Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Responsibly Made

ok I know I owe a Coachella post but I keep seeing things saying they are responsibly made and I needed to rant a bit.

For a while now I have been making an effort to live my life in a more socially and environmentally conscious way. For example, I have started buying more Bamboo textiles instead of cotton, using sigg bottles instead of multiple plastic bottles, buying more products with natural ingredients, and trying to buy things that are made locally.

It seems like it is still very difficult, if not impossible, to be 100% 'good'. The bamboo requires chemicals to turn into cloth but it grows quickly and heartily, the sigg bottle is made of aluminum, the natural ingredient made products often come in wasteful packaging,and buying essential items locally is difficult when everything is made in China.

I have no problem supporting the global economy but I do find a sort of irony in the fact that shipping things from china to my local store is extremely ungreen seeing as how large barges and the trucks to move the product are a huge pollution problem. I am also intrigued when companies state that their product is responsibly made in China so they could bring it to you cheaper. Well, to be honest I would rather pay more for my products in order to provide someone with a real living wage and real benefits. I understand that if one company did in fact pay workers at a factory here in the US a truly living wage they would lose the competitive pricing edge, but it would have so many other positive effects: The money paid to them would go back into our sore economy, we would increase moral by creating more jobs available to the low skilled labor force, and we would cut down on transport pollution as well as production pollution since the US has more stringent regulations. I guess American Apparel created a more socially conscious business model, but not all of their products are made using organic cotton or bamboo.

I don't have any solutions, I am struggling with how to mitigate all of my concerns and I have yet to come up with anything solid. Once I figure out why all reusable grocery bags are made in China and how I can find some that are not, I think I will feel a lot better.

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