We want new things and we want them now. Our spending habits put brands on perpetual searches for ways to shorten the time between design, manufacturing, and distribution, and China has stepped up with the technology and the supply chains to meet our needs.
Our consumption habits, then, can only be satisfied by purchasing from China.
Today’s show analyzes the ethical and environmental implications associated with excessive reliance on the “World’s Factory”, as China has affectionately been dubbed. What does manufacturing and lax regulations mean for both the people and the planet, and how can we as consumers do better?
Here’s a preview:
[2:00] What the Made In China label means (and doesn’t mean) about a product’s quality
[5:00] A deep dive into Chinese manufacturing: 5 reasons why China has become the “world’s factory”
[7:00] What China’s lower compliance standards mean for people
[10:30] The story of Oregon mother Julie Keith, Halloween decorations, and Sun Yi
[14:00] Chinese manufacturing and environmental pollution
[19:15] Practical action steps for listeners that go beyond “just buy local”
- Nearly 14,000 companies violate China pollution rules (via NYTimes)
- How your cheap Chinese-made products may be killing thousands in China (via USAToday)
- How much do we buy from China? (via NPR)
- Are Made In China toys safe? (via The Baby Penguin)
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