Made in Lesotho?

Made in Lesotho

A few months ago, I bought a few golf shirts when I was in USA. I bought them over there mainly because there is such a huge selection, the quality is great, and the prices are far cheaper than back home.

So, imagine my suprise when I discovered that one of the shirts that I bought was made in Lesotho, just around the corner (in fact inside) South Africa. This leads to an interesting question. Why is is that I can buy clothing in USA that were made just around the corner for about half what it costs in South Africa?

Our textiles industry has a fascination with the imported Chinese clothing, and how the imports are affecting our textiles industry. However it baffels me that I can buy clothing basically made in South Africa for fall less than it costs to buy a similar product in South Africa. Something doesn’t make sense.

Can somebody please explain?

12 Responses to Made in Lesotho?

  • Simon says:

    If I understand your question properly then the answer is the following:

    South Africa has labour laws. Lesotho does not. Workers there earn near slave wages. Hence, Lesotho can manufacture garments more cheaply than we can.

  • Craig says:

    Thanks, but my question is why is a garment made in Lesotho cheaper to buy in USA than in SA?

    • deb says:

      I would think that a garment made in Lesotho would be more expensive in SA (south africa) because SA has labor laws and they want people in their country to purchase garments from places that have labour laws so they jack up the price of a garment made in an area that does not have labor laws…..so you don’t buy them?
      I just purchase my first clothing article made in Lesotho. I didn’t even know where that was so i looked it up. More reading led me to believe that Lesotho does not condone “sweat shops”. but i guess they do earn near slave wages?
      Gosh a person wants to do the right thing and now I’m not sure if i should have just past on this garment.
      i look at location and price and quality. i will buy american even though it costs more.

      • Craig Strachan says:

        Yeah, you are right. I believe that in USA you have to have the country of manufacture on the label, whereby it is not required in South Africa. But even with tariffs and protecting of local industry, it still amazes that it is cheaper to buy clothing in USA than in a country that is less than 2 hours flight from Cape Town, but I guess that is international commerce for you.

  • Cheryll Richter says:

    I bought clothes made in Lesotho at Choice Clothing and Fashion Express. Good quality, good price and still made to the correct sizes. Unlike the Chinese stuff that is made for midgets.
    The finishing off of the Lesotho garments and jackets are stunning. My mother bought a jacket at Woolworths made in Lesotho. I wish there was more available…

    • Craig says:

      Glad that some of the Lesotho clothing is being found in our stores, hope the pricing is as good as in the USA though.

      • Cheryll Richter says:

        I surely cannot complain about the price. A coat cost R550 at Woolworths….and it’s great quality….and my trousers, well they where marked down to R30 ….but I would have paid R100 for them. They will last forever.

  • Cheryll Richter says:

    Lesotho does not fall under SA Unions and SA Labour Laws…they are an independent country with their own laws. They only get financial help from the SA government.

  • Cheryll Richter says:

    I believe that we should support them and import a lot of clothing from them. Wish I had the capital, I think I would open a clothing business, if I had the right contacts. i would call it the Lesotho Connection….LOL

  • Charles says:

    I just came upon this page from googling, but the basic answer to your question is U.S. tariff regulations related to “development” in Lesotho: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Growth_and_Opportunity_Act

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