By Douglas Williams, Publisher

At the beginning of this millennium there was a UK clothing brand called French Connection which some branding genius abbreviated to “FCUK” and this brand became fashionable and very successful. It was around the time of something referred to as “Cool Britannia” and the logo, with all its punk insouciance, was often featured on a frayed Union Jack. Wearers thought that some of the perceived “coolness” of “brand UK” would rub off on them. Since then the fortunes of both the brand and the country have gone south. French Connection is now referred to as the “struggling fashion chain”, stores are closing, profits are wafer thin and it’s up for sale. Maybe their logo should be changed to the past tense, keeping up with the times.

I mention this because I’ve had a run of “Made in Romania” moments lately. A fancy and eye-wateringly “piperat” Mammut quilted coat – made in Romania. Some serious, chunky, blue mountaineering boots at Decathlon – Made in Romania. A rather nifty linen Massimo Dutti jacket – Made in Romania (from eco-friendly linen no less) and some understated but very cool shoes and more chunky mountain boots by S-Karp, a Romanian brand through and through. You see, by way of an explanation/excuse dear reader, I have two daughters and am subsequently regularly dragged round malls and shops, what to do? Anyhoo, Romania makes cool stuff these days is what I’m saying – world class cool. Dacia cars are finding favour in more and more corners of the planet and Pegas bikes rock, the Gerovital skincare brand is loved worldwide, Dentestet is dentistry of the very highest standard. As yet, the most excellent Romanian wine and beer brands haven’t made a meaningful impact internationally but it can only be a matter of time. If only Simona Halep would publically drink a delicious Ursus or Avincis… not gonna happen, ok, shame… 

There are many more Romanian brands bursting forth and if you are one of them, get in touch, we’d like to write about you. Of course, if you’d like to be a commercial partner contact me through the messenger button on our Facebook page, help us celebrate the best of modern Romania together. 

Made in Romania is good, I’ll be keeping my eyes open and I suggest you do too. These things, these products, are going out into the world working as positive ambassadors for this wonderful country and her terrific people. I for one hope there will be many more.   

On a very different and altogether more negative note, in the middle of September a grisly murder came to light that has left Romania, once more, shocked and reeling. Raducu G., 50, a forester in north east Romania, was brutally murdered while going about his work and, at the time of writing, all fingers point towards illegal loggers as the culprits. Much is made of the burning Amazon along with tracts of tropical Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia, but there are grave crimes against the environment taking place all the time right here in Romania. Myopic greed is denying Romanian children the birthright that previous generations enjoyed. Timber thieves in general and these murdering ones in particular must be tracked down and brought to justice. Romania’s forests are precious and must be protected. 

I hope you enjoy our October issue. 

O zi buna  

#MadeInRomania

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