Made in Italy - Standard di Creazione (SDC)
Made in Italy. Those three words signify luxury, craftsmanship, and beauty. History of art, architecture, and culture. Elegance. Sprezzatura. They represent more than a thousands of years of artisan expertise. Yet legislatively, this “Made in Italy” country-of-origin designation is complex, further complicated by EU regulations. Consider Law No. 350 of 24 December 2003 and Law no. 166 of 20 November 2009. How many infinite permutations of percentages and places of sourcing, design, assembly, and manufacture can be created to plug loopholes? Even with all such laws in place, enforcing them in a globalized marketplace is an futile effort.
Country-of-origin legislation focuses on the “where,” and will be forever entangled in the legislative process. But what if a marketplace-driven set of standards were developed, defining the “how”? What if these standards were led by a public and private sector coalition of custodians? Country-of-origin is vulnerable to counterfeit and fraud, because it requires just a label. However, a standards-of-creation (Standard di Creazione SDC), would specify details in the construction of goods. These details would be far more costly to counterfeit, and much more easily detected not just for enforcement, but directly by the consumers themselves. For example, a shoddy, glued sole with a “Made in Italy” stamp is easily distinguishable from a quality specification of Italian Norwegian stitch method and count. This approach is extensible beyond shoes to any physical good produced. Even though the “where” and “by whom” will be susceptible to increased automation, the “how” will transcend this challenge.
While the subject of this abstract is focused on Made in Italy, this obviously applies to any set of standards that could be used to define artisanal work produced anywhere.