As consumers, we seldom ponder all the steps that go into making a product. When we pick up one of our favorite items from the store, we hardly ever think about how many pieces were used, how many hours were spent, or how much thought was put into each painstaking detail. All too often, we forget to recognize the symphony that is modern-day manufacturing – the sourcing, the people working tirelessly behind the scenes, and the sheer amount of blood, sweat, and tears poured out to bring someone’s vision to life.
As a designer, I value quality American manufacturing because I tend to think about where the product was made, how many individual pieces were used, and the number of people involved in making it. My most popular handbag is the Sorella and has a total of 42 pieces included. One would never know that this modern-day work of art took so many pieces unless you took apart the bag. The average t-shirt only has 4 pieces (just to put things into perspective). Although you can only see the luxurious exterior when you pick it up, the interior is comprised of several elements and underneath its leather lies fine fillers and foam to create my collection’s signature shape and structure.
The more pieces, hours and quality artisans it takes to create an item the more money it should cost. We should take a second look at the things we buy and the companies we buy from. Making sure they have ethical practices and aren’t just charging a name for their brand logo.
It’s only when we begin thinking this way that we can become more humble about the production lifecycle of our most treasured items (and of our more common ones for that matter). Perhaps taking the time to consider these things would influence consumers to rethink how their money is spent – opting for the finer things in life instead of settling for the cheapest knock-off.
Lauren Cecchi is the founder of Lauren Cecchi NY. With Maker’s Row she launched her first line of luxury handbags.