‘Made in China’ labels on Paris Olympics mascots spark outcry

The choice by Paris 2024 Olympics officials to represent the Games with a cuddly Phrygian cap is proving a harder sell than expected, after critics pounced on the fact that French companies will make only a small proportion of the toys.

The red triangle mascots unveiled on Monday are meant to symbolize the French Revolution, when anti-monarchists often wore the cap now seen on the Marianne icon of liberty, equality and fraternity in almost every public building.

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Olympic Phryge and Paralympic Phryge lead a tribe that always has its trainers on What could be better than little Phrygian caps to lead the revolution through sport and come with us to the #Paris2024 games! pic.twitter.com/hUjFI09zZM

— Paris 2024 (@Paris2024) November 14, 2022

But although two French toy makers won the contract, the Paris Olympics committee said only eight percent of the mascots will be made in France – from Chinese-produced materials – and the rest will be outsourced to China.

The Ethic business association condemned “an insult to all French companies” and said there was still time to produce millions of toys at home.

“I would love it, and we are working so that France can have raw materials and textile factories to produce two million dolls in a few months, but the fact is that today we cannot do that,” said government spokesman Olivier Veran. Thursday.

“It’s a structural problem due to the fact that for years France has been losing its factories,” he told France 2 television.

Climate activists also contrasted the pollution that will be generated from shipping the toys to France with the government’s pledge to take stronger action against global warming.

France’s environmental transition minister, Christophe Bechu, called the decision to outsource “a problem”.

“I would like to think that we still have a few months before the Games start to correct this,” he told France Info radio on Tuesday.

“We will not find ourselves, at a time when we say we need local distribution networks and reindustrialization, producing mascots on the other side of the world, especially when we are defending the fight against global warming,” he said.

Paris Games organizers defended the fact that the toy replicas are almost all made in China, “like the vast majority of toys sold in France”.

But they have yet to comment publicly on another issue – a widespread mockery on social media that the red triangles seem more like a clitoris.


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