Monday, November 9, 2009

Why not 'Made In China'?

Yes, I would like to know why has the term 'Made in China' makes everyone in the handmade community disgusted? Most big brands already have their items made in China, so quality should not be the reason. Besides for anyone who thinks that all items made in China is bad quality, that person does have a discriminating view, in my opinion!

Do I buy made in China? Of course I do, only if I can't help it. China is the factory of the world these days and as more and more of the items in the shops are made there it is becoming difficult not to buy items that were made in China. But the keyword here is difficult and not impossible. One example was a few weeks ago when my partner and I went grocery shopping and were about to pick up garlic, when we found that we had 2 options - first was a prepacked kilo of garlic imported from China and the other was loose garlic from Spain. The later was 3 times more expansive! Since we were on a budget we chose the ones from China.

I like to keep it simple and stick to my 2 main buying principles of -

1) "Where or when ever I can, I will choose not made in China".

This is simply because our shops are now filled with a good 70%-80% China made goods, therefore there is no escaping it. It takes a conscious effort to seek out an alternative and by doing so, maybe only 10%-20% of our daily buying is not made in China. Give the other nations and your local manufacturers a chance!

2) "If I had the choice, I will choose locally made to imported"

It doesn't matter if it was imported from Beijing, Milan, Paris or London, an import is an import. I'm in Australia and even I am not Australian, I would buy Australian where ever I can. This is because as soon as you buy an imported item you have increased your carbon footprint. Think of all the emissions into the environment as that item makes its way from thousands of kilometers to get into your shopping basket. A local choice is a good one environmentally too.

Besides those reasons I also support small local businesses, including charity shops. I am not embarrased to say that I visit Vinnies (St Vincent de Paul Society) every time I like to buy some clothing. You would be surprised what you can find there! I will keep the details for another post.

All said and done, China made goods are not poor quality. They are not made by little slave hands or in an inhumane way. China is a growing nation and manufacturing for other nations is thier bread and butter or economy building block, that requires the same respect as you would like for your handmade craft.

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