There is an article in today’s NYTimes about Italy’s artisan economy and the new Reguzzoni-Versace Law that will take affect soon, which will require companies go through a minimum number of manufacturing steps in order to use the “Made in Italy” label. Luciano Barbera is one of the supporters:

When describing the ills of his businesses, Mr. Barbera tends to focus on one issue: the “Made in Italy” label. For the last decade, he says, a growing number of clothing designers have been buying cheaper fabric in China, Bulgaria and elsewhere and slapping “Made in Italy” on garments, even if those garments are merely sewn here.

Creating rules for use of the “Made in Italy” label will probably not help the economy or the image of Italian made goods, but it certainly will not hurt – many nowadays have goods manufactured overseas, and then import them into Italy to have a final step done in order to use the tag.

Instead of pushing for new laws though, I think Barbera’s company should focus on educating customers on why their fabrics are better than their competitors. Many that I’ve handled are very nice, but until this article I did not know anything about their manufacturing process.

Continue reading more. Photo by Dave Yoder for The New York Times.