Made in France

I recently watched a horrifying documentary on the clothes and fashion industry (The True Cost, Netflix) which should be obligatory watching for us all. Like many people in this part of France in terms of what we eat, I try to be very careful about buying locally grown, seasonal produce mainly from the local markets where we have got to know the producers and know that the amount we pay is what they get with no middle tier taking the profit or imposing restrictions on shape or size of their produce.

When it comes to what we wear however, it is true that I think less about where my clothes are made and who is making them or whether the money I spend is going directly to the producer or to a retailer or distributor. It is therefore reassuring that France and the French are way ahead of most countries on this one which probably stems from the pride and trust that most French people have in their country and their industry. There is a big emphasis here on buying goods that are made in France and there is even an national campaign called ‘Made in France’ (I don’t know why the campaign is titled in English however!) which is a merchandise mark indicating that a product is planned, manufactured and packed in France.

This very recognizable badge guarantees that the product you are buying is made, produced and sold while complying to French labour and employment laws which are very regulated in France. It means that when you buy something with this label you know that women and children have not been exploited in the production process, that they are paid a fair wage, have strict hours, a decent and safe working environment and the rights to holidays, maternity leave and sick pay.

Of course, products made here in France are therefore often more expensive to make and therefore to buy than those shipped in from other parts of the world but, if this means we all buy less and think more before we buy, it can surely only be a good thing.

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