"Fast fashion" supply chain encounters quality difficulties

Queuing into the store, lining up and trying out clothes, lining up for checkouts... This is the “whole event” when the international fashion retail chain giant H&M flagship store opened in China. However, at the beginning of the new year, the Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision recently announced the results of a batch of wool knitwear quality inspections. This "fast fashion" brand from Sweden once again entered the "quality black list."

According to incomplete statistics by the Economic Herald reporter, since 2008, H&M has been at least four times unqualified by the quality inspections of the industrial and commercial and quality supervision departments in many cities in China, and this time it is “falling horses” on fiber content projects. According to the information provided by the Herald reporter, the wool content of H&M's knitted sweater labelled by the sample was 38%, and the actual measured value was only 28%. The product was produced in China.

On the 1st, H&M China Regional Public Relations Manager Fu Xiongrong answered in an interview with the Herald’s reporter on the phone: “This is a factory error. We apologize to consumers for this. If you buy products that involve problems, you can return them unconditionally. ”

In the “quality blacklist”, H&M is not the only “regular guest”, and there is another famous “fast fashion” giant Spanish brand ZARA. ZARA, which entered the Chinese market in 2006, has been spotted for quality problems at least five times.

The “fast fashion” big names that are popular with young people are plagued by quality problems. Sun Yanyao, director of the Brand Research Center of Shandong University and a leading commentator on the report, was interviewed by the reporter on the 2nd. “Under the market competition environment, the possibility of the brand deliberately cutting corners and materials is very small. It is very likely that the commissioned foundry factory has emerged. Problems: With product prices negotiated, some OEMs may have chances to reduce the cost of raw materials, which will test the brand's monitoring system."

The first time it was taken off the shelf in recent years, H&M has expanded the Chinese market at an alarming rate. As of January 18, H&M had 88 stores in China. However, for Jinan, H&M can be described as late. It was not until the second half of last year that H&M officially entered its second store in Shandong Province.

On the 1st, the Herald reporter went to the H&M flagship store on the first floor of the Harmony Plaza in Jinan. When asked about the unqualified product sampling, the store manager said, “Our store was opened only on September 30 last year, according to this Judging by the number of qualified products, the goods were produced in June last year, so it is estimated that the stores are not sold."

Fu Xiongrong told the Herald reporter that “We received a rectification notice on January 5, and all the stores in China have already taken down the product on that day.” But when the Herald reporter asked about the number of products sold, H&M had business The reason for the secret was not answered. "The unqualified product detected this time is that the label's identity does not correspond to reality, so it will not cause harm to the human body. However, if consumers still have objections, they can return it." said Fu Xiarong.

The Herald reporter noted that the marked fiber content is inconsistent with the measured fiber content, and has repeatedly become the “culprit” causing the quality of some clothing brand products to be unqualified.

In May last year, a test report released by the Beijing Consumers Association showed that a ZARA product fabric label stated that "the cotton content is 75%, wool 20%, and polyester 5%." The actual test results showed that the cotton content was 68.2%; the wool content was only 10.6%, which was less than half of the label; the polyester fiber, that is, the polyester content was 15.7%, which was more than double the mark.

Ms. Wang, who works for a large clothing company in Shandong, told the reporter that “Since last year, due to high cotton prices, many apparel brands have increasingly used synthetic fabrics such as polyester to reduce costs.”

“We can responsibly say that despite the increase in raw material prices, H&M prefers to reduce profits and ensure product quality,” Fu said.

What are the differences between domestic and foreign standards?

In fact, H&M was caught in the “exceeding PH value” incident two years ago, in addition to the fact that the labeling was inconsistent with reality. In June 2010, the Shanghai Bureau of Quality Supervision issued an announcement saying that the PH value of a H&M knitted T-shirt was 8.5, and according to the domestic GB18401-2003 standard, the PH value of textile products was between 4.0 and 7.5, and H&M was obvious. Excessive standards.

“There are sometimes deviations between domestic and international standards. After the domestic PH value test was readjusted last year, the 8.5 test value is in line with the standard.” Fu Xiarong’s guide reporter explained.

Fu Xiarong’s “standard recall” refers to GB18401-2010 “National Basic Technical Specifications for Textile Products” issued by China on January 14, 2011. The specification was originally scheduled to be implemented in August 2011 and was later extended to August 1, 2012, when it will replace the current implementation of the GB18401-2003 standard. It is worth noting that the range of pH values ​​of textile products that will directly touch the skin in the new specification has been changed from 4.0-7.5 in the past to 4.0-8.5. An industry guide told reporters that because clothing used in the production process often use some acidic or alkaline chemicals, its residue may have a stimulating effect on human skin, so the need to detect the PH value. “After washing the clothes, they can generally improve the PH value very well. Taking into account China's water quality conditions and resource conservation and Other related requirements, without affecting the health of the new standard appropriately widened the pH range.” The above sources said. However, in November last year, the list of sampling unqualified products announced by the Wuhan City Administration of Industry and Industry showed that the H&M's men's casual trousers had a pH of 9.2, which was still higher by 0.7 according to the new standard.

The challenges of quality control The company's H&M, ZARA and other brands that have repeatedly encountered quality problems but are still popular all over the world are representatives of “fast fashion”.

"Fast fashion" is also called "Mc-Fashion" and is a new word created by the British "Guardian". Its prefix Mc is taken from the McDonald's, the founder of fast food culture. It means to have McDonald's style. Fast and affordable public fashion.

The business model of the “Fast Fashion” brand has always been the object of research and analysis by industry experts and domestic apparel companies.

Taking Spain's ZARA as an example, ZARA can be completed within 15 days from the design, production, and onto the shelves. This story was once called “The 15 Day Myth of ZARA” by Harvard Business Review. This new dress will then arrive in various stores around the world within 72 hours. The entire process of H&M's products from design to sales takes only 20 days.

It is understood that most of the products of H&M and ZARA are manufactured through OEM OEMs that are distributed throughout the world. Based on cost considerations, they also put most of their production in Asia.

After the frequent occurrence of quality incidents, the business model of the “fast fashion” brand has been repeatedly questioned. Especially for OEM products, while the shipment speed is increasing, it also brings great challenges to quality control. Is it because of poor control over foundry factories that leads to quality problems? H&M denied this.

“Our management of quality has always been very strict. H&M has more than 150 quality inspection engineers. We carry out more than 500,000 quality inspections every year in factories, external laboratories, or third-party testing organizations.” Fu Xiarong stated that H&M products A large number, a wide range of species, but also inevitably sparse, this time is the factory's mistakes. "We have internal communication with the headquarters."

“The West adopts credit management for OEM processing. Once the brand finds a problem at a foundry factory, it will cancel its partnership.” Sun Yuyao said.

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