The Internet-based fashion brand Lativ — which had previously marketed itself as a made-in-Taiwan brand — recently angered consumers with its decision to move some of its production lines abroad, triggering a consumer backlash.
Since its founding about five years ago, Lativ has marketed itself as a fashion brand that aimed to help the ailing local textile industry, as most of its goods were manufactured in Taiwan. The Internet fashion outlet also attached a “Made in Taiwan” tag to its products.
Recently, however, many of Lativ’s customers noticed that this label was being used less frequently and raised the issue with the company.
Lativ issued a statement on its Web site on Thursday stating that since 2010, it had moved some of its production to China, Vietnam and Indonesia. The statement said that higher costs and the limited production capacity of Taiwan’s textile industry were the reasons behind the overseas move.
“If you only purchase ‘made in Taiwan’ products, then we sincerely suggest that you do not place an order with us,” the statement said.
However, Lativ’s decision has angered customers, with many vowing to boycott the brand.
“Of course Lativ can choose its customers, and as a consumer, I can choose which brand of clothing I buy,” a Facebook user named Gil Chen said. “The quality [of Lativ’s products] is not as good anymore, so, goodbye, have a safe trip.”
“Why are we buying Lativ? Because we thought Lativ could help keep jobs in Taiwan’s textile industry, so that grandma could have a job,” wrote Claire Hong, another Facebook member. “Now that Lativ is making money, it’s firing the grandma, so it’s time for us to fire Lativ.”
Hong was referring to a Lativ advertising campaign that showed how it insisted on keeping its entire production process in Taiwan to help local garment factories stay open and provide employment for senior workers.
Originally, garment tags also said that the entire production process was completed in Taiwan and thanked the buyer for supporting Lativ’s efforts to help the country’s textile industry.
“I have no problem buying stuff that’s made in China or in Southeast Asia, and I do it all the time,” another blogger called Zen wrote. “The problem with Lativ is that it has reached sales figures of NT$4 billion [US$135,000,000] a year because it advertised itself as a ‘made in Taiwan’ brand with some touching stories.”