Thursday, June 18, 2009

Say NO to Sweatshops

Reasons #173 to buy handmade*:

Imports suck!

Yes, I may have mentioned this once...or twice....or 50 times.   But it's so true.  Imports from China (and other assorted countries) may be cheap, but they are going to cost in the long run; and they are costing some people right now.

It's no secret that most manufactures use child labor.  And it's no secret that the working conditions are atrocious.  People working in the factories, whether they are children or adults, are underpaid and overworked.  My neighbor, who is from Cambodia, says that her cousin in Cambodia is paid $0.75 per hour at the factory where he works.  And that's not the worst!

Of course, I have seen the phrase "Responsibly made in China" stamped onto products.  This may or may not be true.  But, even when working conditions are good, the money you spend on a Chinese import is money that is being drained from our economy.  

I know that it is sometimes impossible to find and item manufactured in the USA.  I myself have searched for particular items and have not found a one that wasn't made in China. It's a sad reality. 

HOWEVER--if you can buy an item that is made here, and preferably handmade, do it!  You won't be sorry.  You can feel good about supporting people within your community.  And you can feel good about having something unique, well-made, beautiful, or all of the above.  

I hate to have this sound like a commercial for Wichita Handmade.  It isn't.  This is a call to take positive action.   Please, be a responsible consumer!  Buy handmade, whether it's from me, my friends, crafters in your community, or any of the other millions of good folks on Etsy. 

Lovely pillow found on Etsy, handmade for you by FennelStudio!

Craft on!


*There may need to be some clarification about the term handmade; when I say handmade, I am referring to items created by artisans, who create items because they want to. 


  1. I would add: if you really want something that can't be found here, look online for artisans working for themselves in their own countries! I've bought some lovely items from India, China, Argentina...handmade by artists charging a fair price, using local materials. Handmade around the globe!:D

  2. oh yes! that is true; i don't recommend that you never purchase directly from artists just because they are in another country--but you know what i mean about buying local. ;)

  3. You said it girl! Support handmade and small business! I love how personal the experience is buying from Etsy sellers. I have made a ton of new friends in the Etsy and blogging communities as well. I just cannot say enough good things!