Yes, although it is not explicitly written on their website. Prada is made in China. In its marketing, the company claims that they are manufacturing its items in Italy. In 2011, The Wallstreet Journal revealed that 20% of Prada’s luxury fashion items are manufactured in China.
Where is Prada Produced?
Prada is an Italian brand that is well-known in the fashion industry. This company has been around for more than 100 years. Prada is founded by an Italian designer, however, does it also mean that all of their items are “Made In Italy”? Most people think that all Prada products are manufactured in Italy, specifically their popular handbags. But as you read on, you will discover that Prada also manufactures in other countries.
Prada has production facilities in various countries. Although Prada is not the only company that is doing this strategy. Other companies such as Dolce & Gabanna, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry are also doing the same thing. The reason why production is done in other countries is that there are insufficiently skilled workers.
On their website, you can find that the “made in” information states that their products are created in Italy. Keep in mind that this is not totally false. Today, Prada has 6 clothing, 6 footwear, and 10 leather goods production sites that are located in Italy. Based on the website, they claim that they only have one industrial site that is located abroad. They are actually referring to their Church’s Factory Shop, a shoe plant located in Northampton.
Also, according to their website, a few of their sunglass models are created in Japan. However, the Wall Street Journal is telling a different story. According to the magazine, Prada has a wide network of outside partners that are manufacturing products for the company. In fact, Prada has a total of 480 external production partners that are included in their network and 20% of these industrial sites can be found outside of Italy.
In Vietnam, Prada has a production site that is manufacturing sneakers. This is because Vietnam is highly skilled in manufacturing shoes, particularly when it comes to the athletic shoe vertical. Turkey is producing their popular Miu Miu bag. Most often, you can find that most of their dresses and shirts are labeled with “Made in Romania”. Furthermore, the production of their handbags has received a lot of attention these days. For the past ten years, more and more customers reveal that their handbags come with a “Made in China” tag.
Why Manufacture in China?
You might be wondering why a lot of brands are outsourcing their products from China. Well, this is because of the technological and skill advancements in the production sites of China. For the last 30 years, several companies have been producing their items in China and have made large investments in qualitative manufacturing practices because of low labor costs. As a result, companies have well-established processes, modern plant setup, and technical expertise, not only for production but also for after-production processes such as quality control. Because of this, manufacturing companies in various niches were able to manufacture high-quality goods at low prices.
Today, we are seeing high-end luxury brands, such as Prada, moving their manufacturing to locations where they can get a cheaper price while keeping the same price on the items. This means that companies will be able to earn higher margins. Competitors should also do the same, if not, then they will have lower margins.
Aside from the low production cost, some countries such as China are offering export tax rebates to encourage foreign trade businesses. At first, they provide zero tax rates on exports but lately, they have increased them to 16%. However, despite the increase, companies can still maximize their profits since it is still much cheaper to export their products.
China has well-established livestock, making them one of the largest manufacturers of leather across the globe. Each year, China is able to produce approximately more than 6.2 billion square feet of leather. This is equivalent to more than 25% of the overall leather production of the whole world. On the other hand, Italy ranked 5th and can only manufacture approximately 1.5 billion square feet of leather every year.
The various types of leather that are manufactured in China are heavier and made of high quality since most of them come from bovine skin. So, since Prada is moving their production to China, then they can easily get more raw materials than in Italy, Leather is the primary material for producing their bags. Also, the luxury leather goods industry in China is developing rapidly. In fact, luxury leather goods such as shoes and bags were the fastest-growing items in China for the year 2021. It was able to obtain a growth rate of 60%.
Why Prada is Moving Manufacturing Back to Italy?
Apparently, Prada has been greatly criticized for using the “Made in Italy” tag when their products are manufactured elsewhere. Some politicians have been encouraging companies to be more transparent by letting their customers know where their items are created. In response, Prada decided to renovate their production sites in Italy to preserve their skills, boost technological advancement in the production processes and provide a safe working environment for their workers.
Four of their factories are named as “Garden Factories”. The aim here is to support the workers’ well-being while respecting nature. With this project, workers have the opportunity to interact while enjoying a green environment with large glass walls, roof gardens, synthetic dunes, trees, and various walkways.
Ultimately, it is true that Prada is manufacturing some of their items in China. In fact, there are some consumers that are posting photos of their handbags with “Made in China” tags. Aside from China, they also moved some of their production to other countries such as Romania, Vietnam, Turkey, and others. Nevertheless, Prada assures their customers that even if their products are manufactured in other countries, they still have the same high quality. However, Prada has its own manufacturing plant which is located in the UK and Italy. Furthermore, they also have an extensive network of production partners that are located all over the world.