Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
The Tuscan textile city of Prato and surrounding areas boasts the highest concentration of Chinese population in "any administrative district outside China itself." According to author and journalist Silvia Pieraccini, there are 50,000 Chinese people in Prato, comprising about 30% of the population—and this is likely an underestimate because there are many undocumented illegal immigrants as well.
What do the Chinese immigrants do in Italy? Why, make clothes, of course:
All but a few are from around of Wenzhou, a port in south-east China, and are drawn to Italy by an industry created from scratch in less than 20 years. Pronto moda involves importing cheap fabric, usually from China, and getting it made up to order at breakneck speeds into high-fashion garments that are then sold with "made in Italy" labels.So next time you see a "Made in Italy" label on something, it could very well mean it was made of Chinese fabrics in a Chinese factory by a Chinese person—in Italy.
· Made in little Wenzhou, Italy: the latest label from Tuscany [Guardian]