November 14, 2007

Another kind of fakes

“If you actually put it on and wear it, it is different from cotton,” said Dennis Wilson, Lululemon’s founder, chief product designer and board chairman. “That’s my only test of it,” said Mr. Wilson, known as Chip.
There has been a great deal of discussion on blogs and in the mass media lately about copy right infringement when it comes to fashion. Obviously, we as designers and as consumers still care about authenticity and originality (and the bottom line) in terms of design features and other VISIBLE forms of quality and truth.

But how much do we care about performance and functionality as factors in quality? I was thinking about that today as I read this article in the New York Times today about how Lululemon clothes in their VitaSea line actually don't have any seaweed in them (instead of the 24% that's claimed on the government mandated tags). I didn't even know you can make clothes out of seaweed, but that wasn't the point really. I just think it's interesting that no one at the company tested the claims of the manufacturer, there is no one from the government who makes sure the tags don't lie and that companies can't just make whatever claims they want or believe to be true, and the consumer, when asked about it in the article, simply responds:
I couldn’t care less [that it's not made of seaweed] because it is so comfortable.
Isn't it funny? What is the point of buying something for the "feel-good messages" if they AREN'T EVEN TRUE? It's not like I really care if seaweed cotton blends wick moisture better than polyester cotton blends...I just like to get what I pay for...

Is that too much to ask?

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