Coat of Many Countries

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As we live in a global economy we can no longer rely on the clothing labels promising a product made in Italy or elsewhere. Products are produced wherever the costs are the lowest whereas the quality stays the same or is even better. It is not surprising that the production of coats is no exception to this international trade phenomenon. A documentary video, which we have seen during the lecture of the international marketing class, shows impressively how international trade functions and how businesses and even nations are affected.

At the MAGIC Show in Las Vegas, where producers present their newest textiles and coat makes to a retailers audience, we have our first insight in the clothing industry. It is obvious which countries play the dominant role in the market. The United States and Italy no longer hold the global leader position anymore. China, India and other low wage countries have taken over the market. Additionally, the rules of production have changed. Nowadays, one single producer hardly ever produces complete coats. In fact, parts of a coat travel more than 60'000 miles and hundreds of hands touch it before it reaches the end customer. Utex, a major player in the coat market, has successfully followed that trend. It produces coats for the American market, which does not demand the highest but reasonable quality coats for low prices. By following the supply chain of Utex, the international entanglement in the coat market is impressively uncovered.

We start our journey in Paris, where the latest styles and materials are presented. Utex's managers use the opportunity to get inspired for their future coat models. Production of the coat, however, starts on the other side of the planet, in Australia. The world's best wool can be found in Australia, the major player of wool production in the global economy. About 6'000 miles away from Australia, the same wool is received by OCN Mills India, the biggest textile producer. Although India used to have...
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