I think that there are several issues here that are not being
First, there is a strong movement afoot in American today that
favors searching out locally made/grown/etc. products, from
appliances to agricultural goods. It is the Locavore movement, at
least as far as food is concerned. I am most assuredly part of this
movement, belonging to a CSA farm (community supported agriculture),
and trying hard to focus that attitude on everything else I have to
buy, for many reasons, not the least of which is that shipping from
"away" is costly; and re: foodstuffs, locally grown food arrives at
the stores ripe and ready. Not easy today, but mostly possible.
I believe that this attitude has colored this discussion. We DO want
to purchase products that are made in our respective countries, and
this seems to be an especially strong motivation in the U. S. There
is a major problem with this attempt. we are living in a world that,
at least at the level of consumer goods (and the Internet), is
without borders. We can buy anything from anywhere and we generally
do, sometimes without knowing where the stuff is made.
And that brings me to second issue. We, at least in the U. S., do
like to be informed about the products we buy, and our import
regulations do specify that anything that is imported into the U. S.
must be labeled as to the country of origin (I am aware of one
’craftsperson’ whose employees remove those labels from carved
wooden objects, and replace them with his. but that’s another
story). We ask for transparency, so that, if we so choose, we can
avoid products made anywhere else than the U. S., or made in
countries whose poor labor practices, inferior product quality or
carelessness with the environment are abhorrent to us, or for any
other reason of our choice. We value those suppliers who are
transparent re: country of origin.
And finally, the perception, again at least in the U.S., is that
products currently coming from China have been produced using poor
labor practices, inferior product quality, and carelessness with the
environment. If there is anyone on this forum living in China
currently who would like to add a comment here, now would be the
However, there are other countries like Thailand, though Thailand is
certainly not along in this practice, where slave labor is used to
make exportable products, like India, where rampant
industrialization is polluting the country’s air and soil quality,
and on and on and on. My sense is that the U. S. has been a rather
efficient educator to the rest of the world in the business of
making stuff with no regard to the environmental or human damage.
That, of course, is a whole other rant. And we, in the U. S. are
equally good at making really poorly made dreck.
The thing to hope for is that Stuller, and other suppliers,
hopefully have good enough quality control and due diligence to make
certain that the product being imported is (1) the actual quality
described by the manufacturer; (2) is not being made using slave
labor or any other practice that takes unfair advantage of the labor
force; and (3) that the manufacturing facility is not adding to air,
water, or ground pollution. And, yes, I know that’s a lot to ask of
a supplier, but isn’t that what we actually are asking for when we
whine and rant and bitch about wanting to know where a product is
made? Isn’t that what we should be asking for?
And just to answer the question from another thread, “Jewellery” is
the correct spelling for “Jewelry” in many countries other than the
United States. I’m just sayin’.