Author Topic: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!  (Read 1937 times)

MissNancyPryor

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Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« on: December 26, 2019, 11:19:45 AM »
I am surprised to see this was not already a thread somewhere; I can't find one like it. 

I tried to do this for my 2019 holiday shopping and it was damn tough.  Country of origin information is often hidden, sometimes the parts are made in China and then assembled elsewhere, and sometimes it is the reverse and it is cheap Chinese labor that assembles the items manufactured elsewhere.  However with effort I was able to find a lot of items that were small business or recognizably of other origins.

This is not meant to be a purely political stance but certainly that has been part of finally saying 'enough' for me.  Fentanyl, Uyghers, Hong Kong, intellectual property theft and counterfeiting items, pick your topic-- this is not a good country to support.  Overall many are decoupling their manufacturing and with our booming economy there will likely be some re-establishment of not having mandatory "made in China" on every consumer item. 

Beyond the political is the fact that I do not want stuff shipped across the globe to save a few bucks.  That just makes no sense.  I can afford to pay a bit more and would like to see manufacturing come back in the States and therefore I will put my dollars to work in that way.  Also, the qualify of Chinese stuff is often very inferior and meant to be disposable and that is a horrible idea for any kind of sustainable future for the planet. 

It will be tough but I will be reading a lot of labels and probably won't get to the Dollar Store much this year.  I may end up doing without because I can't find non-Chinese made items.  But I will learn a lot and will come away with a greater respect for where things are made and the impact my purchases have in the world.

Though it should be obvious I will add that I am not talking about getting culturally significant items that are Chinese, I am talking about the mass produced garbage that we consume.  There is a huge difference between Chinese items and made-in-China items.  I probably won't be getting any of the former either but wanted to clarify that I am not making a racial statement.          

use2betrix

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2019, 02:47:54 PM »
Why not take it one step further, and try to purchase as much as possible made in the U.S.A (if youíre an American)?

Mass produced, low garbage products come from all over the world, but there are many other countries in Asia that are just as bad as China.. For items like clothing, Japan is an exception as much of their clothing is some of the best in the world. For my nice clothes, I buy as much as possible from the U.S.A, Japan, and Canada.. Right now, my boots, shirt, and socks, are made in the U.S.A., with jeans from Japan..

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2019, 03:12:15 PM »
Sounds good to me

SunnyDays

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2019, 04:15:57 PM »
I didnít start a thread, but I made this my 2020 goal in Buy Nothing in 2020.  So Iím doing it too.

Brother Esau

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2019, 04:26:29 PM »
I'm confused, isn't everything "Made in China"?

SunnyDays

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2019, 05:34:37 PM »
Most things are, which is exactly the point.  Support locally made products or do without.  Second hand doesnít count.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2019, 06:50:59 PM »
I didnít start a thread, but I made this my 2020 goal in Buy Nothing in 2020.  So Iím doing it too.

Great!  Everyone please feel free to shout out items you were shopping for and the alternative you ended up with as you come across them.  It will be an education for all. 

Tacopwr

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2019, 10:28:23 AM »
I started on this a couple months ago and it is really hard. Some products are just not made outside of China.

However, I am going o try my best to always buy something that wasn't transported on a bunker oil burning ship, and if it has, at least not made in China.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2019, 11:56:46 AM »
Jeebus, Amazon needs to add a filter on country of origin.  Honestly someone could create a site that does only that and then directs you off to where to find the products. 

Looking at snow boots today online I am browsing not only obvious China-produced pairs but also classic American names that are in fact produced in China.  Example:  The hardy North American brand Sorel was bought by the NW USA-birthed Columbia Sportswear who now has the bulk of their footwear originate from East Asia including Vietnam and China.  So that's out.   

I won't be buying boots online and will check out what REI has in the store first to check labels.  It is highly likely I will not be getting boots till the end of the season on clearance but at least I will be wiser about where they come from.   

Russ

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2019, 12:12:33 PM »
Why not consciously buy things you need, and go without things you don't, regardless of country of origin?
There are a lot of nice things made responsibly in China, and there is a lot of crap made irresponsibly in the good ol' USA
Restricting your purchases to USA-made goods doesn't give you a free pass to consume recklessly

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2019, 12:39:17 PM »
Agreed on the "reckless" part, but the whole point is to try this out and to learn something from it.  So often we don't think about these things at all and with the human rights violations and planetary irresponsibility of buying from far flung lands it seems a worthwhile effort.

Feel free to identify USA items that suck in these pages too and why the China stuff is superior.     

Since I am FIRED I obviously do not spend recklessly, never have.  I am sure you did not mean that to be directed only at me though but were rather offering a public service announcement reminder.  I will take it as such. 

MayDay

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2019, 07:21:05 AM »
I am curious how this goes for you. I expect it will be very difficult. 

I do think LL Bean duck boots are made in Maine. I do not care for the fit bit many people love them. I buy very few pairs of fairly expensive footware from small companies, but I'm still pretty sure it is all made by factories overseas.

StashingAway

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2019, 08:00:45 AM »
Why not consciously buy things you need, and go without things you don't, regardless of country of origin?
There are a lot of nice things made responsibly in China, and there is a lot of crap made irresponsibly in the good ol' USA
Restricting your purchases to USA-made goods doesn't give you a free pass to consume recklessly

I tend to agree with this. Things made overseas aren't inherently worse (whether that be in quality, environmental impact, effect on populace, etc). Avoiding goods for specific reasons make more sense to me, such as avoiding items that are food-grade due to the lower standards of regulation. And avoiding for political reasons might make personal philosophical sense (I won't support an oppressive regime or IP theft), but won't make a dent in world economics.

The real problem is that a global economy is inherently going to prioritize goods and services to countries that provide those best. I would buy local produce, for example, but because those are better products, not because I support a local farmer over one in another state.

That's not to say that avoiding Chinese goods isn't a worthwhile exercise, it's just that the blanket philosophy doesn't seem to leave much room to develop decisions along the way (other than following up by avoiding Vietnamese goods, then Indian goods, then German goods, then Canadian goods, then Californian goods, etc. or whatever hierarchy you decide is "best").

mountain mustache

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2019, 08:56:15 AM »
I do this a little differently, but last year I made a conscious choice to only purchase items with fair labor standards where people are treated ethically, etc. Rather than focusing on country of origin, focusing on the environment the products are made in and how people are treated, etc, was more important to me. Throughout the year this evolved into basically buying everything used. Now I no longer buy any new clothing because although there are ethical clothing brands that exist, they are very expensive. I'd rather wait and search for something used, and I usually find everything that I truly need! Household products/kitchen appliances/other things I wait until I can find what I want used. This has been a great exercise in patience, and also in thinking through purchases and what I actually need vs. what would just be convenient to have. I have never really consumed a lot, but overall this has lowered my purchasing/consumption to an all time low that has made me really happy.

daverobev

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2019, 08:26:08 AM »
I'm in - for political reasons - but the fact is it is just impossible to know ahead of time.

I'm living in France now, so in terms of food it's all clear and obvious. But everything else?!

I mean - anything computer related (I buy second hand when I can, but still). Power socket strips. I got a replacement hazard light switch for my car, I have NO idea where that came from. I got an SSD which was, hurrah, made in Taiwan.

There is quite a bit of Made in Germany stuff, which is good. I was considering an iPad, again perhaps second hand, but...

In short, I'm aware and I'm trying.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2019, 10:03:48 AM »
I think that is the best we can do.  I believe that the approach @mountain mustache has taken is also a great idea because the consumption of the used items does not create new demand. 

I need a new battery for my car.  That will be an adventure because I would be certain that subcomponents' source is hidden.  In the end, as you say @daverobev, "I am aware and I am trying" is probably what I will end up with throughout.

Yes, LL Bean has boots.  The description says "imported."  Figures.  From where imported?  No idea. But I will learn a lot as I look for boots.  That is the point.   

Not directed at the 2 posters I tagged above, but generally I do find it an interesting social exercise already that some other posters take a thread called "don't buy made in China junk" and somehow turn it into a bizarre complainy-pants "why bother" sort of mindset with associated rationalizations.  If you don't want to participate, don't.  This is the Throw Down the Gauntlet area of the forum and if you would like to skip lightly to the side and not walk through this gauntlet then please carry on elsewhere.  Life will certainly be easier.  I promise not to come shit all over someone's "eat vegan in 2020" challenge and hope that comments can stay constructive.     

I appreciate the comments about the difficulties of doing this and the identification of where some items originate.  I love my German knives for instance and if I needed a replacement one I would get it without hesitation.  Thus the title of the thread. 

Thanks everyone for thinking this through and considering the idea at all. 

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2019, 02:53:33 PM »
It is not yet 2020 but I have already had my first lying seller. 

I ordered a Yankee Candle item as a gift, where the posting clearly notes "Country of Origin: USA" right in the description.  The item arrived today - Sunday delivery - and clearly stamped on the package is "Made in China".  Because of course. 

Only mere hours into this I am conceding that avoiding China will not be possible.  Sellers lie, subcomponents are hidden, and untangling the fabric of global manufacturing will not be possible. 

But I am still going to try and will still learn from all of it. 

As a side note the item seems to be of reasonable quality (a wick trimmer for a candle-fanatic relative) and I am not returning it.  I only got it after looking for 'made in USA candle accessories' online and coming across a proud American candle seller only to see that their trimmers are made in China.  At least they were honest about it.           

SunnyDays

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2019, 03:46:40 PM »
Often it depends on the wording - some things are made in China but distributed or packaged in the US, so itís easy to be fooled.

While it might be possible to avoid all Chinese goods for a year, itís pretty impossible to do it forever, as people in general just donít want to pay the prices for 1st world products, so weíre stuck with cheap imports.  But still worth trying and increasing oneís consciousness about it.

Peony

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2019, 05:28:30 PM »
Posting to follow.

Freedomin5

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2019, 05:44:09 PM »
I like the idea of being conscious of where products are manufactured. My question is: Even if a product is not made in China, how can you be sure the raw materials used to make the product are also not from China?

 Iím not trying to rain on anyoneís parade; Iím genuinely curious how you resolve that.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2019, 06:15:12 PM »
I am not sure either about raw materials, I would bet it is not possible to get full disclosure.  I doubt it is required.   

Are you expat to China or from there originally?  Your perspective would be really helpful to the thread.

Rimu05

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2019, 06:15:31 PM »
I like the idea of being conscious of where products are manufactured. My question is: Even if a product is not made in China, how can you be sure the raw materials used to make the product are also not from China?

 Iím not trying to rain on anyoneís parade; Iím genuinely curious how you resolve that.

I am personally on the idea of say, not buying fast fashion, or buying ethically made stuff, etc but I donít honestly understand the whole ďDonít buy in China.Ē

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other countries that manufacture products where the workers are paid poorly and with child labor. Is there something people are particularly unhappy about in terms of China?

For instance, being from the continent of Africa, I try to support some African businesses here in the U.S, but some of these people are genuinely playing with us. You have someone selling clothes with threads hanging and a hem line that looks like it was sowed by my hands. I have to buy and then take to a tailor to get things adjusted, no maíam.

I also recall watching a luxury goods documentary where the people who made the bags were treated decently, but the people who provided the leather worked in horrible conditions in good olí Italy.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2019, 06:24:03 PM »
My reasons for starting this are in the first post.  I think as a side benefit we are raising consciousness about manufacturing processes all over the world by having the conversation.  That has to be good.       

StashingAway

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2019, 06:49:35 PM »
I am personally on the idea of say, not buying fast fashion, or buying ethically made stuff, etc but I donít honestly understand the whole ďDonít buy in China.Ē

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other countries that manufacture products where the workers are paid poorly and with child labor. Is there something people are particularly unhappy about in terms of China?

For instance, being from the continent of Africa, I try to support some African businesses here in the U.S, but some of these people are genuinely playing with us. You have someone selling clothes with threads hanging and a hem line that looks like it was sowed by my hands. I have to buy and then take to a tailor to get things adjusted, no maíam.

This is the direction I was trying to go... it's not that the avoidance of Chinese goods doesn't have good intentions (it very much does!); it's that global commerce is more complicated. In the long run, this is a good thing in my opinion; the world in general is better off than the 90's and 70's and 50's because of globalization. Knowledge and materials and goods and skills all get passed around (and stolen).

Bigger picture; very few countries can be self-sustaining and raise their standard of living. We export a lot of food, aircraft, machinery, minerals, computers, automobiles; do we want other countries not buying them because they're foreign made? Do we want shoes to cost 5x as much because the labor is significantly more expensive in the US? It's a bit cliche to say, but most people (including the workers) in China want our business. The lower class have a higher standard of living now. The conditions in most of their factories are much better too! They are having somewhat of a growth of work conditions the same as the US did in the early 1900's after Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle.

With that said, I do fully agree that China is not playing well with IP issues. The thing I do try to make an effort is to buy original products if it's clear that China is making copies. For instance, I bought some camp chairs through REI that collapse in a cool way. Amazon has about ten different versions of these chairs that are all significantly cheaper made by random unknown brands. They are clearly copies of something that took a long time to design. The quality difference in the two chairs isn't worth the price difference, but I'll buy the more expensive ones to support the designer and local company. The catch is that all of these chairs are made in China!


mountain mustache

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2019, 07:11:38 PM »
I like the idea of being conscious of where products are manufactured. My question is: Even if a product is not made in China, how can you be sure the raw materials used to make the product are also not from China?

 Iím not trying to rain on anyoneís parade; Iím genuinely curious how you resolve that.

I am personally on the idea of say, not buying fast fashion, or buying ethically made stuff, etc but I donít honestly understand the whole ďDonít buy in China.Ē

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other countries that manufacture products where the workers are paid poorly and with child labor. Is there something people are particularly unhappy about in terms of China?

For instance, being from the continent of Africa, I try to support some African businesses here in the U.S, but some of these people are genuinely playing with us. You have someone selling clothes with threads hanging and a hem line that looks like it was sowed by my hands. I have to buy and then take to a tailor to get things adjusted, no maíam.

I also recall watching a luxury goods documentary where the people who made the bags were treated decently, but the people who provided the leather worked in horrible conditions in good olí Italy.

This is similar to where I sit on this issue. A product being made in China does not mean it is made unethically/unsustainably, and a product made in the USA does not guarantee it is made ethically. Country of origin does not mean anything really, unless a person is not concerned about the ethics or sustainability behind the products they are consuming. You really have to dig deep behind the brands of the products you want to purchase, and figure out what is happening in the manufacturing process. One of the only brands I will purchase new clothing from, Patagonia, has a map detailing where all of their factories are, which products are made in them, and the environment/practices used to make the products. A lot of these ethically/sustainably manufactured products are coming from factories in China!

I worked in an industry (bicycles) where the products were almost 100% manufactured outside of the USA in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, etc. Manufacturers would ship products to the USA, assemble the products in the USA, and then slap a good ol "made in USA" sticker on them. Some would specify "Assembled in USA" but that only started happening recently when people discovered that there was no way these products were being made in US factories. I can't tell you how many times a customer would come in the store and say "Oh, I only buy so and so brand because they are made in the USA!" and I would have to break the news to them that no, everything is manufactured in Taiwan/China, and assembled in the USA. It was shocking to a lot of customers who had been buying a specific brand since the old days when they were actually made in the USA. All but about 3-4 very small, niche brands of bicycles are manufactured in China/Taiwan/Vietnam, etc. Also, many of these bicycles are very high quality, manufactured to high standards with rigorous testing/prototyping done.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2019, 08:18:06 PM by mountain mustache »

daverobev

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2019, 02:54:55 AM »
I am personally on the idea of say, not buying fast fashion, or buying ethically made stuff, etc but I donít honestly understand the whole ďDonít buy in China.Ē

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other countries that manufacture products where the workers are paid poorly and with child labor. Is there something people are particularly unhappy about in terms of China?

Particularly the "re-education" of a million muslims, prison labour, and Hong Kong.

Freedomin5

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2019, 05:24:46 AM »
I am personally on the idea of say, not buying fast fashion, or buying ethically made stuff, etc but I donít honestly understand the whole ďDonít buy in China.Ē

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other countries that manufacture products where the workers are paid poorly and with child labor. Is there something people are particularly unhappy about in terms of China?

Particularly the "re-education" of a million muslims, prison labour, and Hong Kong.

Poor decisions are not exclusive to China. I can think of a few from the US and other countries. Does that mean we should avoid all products made in the US? No. Should we be aware of those issues and do whatever is in our circle of influence to fight injustice and move towards a more ethical world? Yes.

Plina

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2019, 06:12:23 AM »
I am personally on the idea of say, not buying fast fashion, or buying ethically made stuff, etc but I donít honestly understand the whole ďDonít buy in China.Ē

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other countries that manufacture products where the workers are paid poorly and with child labor. Is there something people are particularly unhappy about in terms of China?


Particularly the "re-education" of a million muslims, prison labour, and Hong Kong.

Poor decisions are not exclusive to China. I can think of a few from the US and other countries. Does that mean we should avoid all products made in the US? No. Should we be aware of those issues and do whatever is in our circle of influence to fight injustice and move towards a more ethical world? Yes.

I have actually decided to avoid US products due to the constant laxing of environemental standards. I donít want to contribute to a race to the bottom that the politicans seems to pushing for or not stoppning the president from doing.

StashingAway

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2019, 06:34:19 AM »
I worked in an industry (bicycles) where the products were almost 100% manufactured outside of the USA in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, etc. Manufacturers would ship products to the USA, assemble the products in the USA, and then slap a good ol "made in USA" sticker on them. Some would specify "Assembled in USA" but that only started happening recently when people discovered that there was no way these products were being made in US factories. I can't tell you how many times a customer would come in the store and say "Oh, I only buy so and so brand because they are made in the USA!" and I would have to break the news to them that no, everything is manufactured in Taiwan/China, and assembled in the USA. It was shocking to a lot of customers who had been buying a specific brand since the old days when they were actually made in the USA. All but about 3-4 very small, niche brands of bicycles are manufactured in China/Taiwan/Vietnam, etc. Also, many of these bicycles are very high quality, manufactured to high standards with rigorous testing/prototyping done.

I've visited bicycle manufacturing facilities in Taiwan/China and the working conditions are surprisingly good as well. As they gain profits and realize that healthy employees work better, they have significantly increased investments in things like warehouse air filtration, safety protocols and the like. It's nowhere near OSHA, but it's way better than it was 30 years ago. I think the biggest thing I noticed when I was there was that no one was wearing hearing protection in work zones that I would definitely want it (I offered boxes of foam plugs for them, but the foreman said they already had them, just couldn't get the workers to wear them!)

Workers in the paint and graphics areas even had smart phones that they were chatting on in between processes (that they hid from us as we walked in to look more productive). An this was in 2015. It's nowhere near the Nike sweat shops that were in the news in the 90's, or the landfill scavenger slums that are highlighted in many documentaries. And China is converting from coal to nuclear and renewable; they are pretty hard on the environment still, but that's also getting better.

That's basically at the end of the manufacturing line, though. I'm sure as you go further back in the supply chain, conditions get worse. Mining raw materials has way more occupational hazards, for instance. The point that I am adding to is that just being made in China doesn't really have a blanket hold on immorality.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 06:36:40 AM by StashingAway »

Dee18

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2019, 07:06:29 AM »
I imagine that most of us are communicating with this forum on a device made in China.  Many of my Christmas gifts were made in China.  I received Ascher rechargeable bike tail lights that work beautifully and can be used either on my bike or attached to my jacket when I’m out walking in the city before dawn. I also received several lovely pieces of handmade ceramics...brought to my by my daughter who came home for the holidays from her teaching job in China. 

While I recognize the good intent to not support poor working conditions, repressive governments, or environmentally harmful manufacturing, I think labeling one country of manufacture as the enemy is troubling. I find it particularly troubling that it is China.  The United States has a terrible history of using Chinese labor, particularly in the gold rush and building railroads, and then passing laws such as the Chinese Exclusion Act so that Chinese men could not bring their wives and children over at a time when immigration of others was widely welcomed.  To blame a problem on one country or race almost always obscures the real issues.  Here the real issues OP is concerned about include poor working conditions, mistreatment of minority populations, and environmental degradation.  These problems can be found in most countries, certainly including the US.  Let’s target the problems, not a country.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 07:21:25 AM by Dee18 »

Freedomin5

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2019, 07:18:23 AM »
I am not sure either about raw materials, I would bet it is not possible to get full disclosure.  I doubt it is required.   

Are you expat to China or from there originally?  Your perspective would be really helpful to the thread.

Yes. Iím originally from Hong Kong, but my parents immigrated to Canada a long time ago, where I was raised. DH and I expatriated to China a few years ago. My extended family is involved in manufacturing, and I have friends who have family who work in factories, so while I likely donít have the full picture because every factory is different, I have some knowledge.

My take is that itís really hard to know based on a companyís marketing materials how the items are actually produced and where the materials are from. However, most of the people who work in the factories are appreciative of the job, because the job provides steady income, free housing and free food. It pays enough that they can send money home to support their family each month. In fact, many people leave their rural home town/village so that they can find work in factories. Wages have been increasing over the past years and the government has increased regulations in terms of work conditions,, to the point that many companies have now moved manufacturing facilities to poorer countries such as Cambodia and Myanmar and other countries that are desperate for foreign investment and that have lower wages.

From my perspective, I simply buy what I need because my sense is that the people who made that product need the job, and to them the job and work conditions are much better than the other work to which they have access.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2019, 11:28:03 AM »
This morning I looked at the label on a stainless steel pet dish I acquired used.  Label on the bottom says "Responsibly made in India."

Regarding the need-a-job idea, I remember when there was the original enormous controversy over Nike having their shoes made in Vietnam (this must have been mid-90's).  At the time I also thought that even though the pay was ridiculously low, like the equivalent of $1 per day plus a bowl of rice, I thought that "At least they have that; the alternative was no dollar and no rice."  These laborers were living in huts prior to these factory jobs and they were highly coveted and life-changing opportunities.   

I also held the opinion that we could not put Western standards on that they chose to do -- that paying manufacturing labor $15 an hour in a country where many people live on less than $500 per year would cause economic and social chaos. 

I have settled on the idea that a slow introduction of first world standards over a generation or two is a good idea and that my rationalizations otherwise were lame.  That people lived in huts for centuries and lacked sanitation, health care, and clean water does not make it a cultural paragon that must be preserved.  Very rich corporations can come in and help lift people to better lives and reduce infant mortality, so the question can be asked that by buying the items am I helping to lift people or am I contributing to a type of enslavement?  I am asking myself that about China with this thread, especially the mass produced junk that is simply not needed.   

I guess I will leave it that any country that places religious minorities in concentration camps won't be getting my American dollars if I can help it.  That feels like a good place to start.             

Gizm0

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2019, 04:31:51 PM »
As a European I have actually decided to avoid US products for political reasons. I'm also not travelling to the US anymore and I avoid flights where I have to change plane in the US. I have no issues with products from Asia.

Car Jack

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2019, 04:59:00 PM »
I find that the best way to keep dollars I spend inside the US is to use people in the US to repair stuff I already have.  That means holding on to stuff longer, which actually saves me money.  Sure, the parts used might be from China....or maybe not....but the guy doing the work and getting a living wage is working in the shop 2 miles from my house.

Companies do all kinds of slimy things to make you "think" that their products are made in the US.  One thing I was looking at had an ad that said "Built in an American owned factory" with a big American flag.  Where's that American owned factory?  China.

If you're buying anything electronic, not only is it likely built in China, the ICs are often assembled in China.  I've worked for IC companies for 26 years.  Even if a chip is fab'd in the US, it goes to the far east to be packaged and tested.

There still are things not touched by China, but you do have to work to find them.  Some tires are made in the US, Canada, Japan, Korea and Germany.  They'll say right on them where they're from.  Even European chainsaws (Husqvarna, Stihl) use Chinese parts.

Rimu05

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2019, 09:03:58 AM »
I am personally on the idea of say, not buying fast fashion, or buying ethically made stuff, etc but I donít honestly understand the whole ďDonít buy in China.Ē

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other countries that manufacture products where the workers are paid poorly and with child labor. Is there something people are particularly unhappy about in terms of China?

Particularly the "re-education" of a million muslims, prison labour, and Hong Kong.

I didn't mention that because I live in the U.S. If I was questioning other countries' morals, surely, we should start at home. Our taxes even "made in the USA" go to funding a military that has been waging war on other countries for reasons none of us can explain. America also has prison labor too... :/

This doesn't mean two wrongs make a right but I always wonder why people are so ready to point judgement towards other countries when home is where the hatred is.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 09:07:19 AM by Rimu05 »

daverobev

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Re: Don't buy made-in-China junk in 2020!
« Reply #35 on: January 01, 2020, 08:11:40 AM »
I am personally on the idea of say, not buying fast fashion, or buying ethically made stuff, etc but I donít honestly understand the whole ďDonít buy in China.Ē

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other countries that manufacture products where the workers are paid poorly and with child labor. Is there something people are particularly unhappy about in terms of China?

Particularly the "re-education" of a million muslims, prison labour, and Hong Kong.

I didn't mention that because I live in the U.S. If I was questioning other countries' morals, surely, we should start at home. Our taxes even "made in the USA" go to funding a military that has been waging war on other countries for reasons none of us can explain. America also has prison labor too... :/

This doesn't mean two wrongs make a right but I always wonder why people are so ready to point judgement towards other countries when home is where the hatred is.

The difference I think is that you as an American can at least in theory influence US policy - you can write to your elected reps. And you won't get "re-educated" for doing so.

Now, I don't live in the US. Obviously the US has a lot to answer for. You have to be able to live with yourself, and of course we all subconsciously choose to ignore a raft of issues. Personally I find "patriotism"/"we're the best" a really unpleasant and unwarranted (usually) way of thinking.

I mean... we're stupid. We're "all" stupid. We all do stupid things all day, every day.