One of the blogs on my google reader is Fasion Loves People. Not only did they recently post on DIY hippie headbands that I really want to make now, but they also had an interesting post about the weak US dollar and it’s reverse effects on globalization.
“From NPR’s report on Superior Products Inc., which produces gas fittings in Cleveland:
“When we go overseas now, a dollar-denominated price is something much more competitive — if you are competing against companies that are selling in euros, for instance,” (VP Greg) Gens says. “So there is an advantage as we set up and try to get product into Europe or Southeast Asia.
“… As oil prices climb, shipping cheaply made products from China becomes more expensive. Add to this slowly increasing labor costs in Asia, and many buyers are rethinking the savings they are achieving by purchasing overseas.”
I guess this depends on your view of globalization as to whether or not this is a good thing. I’m still learning about these things, but I think certainly notbuying mass produced products made by poor to no standards at all would be a good thing, but at the same time the debate continues…If it weren’t for these factories, would these people find a job elsewhere? Can we have both? Facotries that pay their workers fairly, and have safe working conditions, giving them good jobs. Is the middle man willing to eat those extra expenses in the name of fairness? I think that unfortunately, until more standards are put in place, I think that the middle person will try to drive the price they pay down by whatever means possible, until the consumer speaks up.
Ignorance is bliss and most choose not to ask questions about where it was made and by what standard.
As Fasion Loves People puts it:
When it’s no longer worth it for corporations to spend their time seeking the lowest possible manufacturing prices in the most remote areas, we all win! Better worker pay, plus a much lower transportation footprint.
Any thoughts? Am I off base here?
I was just reading more about this topic on World Changing :
“But transportation costs are not the only reasons why globalization as we know it might be in for some rapid evolution. Consider:
*Far-flung supply chains may drop costs (even with higher oil prices), but the multiply climate change emissions. That already presents a marketing challenge as consumers grow more aware of their carbon footprints. And if political consensus emerges on pricing carbon (as seems likely), some of the price advantages of global complexity could vanish overnight.
*Manufacturers and others are already increasingly aware of, and worried about, supply chain diversity. When the entire supply of a critical part or material comes from a distant factory or mine, every company that depends on that part or material is at risk. Increasingly, companies are trying to find multiple sources (and alternative sources), preferably close to home.
*Some of the economic advantages of globalization have come from companies gaining the ability to skirt labor and environmental laws by doing business in countries with high levels of political corruption (corruption they have often helped create). But now, transparency activismhas blown the cover of secrecy off these practices; now it is easier than ever to cause enormous brand damage simply by revealing an unsavory backstory.”
Makes my statements seem a bit pessemistic huh? I guess we should live this out and ask for transparent brands.
*Photo from WorldChanging.com