I still remember the good all days when wearing "originals" in my poor old country was "a thing" and not only that you were in trend by doing that, but you also guaranteed yourself to maintain that trend of yours for a couple of years as the clothes and almost every product manufactured or branded by trusted countries was equal to quality. BUT are these companies still keeping pace on their quality with the increasing prices?
I don't think so... and here's one example.
Two summers ago when I was in Norway I bought myself some clothes from a big sports shop, particularly called XXL, which I really liked. Both the clothes and the shop, as it had almost anything in it. Now one piece from all of them was/is a t-shirt produced by Helly Hansen which is a Norwegian quality brand among similar other international ones like Columbia, The North Face, Under Armour and others. Usually when buying products from such companies you don't expect them to be cheap and you don't expect them to wear down in just one summer and throw them away.
Not in the case of my t-shirt. It was not cheap, but not too expensive either as I paid 500 NOK( about $55) on it, two summers ago, but it surely aged worse than a $5 one. I have had and still have from both the ranges, but this one lost his color that much that I almost look like a homeless guy who hasn't changed his clothes for a month when wearing it. Yeah, it's cotton made and it hasn't got any hole in it, but colors did vanished too soon from its surface, in my opinion. Situation that makes me ask myself are brands still backed by quality?.
Most of them no, in my opinion and I will explain why. This t-shirt for example is manufactured in Turkey, although the brand is a Norwegian one, and from what I know Turkey doesn't have a history in making high quality clothes. At least you can't compare it with Germany and it's good all days with Adidas. But I see Helly Hansen's point with choosing Turkey to manufacture their clothes: manufacturing price. I don't see their point though on why would you risk your brand's reputation with cheap quality products that are not actually cheap priced.
Unfortunately, it's not the only company though doing this things, it's just the one that got my attention lately, but almost all of them are selling brands nowadays rather than quality. Brands manufactured who knows where with cheap manufacturing prices and a cheaper quality than many years ago also when they used to do them on their own. Whether we're talking about clothes, cars gadgets or almost any other big names brands, quality is not that from two decades ago and it would probably never be again. It's our fault not theirs of course, because we keep on asking and demanding for more, but don't care that much anymore about the actual quality behind the brand and what are we paying for. We do that in my opinion because such companies have already gained our trust in the past and now they're betting on that past trust conquered when selling us more and more.
Now, you probably know the line: "shame on you if you fool me once, shame on me if you fool me twice" so Helly Hansen you won't fool my twice for sure. I do have to scramble a bit nowadays through brands when searching for the good ones, that last, to not get fooled and it's definitely a waste of time and a continual frustrations about various established quality brands, but I guess that's the benefits of being part of the consumption society. That which is destroying the planet and us with it on the process of evolution.
Thanks for your attention,