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Manufacturing Location Discussion (from Line Release Toggles)
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bluhdow

May 15, 2019, 5:05 PM
Post #1 of 21 (1141 views)
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Manufacturing Location Discussion (from Line Release Toggles) Can't Post

hjumper33 wrote:
I dont really know how to reply to people that complain about squirrel and where they make their gear.

In your opinion, why isn't that location more transparent to the end user? Or is it and I'm not seeing it?

This is not a critique, or accusation, or complaint. Just an observation and a question.

edit for thread title ~TA


(This post was edited by TomAiello on May 16, 2019, 2:57 PM)

hjumper33
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May 15, 2019, 5:44 PM
Post #2 of 21 (1127 views)
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bluhdow wrote:
hjumper33 wrote:
I dont really know how to reply to people that complain about squirrel and where they make their gear.

In your opinion, why isn't that location more transparent to the end user? Or is it and I'm not seeing it?

This is not a critique, or accusation, or complaint. Just an observation and a question.

A fair question. So as far as I know, every squirrel product is stamped/labeled/whatever “Made in the squirrel division of parapex”. A quick google shows the parapex factory is ozones main factory, located in vietnam. Ozone actually has a whole page with pictures, and you can even take a factor tour.

https://ozone-uk.com/ozone-factory/

What extra steps do you think squirrel should take, or are taking to hide anything? Does any other manufacturer label the country of production on their product in a different way?

Squirrel came on the market and quickly took an enormous share of multiple base related industries. People that don’t like that will look for any negative that they can. Some obviously see the production site of the gear as a negative, why would squirrel plaster this information around more voluntarily? I’m pretty sure squirrel doesn’t lie about where their stuff is made, or refuse to tell people.

They also don’t blast “made in the ozone factory” all over everything either, though that’s a name with a pretty decent reputation in the ram air parachute world.

AntoineLaporte

May 16, 2019, 3:38 AM
Post #3 of 21 (1058 views)
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hjumper33 wrote:
What extra steps do you think squirrel should take, or are taking to hide anything? Does any other manufacturer label the country of production on their product in a different way?

Yes all other manufacturer are writing the actual country, not the name of the factory:
Made in whatevercountryitis

Atair: Made in Slovenia
PF: Made in Slovenia
Intrudair: Made in Slovenia
AdrenalinBase: Made in France
Apex: Made in US

I'm actually pretty sure it's illegal in France at least to not write the country name of the production, I do not remember seeing any other product without.

bluhdow

May 16, 2019, 7:43 AM
Post #4 of 21 (1031 views)
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hjumper33 wrote:
What extra steps do you think squirrel should take, or are taking to hide anything? Does any other manufacturer label the country of production on their product in a different way?


I don't think I am in a position to fairly comment on another manufacturer's business practices, so I will respectfully decline to answer here. (I've done it in the past, and in retrospect should not have, so I'm trying to learn from my mistakes.)

Apex BASE is pretty open about where our gear is built to the point of encouraging jumpers to come visit the shop, see our operation, and meet our staff. We're quite proud of our USA manufacturing and the team we've put together, as we feel it contributes to the quality and consistency of our products. It's probably not super important to everyone, but it's super important to us, so we like to talk about it.

hjumper33
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May 16, 2019, 12:31 PM
Post #5 of 21 (1001 views)
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Here’s an ozone Paraglider label from France with no country of origin. I’m pretty sure they sell a few of these in France a year. Does PF actually print made in slovenia on their suits? Does the apex label say where the gear was built on it? Real question, I don’t know. I still have an old PF track suit and can’t find a country of origin on it.

If the gear is safe and well made, should people care? Do you not have an iPhone because it’s built in China? It’s not like it’s a sweat shop, it’s a state of the art factory with all the newest and coolest tech in sewing of parachutes. If there were general outrage after the 6 years now that squirrel has existed and continued to grow, I think the market would show that. I wonder what percentage of market share squirrel has in wingsuits, containers, canopies and accessories at this point. It’s certainly not getting smaller.

Shitty gear can come from any country, so can good gear.


(This post was edited by hjumper33 on May 16, 2019, 12:31 PM)
Attachments: 593D6147-B009-4D49-B8FF-E7CB113D70E2.jpeg (952 KB)

TomAiello

May 16, 2019, 12:38 PM
Post #6 of 21 (997 views)
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I can go dig through some labels, but I know for sure that the Atair labels give a full address (street, city, country) on them.

I'm pretty sure that the CR labels give a CR address, rather than the address of the actual manufacturing facility that makes the gear, but I'd have to check that to be sure.

I'm not sure what other labels have.

TomAiello

May 16, 2019, 12:47 PM
Post #7 of 21 (989 views)
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hjumper33 wrote:
Shitty gear can come from any country, so can good gear.

Very true.

There's no need to be overly sensitive about the manufacturing location, and no reason to assume that someone talking about it is making some kind of attack.

I don't think that "made in America" is inherently any better or worse than "made in Slovenia" or "made in Vietnam." If you say that Apex gear is made in the USA, I don't read that as some kind of attack on Apex, or their gear. Why then would saying that Atair canopies are made in Slovenia be an attack on Atair, or their quality?

AntoineLaporte

May 16, 2019, 1:00 PM
Post #8 of 21 (981 views)
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hjumper33 wrote:
Here’s an ozone Paraglider label from France with no country of origin.

Actually you are right, in France the made in is not mandatory.
But if the manufacturer decide to put it the law says it has to be not confusing. Of what I read it has to be a country, but laws are so complicated that I cannot be sure of anything...

bluhdow

May 16, 2019, 2:08 PM
Post #9 of 21 (970 views)
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hjumper33 wrote:
If the gear is safe and well made, should people care?

Some people choose to support (relatively) local businesses for a lot of valid reasons, all else being equal.

hjumper33
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May 16, 2019, 2:10 PM
Post #10 of 21 (969 views)
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AntoineLaporte wrote:
hjumper33 wrote:
Here’s an ozone Paraglider label from France with no country of origin.

Actually you are right, in France the made in is not mandatory.
But if the manufacturer decide to put it the law says it has to be not confusing. Of what I read it has to be a country, but laws are so complicated that I cannot be sure of anything...

Let this be a lesson to you to never question a moderator on an online forum. Your ban will only be for 15 minutes because I’m in French Polynesia, and it seems like a nice place. Ive heard you sew in your van. If this is true, I hope you correctly label any other country you’ve done work on a suit in. I’d hate to think there is a law breaker on this website!

PS If anyone can post a label from one of Antoine’s suits that doesn’t say “made in France” on it, ill send you a dollar.

hjumper33
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May 16, 2019, 2:12 PM
Post #11 of 21 (965 views)
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bluhdow wrote:
hjumper33 wrote:
If the gear is safe and well made, should people care?

Some people choose to support (relatively) local businesses for a lot of valid reasons, all else being equal.

A fair point. Your ban will only be 5 minutes due to your fringe involvement with the continued production of the “multi”. Laugh

TomAiello

May 16, 2019, 2:39 PM
Post #12 of 21 (955 views)
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bluhdow wrote:
hjumper33 wrote:
If the gear is safe and well made, should people care?

Some people choose to support (relatively) local businesses for a lot of valid reasons, all else being equal.

I'd honestly rather support people I like than people who happen to live near me. Location isn't really one of my criteria. Quality and price are, but what I think of the people involved is almost as important to me.

As an example (and because they aren't part of this brand war), I like buying Atair products because I think that Stane and Andrej are very good people, and I appreciate them. I don't actually care where they live.

As an aside, here's an article from a website that I read regularly about the "buy local" movement generally: https://fee.org/...less-as-buying-tall/


As another aside, I'm going to try to figure out where to split this thread off and move the discussion of production locations out of Technical and into General...give me a bit to try to sort that out.


(This post was edited by TomAiello on May 16, 2019, 2:41 PM)

TomAiello

May 16, 2019, 2:41 PM
Post #13 of 21 (953 views)
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Now I totally want to get one of Antoine's suits and install a label that says "made in a van, down by the river."

TomAiello

May 16, 2019, 2:58 PM
Post #14 of 21 (942 views)
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I split this off the thread discussing line release toggles, and moved this part to General.

There are several more posts in there, but because of the way they are threaded, I won't be able to keep them together in one thread. I'll see if I can replicate them into this one and then just trash the originals.

TomAiello

May 16, 2019, 3:00 PM
Post #15 of 21 (940 views)
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Here's another post of mine that was in that thread:

hjumper33 wrote:
I dont really know how to reply to people that complain about squirrel and where they make their gear. Does this happen in the paragliding/speedflying forums to ozone? Should squirrel undercut every manufacturer by 30% and destroy the industry?

I think that it's important to differentiate between complaint and observation.

If we view geographic arbitrage as automatically negative, we're being pretty short sighted. Taking an observation that something is manufactured in an area with lower labor costs as an attack on that product is kind of leaping to conclusions.

If I have a few minutes, I'll write up some general thoughts and post them in another forum, but remembering that labor is the primary determinant of build quality, manufacturing in a location with lower labor costs ought to create higher quality at the same price point (or equal quality at a lower price point, or lower quality at a much lower price point). That's a basic truth in manufacturing, but it's definitely true in soft goods manufacturing--that's why we don't see clothing being made at Western European wage rates very often, for example.

You can't see it but I'm kind of shaking my head here. It's like the guy who got all up in arms about a video posted (years ago) with a guy shooting while flying. He automatically assumed that anyone seeing it would have a negative impression of the guy who was using a firearm, and that anyone who commented on it was attacking the guy who was doing the shooting. Obviously, I'm very anti-firearms, so in my case perhaps that was justified, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who actually like guns, and viewed it as a positive.


There were two more follow on posts (one from me, one from Charley) to that thread, but they were just quips about long delivery times from various manufacturers, so I haven't bothered replicating them.


(This post was edited by TomAiello on May 16, 2019, 3:01 PM)

TomAiello

May 16, 2019, 7:33 PM
Post #16 of 21 (880 views)
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This is an interesting article I read a while back that relates to manufacturing in Asia, and why it was the best choice for one business.

https://blog.tortugabackpacks.com/made-in-china/

bluhdow

May 17, 2019, 10:10 AM
Post #17 of 21 (763 views)
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I understand, basically, the macro argument against buying local. But in my experience the philosophy of "support people you like, regardless of location" more frequently aligns with buying local than not. Obviously there are exceptions as you've pointed out, but when I think of people I like whom I would choose to support...most of them don't live in Asia (some actually do).

Onshoring is a thing, and there are arguments to be made for and against it, but the fact that it exists suggests that there are advantages to local manufacturing that aren't as easy to quantify as COGS and MSRP.

There are other cases to be made for buying local as well. Environmental arguments come to mind, but I'm about to go skydive so I don't think I'm allowed to bang that drum at current.

TomAiello

May 17, 2019, 11:34 AM
Post #18 of 21 (746 views)
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bluhdow wrote:
I understand, basically, the macro argument against buying local. But in my experience the philosophy of "support people you like, regardless of location" more frequently aligns with buying local than not. Obviously there are exceptions as you've pointed out, but when I think of people I like whom I would choose to support...most of them don't live in Asia (some actually do).

Who they are individually definitely plays a lot larger for me that where they live or what language they speak.

A lot of Americans (fewer now, but still many) have historically viewed "made in Eastern Europe" as a synonym for "cheap, low quality", which is generally not terribly accurate at this point. People can still throw it around as an attack on various manufacturers (Atair, Phoenix Fly and Intrudair, for example, are all in places we've historical viewed as "eastern" europe), but the way to disarm that is to discuss actual specifics of the gear--not to try to deny the geography of where it's built.

Now, if we're talking about gear made in France, by people speaking French, and measuring things in metric...that's where I personally draw the line. Tongue

icarusfx99

May 17, 2019, 12:35 PM
Post #19 of 21 (729 views)
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TomAiello wrote:
Now, if we're talking about gear made in France, by people speaking French, and measuring things in metric...that's where I personally draw the line. Tongue

I'm glad you referenced the French, and French speaking, else you'd be looking to be limited to gear from the US, Burma, or Liberia...Laugh

TomAiello

May 17, 2019, 5:18 PM
Post #20 of 21 (688 views)
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I'm definitely going to start looking at gear from Liberia. They use a proper system of measure there?

AntoineLaporte

May 18, 2019, 11:00 AM
Post #21 of 21 (611 views)
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Chinese are creating factories in Ethiopia.
You should have a look there Tongue


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