Tempest in a Notebook: Moleskines in China


"My appreciation of these notebooks has always been placed first and foremost on the quality of the product, and I have never been personally attached to the Moleskine Marketing Mojo.  They could be printed and bound on the moon for all that matters to me, as long as the quality is the same.  But it seems that some of you are concerned about this in a way that I didn’t anticipate, so I will try to clear this up as best as possible.

The facts are simple:  The quality of Moleskine notebook production has not changed, it is still as high as ever.  The simple truth behind this is that Moleskines have ALWAYS been printed and bound in China.  There have been no actual changes in notebook production; the only thing that has changed is the way the product is now being labeled….

…It seems like the only business model we experience as consumers in the US is based on this concept:  Make a quality product until it becomes popular and then outsource production and lower the quality of the product. We see it happen time and time again, and we associate production in China as the culprit.  Manufacturing in China is not inferior by default but rather by specific demand.  The actual culprit in this business scenario is the company asking for the lowest quality production standard for the price – a race to the bottom in product quality.  The lack of integrity inherent in this scenario is located solely and squarely at the top, and the contracted manufacturer in China is only completing a process in the way they have been instructed to.  Modo e Modo has not followed this business plan, but quite the opposite.  As the demand for Moleskines has increased over the years into the millions and their production has expanded they have strictly maintained the same level of quality present in their original product.  The quality of Moleskine notebooks rides solely on Modo e Modo’s commitment to quality, not where they are "printed and bound".

The decision whether or not to buy your next Moleskine knowing it is "printed and bound" in China will depend upon your perception of what that means to you in relation to the product…"

By Lisa Laughy
Ninth Wave Designs

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