Quality in international clothing supply chains: cost versus quality
Building on a series of earlier studies of the relationship between quality and international clothing supply chains, this paper focuses on the role of independent test houses in order to further explore the tensions between cost and quality imperatives operating in the process of internationalisation. The paper, using qualitative data derived from semi-structured face-to-face interviews, first establishes a theoretical perspective on the position of testing and the test house in the supply chain, before turning to an examination of the cultural attributes of test houses, retailers and manufacturers. This approach allows for an assessment of the value accorded to quality issues. The paper concludes by stressing the dominance of the cost imperative.