not fail, so I bought primarily Swedish and then European, except made in East Germany and Soviet Union ( bad experiences with substandard goods)
Yeah in the long run better bang for Buck!
I love my gear thats 20+ years old....establised brands and made in Europe or USA.
I foolishly threw away my dad's old Fjällräven 2 man tent ( bought by him -71 or -72) when we moved to Cayman, thinking I would never need it again.
I kept the tarp I had custom made in Czech Republic so that is what we use, but being waterproofed canvas it is heavy.
I had a knife/ ax combo (Soviet) when I was in my teens, doing my first solo fishing trips. POS pot metal, needed sharpening every time I used it.
Dad joked with me and said it was made from melted down WW2 debris, hence the weird metal. Not made from Krupp steel, that was for sure!
The knife had a nice horn handle though.
Most of my stuff is close to 30 years old. What is newer is because the old stuff broke or wore out.
I have also less stuff than in the past as I had to learn to do without as I can not carry so much anymore.
I just bought an Optimus multifuel thingy ( guess it is made in PRC..) hand delivered from Canada tomorrow.
Please strike off the list anything with a YKK Zipper. Obviously Japanese products should be singled out for their inferior quality.
Also, any manufacturer that purchases steel from India etc.
Honestly, while this list may have good intentions, I find it deeply flawed thinking that certain countries have an assumed higher quality than others and borderline racist that those outside Europe or North America are either incapable or unwilling of producing high quality items.
Japanese products today are fantastic, but people of my age or older remember when they produced low quality tat.
I am yet to see a Chinese made product of a better quality than the eqvivalent product from "our" countries.
Please give me an example as I am very happy to change my mind and save some money!
I have West German made stainless steel pots and pans, Fissler
Blemish free ( discolourations, rust) after more than 34 years.
2 years ago we bought a PRC made set from IKEA, a company that specify in detail all aspects of the goods.
Rust spots, deep oxide areas.
My second last, very expensive phone, made in the same country, lasted less than 3 years. Battery shorted and fried electronics ( what service point told me).
Maybe that is why the workers commited suicide? Not because they are overworked and underpaid, but because they are forced to produce good looking goods with dodgy quality?
Old Nokia I had now for 15 plus years still holds charge and works.
I am on my third tablet in less than 10 years.
Outdoor BBQ's - i can write a book there!
Maybe they can so why do they not?
The only thing Indian I use is their superior tea. Best in the world!
Racial undertones? Not from me, 85 % of my customers and most of my friends are of a different skin tone and eye shape than me. I even like people from Finland, which is amazing as I have spent most of my life in Sweden!!
Equipment for trekking in the Nature ( I refrain from using the word Bushcraft) MUST last and work. MUST be of high quality.
Imagine if the tent stitching breaks when you are in a snowstorm or a nice genle rain storm. Or the fancy cooking system starts leaking. Or the soles of your boots delaminate while you are 30 miles from nearest town.
Chances are you die, simple as that.
I'm not quite sure of the point you are making but if you are suggesting that the Chinese have a congenital inability to reliably stitch clothing or shelters together or make decent footwear, it is puzzling how some of the many ethnic groups who inhabit the PRC have been living for millennia as nomadic herdsmen on the Tibetan plateau (in its geographical rather than political sense), in conditions at least as harsh as a Scandanavian winter.
I believe it can also get a bit chilly in Manchuria and suspect that they don't just wear badly made pyjamas, coolie hats and flip flops during the winter there!
For more useful information about Chinese people and definitely not being a rascist, over to Father Ted!
It is not about the Chinese per se, but the factory conditions, rapid turnover of products, poor quality control, corners cut etc. You know just like British Leyland in the 70s.
It seems that that British car workers perform much better when managed by people from Asia - Land Rover was a basket case under UK public and private control, followed by German and US ownership and it wasn't until Mr Tata bought it that it became a world beater again - albeit sadly not now making vehicles that I would have any interest in owning. Japanese owned car plants elsewhere in the UK also dispel the myth that Brits can't build cars.
Even Volvo is now prospering under Chinese ownership after Ford made a mess of it.
The current wave of cheap Chinese imports is just a continuation of the process started 250 years ago with the industrial revolution when mass produced factory goods made in appalling conditions swamped the domestic and overseas markets with goods that while not as good as hand crafted wares were cheap and good enough.
What is different is that much of the stuff that is being imported is made to a specification and price point and subject to quality controls mandated by clients in the UK. If they go too cheap or skimp on the QC then they only have themselves to blame.
I have some sympathy in the OPs (albeit rather hamfisted) idea of creating a database of genuine artisan manufacturers but once you move away from real hand crafts made in a small business by people with a direct stake in that business it all becomes a bit complicated. Am I seriously expected to boycott a UK business which employs people in the UK and buy stuff from a US or Romanian competitor because a percentage of the UK company's goods are made (possibly to meet a need for increased production which cannot be supported in the UK) in a country not on an arbitrary list?
Judging millennia of Chinese, Indian and other Asian crafts, culture and products (and some of the fascinating nomadic and other peoples who live there) on the basis of some of the low grade stuff they produce makes about as much sense as judging the UK on basis of the Austin Allegro (I have in laws responsible for that and other BL dross) or dismissing the Sami culture because you don't like ABBA!
Wow some serious hate here!
Lot's of people here just dont want to come out of their comfort zone.
Read my previous comment, that it is about giving local employment and building up craft skill again.
But for me, I am out of this Forum.
If one stands up here for conservation, work ethics and other views then one is smacked by some particular individuals.
I am out in the Woods, I tried....
See ms to be happening more and more on here
too many seem to want to twist harmless threads to their own end
seems pretty pointless to me
Who is talking about cars?
That Whole industry is a total different discussion....and industry
I meant crafts involving bushcraft gear.
Post is rude and very insulting.
No "hate" intended, I was simply challenging your logic in encouraging forum members to support stuff made in countries on an arbitrary list and by implication avoid buying stuff made in others.
FWIW, I have a friend in the UK who designs and makes high quality, niche outdoor clothing which AFAIK is currently all made in the UK although they also sell some non-UK made kit through their website. I would be very upset if people on this forum were encouraged to boycott her products because it failed to pass the UK made purity test either now or because at some point in the future she decided to outsource some of the production overseas.
I have another friend in South Africa who designs and manufacturers high quality, small volume camping kit - again, I would be upset to find that forum members were encouraged to boycott his products.
I don't think anyone would object to a list of artisan makers from anywhere in the world but drawing up an arbitrary list of countries which it is OK to buy stuff from and boycotting stuff from others is, IMHO a dangerous way to go.
Thanks for your opinion, I for one will now sleep better knowing it...
I was responding not to you but to Laurentius, who had referred to British Leyland in the 1970s - the nadir of British manufacturing.
Fortunately due to investment from the very countries that you appear to be keen to discriminate (Japan, India and China) thousands of UK jobs have been preserved and created in a resurgent automotive industry.
Sadly, employees of Vauxhall in the UK may not have such a rosy future as ownership of their company passes from a US company to a French one - both countries on your "approved list".
As I said before, once you get beyond an artisan blacksmiths working in his own smithy, it starts getting complicated.