Many parts of the shoes and boots that the luxury brand Louis Vuitton sells as “made in Italy” are in fact manufactured in the Transylvania town of Cisnădie, in central Romania’s Sibiu county, The Guardian reported.
Many parts of shoes, which sell for GBP 500 to GBP 1,000, are manufactured at the Somarest plant in Romania, but are afterward exported to France and Italy where they undergo the final assembly, including attaching the soles. This is how they qualify for a “Made in France” of “Made in Italy” label, in accordance with E.U. law. In the case of goods produced in more than one country, the “made-in” country is the one where the items underwent “the last, substantial, economically justified processing,” according to E.U. regulations quoted by The Guardian.
Unlike a French TV team in 2014, The Guardian reported from the Somarest plant and “can confirm that thousands of Louis Vuitton shoes leave their doors every week, complete with most details, apart from the soles,” the article reads. The company previously said only small parts are produced in Romania, The Guardian reported.
The items manufactured at the Romanian plant are molded and stitched by hand, as Louis Vuitton advertises them to be and the workers are trained on site.
Some 743 people are employed in Cisnădie and they are paid “average Romanian garment worker wages,” The Guardian reported, quoting a spokeswoman for the plant. They receive weekends off, pay for overtime and they work with non-toxic chemicals, according to the spokeswoman.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) established its first plant in Romania in Cisnădie in 2002 and added a second one in Avrig in 2009. The latter is where components for handbags and suitcases are made, The Guardian wrote.
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