Where was it made? And who by? The rampant rise of globalisation has made these questions both more difficult to answer and more pertinent than ever before.
As supply chains have become increasingly convoluted and opaque, we as consumers have lost sight of the production process and become detached from the makers of the good we consume.
All that is changing. The notion of provenance is gaining currency: what used to be a fringe concern is now more mainstream as be come more conscious consumers. To make sense of our lives, to be human beings in the 21st century, we need to understand more about the origins of the things we enjoy – its a crucial part of life.
There are now businesses that are redefining the way in which products can be made.
These ventures are placing greater emphasis on the notion of provenance and tapping into a customer base that is calling out for authenticity, a connection to makers and a narrative behind their purchases – and crucially, its a base willing to pay a premium if a brand or product meets these requirements.
One of the great achievements of globalisation is that it has made products from all over the world available all over the world. But whats its most passionate advocates have often overlooked is what happens when the sight of an object that’s traversed the globe to arrive in our shops finally loses its sheen.
This is happening today and its leading to a reevaluation of the importance of provenance. In a world where buying a Kenyan flower is as easy in London as buying a Chinese made jacket in Spain, it is the specific, the local and the seasonal that become desirable.