Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bochurim Begin Borsalino Boycott?

Borsalino Tip: LifeInIsrael

Years ago, when the price of Shtreimels went sky-high, one of the Chassidishe Rebbe's told the manufacturer's that if the price doesn't stabilize, he will remove his own Shtreimel. Perhaps we can do the same for the Borsalino?

Will the boycott travel across the Atlantic?

A group of Chabad bochurim in New York are trying to garner support to join a boycott that originated in Israel over the rising prices of fedora hats.

Organizers are saying that prices of the Italian made Borsalino hats have risen by $50 in the last 5 years, bringing the price of the typical Yeshiva student's hat in Israel to $274.

Petitions going around in Yeshivas in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak are threatening to stop purchasing hats if the prices don't drop. According to Makor Rishon newspaper, some 10,000 people signed.

"Borsalino is telling us that it's a luxury item and the price doesn't have to be cheap, but they know the truth - that everyone still buys it, not only a select few," one organizer said.

"It's a common product and there is no reason the price should be so high," the person added. "A manufacturer raises prices to increase profits on a product that isn't selling well, but if the masses are buying this excuse doesn't exist."

Regular consumers of the hats made of felt from Belgian rabbit are Lubavitcher chassidim, and students of Litvish and Sephardic Yeshivos. Other chassidic groups wear hats with beaver finish or a fur shtreimel.

Recently, bochurim in a Chabad Yeshiva in New York have asked their 'hanhala' administration if they would be allowed to join the boycott and start wearing a flat cap, also called a casket hat.

Borsalino tip to Daily Reyd via CoLive


  1. non-Italian hat wearerJanuary 21, 2015 at 3:36 PM

    What needs to be clarified here is what would constitute such a boycott. The post talks about two different possible steps, 1) "threatening to stop purchasing hats", and 2) "to join the boycott and start wearing a flat cap, also called a casket hat."

    Laaniyus daati, number one is much less dramatic and visible, and would not likely gain results for a while, if at all. Number two would be more visible.

    I don't know what kind of chances this movement has for success, but I don't that threats to stop buying a product will immediately achieve their objective, as people tend to buy such hats only once in a number of years I believe.

  2. 1) If you do a search for 'inexpensive fedora', or 'cheap fedora', you will find various options available that cost much less than a Borsalino. True, they may not be as good as one, but does everyone buy a Cadillac (or Lexus, or whatever is considered the equivalent of high quality car nowadays)?

    2) Borsalino has a website, which gives you more insight into their product.

  3. This is fascinating because, beyond the invented requirement to wear a black hat now there's a requirement that it be a Borsalino? Try one of these instead. They're even waterproof so no walking around on rainy days with a shopping back on one's head.

  4. Garnel, You would probably appreciate this post:

    To my dear Mad Rabbits above, thanks for stopping by. If people stop buying Borsalino's, even over time, the manufacturers will quickly get the message.

  5. It was not shtreimlach as one rebbe stopping would have no signifigant effect it was a Spudik and it was the gerer rebbe


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