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The Environmental Impact of Products Made Overseas

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  • Darcy
    Originally posted by backpack View Post
    Boycotting the products is a start but what does one do when dress work clothes are needed?
    Check out a thread I started in the off-topic section: Your Favorite Brands and Stuff (Emphasis on Quality). I posted a few links to clothing I've had success with that's often organic and always made without sweatshop labor.
    Grace & Cello of Montreal has some nice work appropriate clothing.

    Leave a comment:

  • backpack
    I have been trying to do without made in China or India things for most of my life but...

    In the 90's, I saw that it was almost impossible.

    When I found myself in need of a backpack, I found Tom Bihn and a company that matches my view of the world, I also started to eat an all organic/vegan diet but... I recently found out that sometimes labeling is deceitful.

    John Ratzenberger "Made in America" gave me hope that a variety of things can still be made and bought here.

    Tom Bihn should definitely be part of one of the episodes.

    Unfortunately, Tom Bihn does not make clothes. I don't want anything trendy, just basic cotton and microfiber pieces in a nice array of color in classic cuts.

    It is impossible to find made in America clothing. From expensive departement stores to discount stores everything is made in developping countries with no environmental and no worker's protections some even employ child labor and worse slave child labor.

    Boycotting the products is a start but what does one do when dress work clothes are needed?

    I bought some tops from American Apparel but a documentary about them left me with a bitter taste in the mouth. Most of the plant workers were women and all of the supervisors were men, they were paid by the piece and not with a salary.

    The CEO seemed to have a weird fascination for the cutest of his female employees.

    I thought I bough fair American labor but I bought sexist practices, to say that I was mad is an understatement.

    One American made apparel fabric is polarfleece from Polartec but that doesn't help me much in the middle of summer.

    I also do not use animal made stuff and I am hard to fit but...

    I am going to resume the mantra I started in the 90's everytime I saw a Made in China label, "Oh! I boycott them".

    And yeah it is mighty scary to see that many things are produced there and not even inspected or labeled correctly.

    My hope was that the global economy would help in the exchange of ideas by allowing more tourist and students/scholars exchange.
    But what we get are very tight borders for people and swiss cheese for crappy products and contraband, also the WTO post-colonialist stamp on rich-poor countries "exchanges" such as, "we manage your water for an outrageous price and we dump our chemical in your land and u have no say about it."

    Yeah that subject gets me rilled up!

    Last edited by backpack; 08-12-2007, 01:29 PM.

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  • grumpy3b
    I have tried several times to write a tame and concise post for this thread. I just can't...suffice to say...this has become on of our most significant issue around our home.

    Remember when we were told of the EVIL dangers of re-importation of medications from Canada because it was cheaper? Well, almost all of the generic meds on drug store shelves now are made in China or India. Yet the label will say BOTTLED in the US not manufactured and bottled in the US. The labels do not even mention the fact the medication was made elsewhere very often under zero oversight since it is destine for us in the US.

    These countries cannot even produce toothpaste and be honest about it...who sez they will have even a wit of care when growing food like garlic (china, if it is peeled and in a bag in the grocery store so read the label), feeding cattle, or growing watermelons or DOG FOOD...whatever. Of course when the country considers dogs FOOD why would anyone expect them to care about the stuff used to fatten them up. And we trust these places to produce products we ingest.

    As for mfg'd products, we make every effort to seek out products made in the US. Anymore with a handful of exceptions it is virtually impossible. When not, we look for products made in countries with decent records in terms of the, well, "humanity" of the country.

    Now we only buy produce from local farmers and our near by organic food store. We don't have a Whole Foods with 100mi but we make do...but sometime ask at your favorite grocery store about the country of origin for various produce. They person will either lie and say it's all from the US or they will not know for sure. Few if any ever admit it's likely not from within the US let alone certified safe. Even some of the so-called organic produce in the large chain grocery stores is imported. Never hurts to ask either way.

    OK, I have to stop now because I am likely to rant...hehehehe...needless to say part of the reason I was drawn to Tom Bihn products was the way the company runs and the materials used. Ethics are very important and something sadly missing from the way they train business folks these days. Nice to see it matters in a few patches at least!!

    And don't even get me started on the hemp vs. cotton thing...oh, last this push to using corn as "fuel"...well, not so much as it is a HUGE energy loss in it's production. Hemp is cleaner enviroment wise and closer to a wash in terms of the energy needed to plant, grow, harvest, transport and refine it into fuel. Anyway I am just gonna zip it up now...

    I think I'll shop for something instead...

    Leave a comment:

  • Darcy
    Originally posted by MikeL View Post
    As for the poll...my first concern is getting the best quality I can. Usually, for me, that means American made. I'm proud of our craftsmen and woman.
    Certified Jean makes their jeans in the U.S. out of U.S. grown organic cotton. They're the only such jeans I've found so far.

    I'm a big fan of Canadian made clothing, too: MEC (only some of their clothing is Canadian made: I think all of their organic clothing is made in India) and Valhalla Pure come to mind.

    Leave a comment:

  • MikeL
    This is a great topic. Your "Jeans" analogy is perfect! I hate the fact that the world economy is such that it's actually cheaper to ship the raw materials to a 3rd world country (or one with dubious human rights issues), have them manufacture a finished product, and ship it back for our consumption! For sure this problem is bigger then me.
    As for the poll...my first concern is getting the best quality I can. Usually, for me, that means American made. I'm proud of our craftsmen and woman.

    Leave a comment:

  • Darcy
    started a poll The Environmental Impact of Products Made Overseas

    The Environmental Impact of Products Made Overseas

    Every time I make a purchase.
    Only when I buy certain things.
    Nope, never.
    From today's blog post featuring a link to One Bag, One World's post Why does American made matter?:

    Tom's note: Make the Environment a Consideration

    Another consideration when buying products made overseas should be environmental impact of the factories and production methods. While it would be naive to suggest that products made in the U.S.A. are environmentally benign, one must understand that manufacturer's have moved off-shore not simply for low-wage labor but also in pursuit of non-existent or unenforced environmental regulations. Stateside at least we have the less-than-perfect EPA to regulate the dyes and other potentially toxic chemicals used to process our fabrics, etc. In addition, we often fail to consider the impact of shipping finished goods half-way 'round the planet: cotton organically grown in California and then shipped to Asia to be made into earth-friendly jeans sold back in California may have a far greater footprint than you are lead to believe. -- Tom Bihn