Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Thailand, the land of a thousand polyster garments

One thing that hasn't changed in SE-Asia for more than 30 years is the relentless use of polyster. In fact, it's maddeningly hard to find anything that's not 100% plastic, from shirts to shoes. Thai silk? If you buy a 'silk' tie here, you're most likely buying rayon or straight up polyester (which is actually very similar in feel, 'Thai' silk having a rougher and cheaper feeling in hand than you'd expect).

from The Nation:


The survey conducted by Cotton USA found that Thai and British consumers were less concerned about the type of textile used in the clothing. Only 29 per cent of the Thais surveyed said they often look at the fabric label when purchasing clothes, whereas 65 per cent of Chinese consumers carefully examine the fabric label.


I'm surprised even 29 percent look at the label, except out of misguided belief that there is some functional difference between types of synthetics. It's all brand driven, with little variation in style and almost none in quality. Price tracks brand, however, and there can be huge differences in price depending on where you shop for essentially the same goods.

This is one of those tricks that Thai cosnumers can't seem to figure out. For all the tacky unbridled greed and consumerism here, the mentality really remains at the kindergarten level in terms of skills of discernment.