Made in China?

Posted by admin | Posted in Good Planet Perspective, News & Media, Products, Uncategorized | Posted on 04-12-2010

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chinaWe are occasionally approached by customers with a dislike for products manufactured in other provinces or countries. Some people are reluctant to buy anything made outside of our local community, some will not purchase anything made in the USA, and others are vehemently opposed to purchasing anything made in China.

When it comes to product sourcing and selection, The Good Planet Company is held to a higher standard than the big-box stores, department stores and mega-malls, and for this we are grateful! As a small, independent, locally-owned company, The Good Planet Company’s policy is to be honest and up-front about our products, while offering the best, safest, most durable and most environmentally sound products on the market. We also enjoy sharing our purchasing philosophy with anyone who has questions about it.

With increasing concerns about peak oil, climate change, food security and our shaky economy, there are sound economic and environmental reasons for buying products manufactured close to home, and as an ethically-run, environmentally conscious business, it’s our duty to look after our environment as well as our people (customers, employees and suppliers).

Although more than 75% of our goods are sourced from Canadian suppliers, a significant percentage of these goods, and the raw materials used to create them, are actually manufactured outside of Canada by environmentally sensitive, ethically run, foreign businesses. We strive to ensure that our suppliers, whether domestic or foreign, are ISO complaint in standards 9000, 14000 and 26000.

We would love to offer 100% Canadian goods, but it’s a fact is that over recent generations, Canada has divested itself of the capacity to produce enough consumer goods for it’s growing population. Despite being the 10th largest economy on the planet, manufacturing accounts for just 13% of Canada’s GDP. (BC is even lower, at 12%). Even if we wanted to stock The Good Planet Company with exclusively locally sourced and manufactured goods, there would be huge gaps in the product range that our customers have come to expect from us. We continue to encourage local manufacturers to approach us with new and innovative products.

So, as a responsible retailer, we do the best we can for our customers. Our focus is upon finding the safest, most durable, most fairly traded, most earth-friendly goods at the best price. Some products like stainless steel containers can only be found in the far east. Other products like our beautiful fair trade woven baskets can only be found in Africa.

We share the concerns of some of our customers regarding Chinese-made goods in terms of China’s politics and human rights abuses, yet as a responsible company, we must look at the bigger picture. China has developed it’s industrial might at an incredible rate, yet in terms of labour law, it’s lagging about 50 years behind the western world. Do we turn our comparatively wealthy backs on the Chinese worker so that they bear the brunt of their government’s policies and the western world’s indignation? Or do we continue to encourage the ongoing development of their burgeoning union movements, environmental improvements and living standards? For the benefit of our fellow workers in this global community, we feel the answer is obvious.

Here at The Good Planet Company, we continue to act locally and think globally. Our local community is important to us, and we do all possible to sustain it, yet at the same time, we do not turn our backs on the plight of others. In addition to our Canadian-made goods, we will continue to market a selection of goods imported from the USA, India, China, Australia and other countries, so long as they are safe, well-made, and not available within our own shores.

There’s a distinct possibility that within the next generation, Peak Oil may turn international trade and the global economy into a thing of the past, and we could be forced to re-build and re-tool our domestic factories, become more self-sufficient, and lead less consumer-oriented lives. Many who consider themselves “conservers” are already partly prepared for such an eventuality. The Good Planet Company counts hundreds of such people as our valued customers. We applaud them for their insight, and thank them for their support of our company with their purchases of our quality, durable products.

We’re not perfect, but we do our best! We always appreciate our customer’s comments and will always strive to give a well-thought out answer to your questions. If you have any thoughts or insights regarding this policy or any other, please feel free to e-mail us at feedback@goodplanet.com

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