Ok so we get tons of questions on all things “impact” related and since these topics are soOo near and dear to us we decided to start a mini series over on . ;-D We’ll be going live once a week so come join us and let’s chat hehe.
This week, Tiffany (founder and designer of Chunks) and Cameron (recent environmental science graduate) dove into the big question; WHY is ‘Made in China’ even bad???
Keep reading for a little recap of what went down in this weeks chat, and check out our to get the full convo. Oh and plz dig into some of the resources linked below, they’re very good.
Soooo where did this stereo type even come from?!
It aaaall goes back to 1979 when China opened up to foreign trade. Are we surprised that the US saw this as an opportunity to hop on board for some cheap and super efficient labor??
⇨ Here’s an about China’s economic rise
⇨ Check out of Netflix’s “History 101” series titled ‘The Rise of China’ to give you more context on where the stigma may have came from.
The 90s and early 2000s was when some craaaazy stuff started coming out about manufacturing in China. Regulations were slim to none at this point and you better believe everyone was taking advantage of it; demanding low quality products in astronomical quantities and what not. It basically turned into the wild wild west. Here are some wild wild stories:
⇨ - Estimated 54,000 babies were hospitalized bc they were adulterating milk and infant formula to pass quality control testing….
⇨ - Kids were being tricked and kidnapped by employment agencies so that they could be forced to work….
⇨ - 904 people were arrested in China for "meat-related offenses" including a gang that made more than $1m by passing off fox, mink and rat meat as mutton…
So yeah, in 2008 we were all heavy side eyeing China's manufacturing practices. What's also true is that you can find a lot of unethical sh*t going down in US sweatshops too.
What about today tho??
Today, while there are a lot more regulations in China, we need to acknowledge that it’s not a matter of WHERE things are made but who is paying to MAKE the things. When big companies come in demanding low quality goods in astronomical quantities, things are bound to get crazy.
Fact of the matter is that when it comes to quality, soooo many luxury brands manufacture the majority of their products in China. Prada, Kenzo, Acne Studios, and Burberry to name a few (). Oh and 71% of cellphone and nearly half of the world’s computers (History 101 Episode 3).
As for ethics...as much as we hate to admit it, there are sweatshops in the US to this day just as there are high quality and ethically made products made in China. So let’s be real, “Made in China” doesn’t mean that something was made unethically just as “Made in the US” doesn’t mean something was made ethically.
With aaall that being said, the goal of this convo (and the one’s to come) is to keep open communication w/ you all bc it’s so so important to be mindful of the morals and ethics of who you’re buying from rather than where.
Look out for more conversations like this in the coming weeks over on . :)