Fruitless Quest?

Just interrupting the Holiday Gift Guide for a moment to react to this article I just read at msnbc.

The reporter attempted to boycott all goods made in China. And in the end determines that it is a “fruitless quest.”

I have been thinking about this quite a bit recently. The majority of the things that I pick up to purchase are made in China. And an even greater number are manufactured outside of the USA, even the beloved American Girl dolls. Say it ain’t so!

But to call it fruitless and toss your arms up in the air and give up seems the equivalent to me of not recycling anymore because you see other people throwing away their plastic bottles. Yes, it is difficult. Yes, there are times when it might be impossible to buy the item that you desire because it is only made in China. Hello iPod I am talking to you.

But for me, and I hope for others, it is not so much saying I will never buy anything ever again that is made in China, as it is examining whether or not I honestly need that item. Is there a different item that would do? Can I buy a different brand? Can I buy it someplace else? And probably most important of all, can I do without it?

Being an informed consumer is never fruitless in my mind.

cross posted at Handipoints

8 Responses to “Fruitless Quest?”

  1. bouncy Says:

    American girls made in China?
    Oh, the irony.

    The rest of the article?

  2. Theresa Says:

    Excellent points, and exactly why I am examining my family’s buying habits this Christmas and beyond. To call it useless is a cop-out. We do what we can and little by little it adds up.

  3. Melody Says:

    I completely agree. There is a huge difference between that throwing our hands in the air in defeat, and at least making a conscious decision when we make these purchases. I think our ancestors had plenty of things to play with back before the days of imports. ;)

  4. t in hd Says:

    Is it only items made in China? What about things made in Taiwan, for example? I’ve been scrutinizing a lot of the things we have around here, especially the toys and have found a lot of things from China but also Taiwan and a couple of other countries that I suspect of using child labour/sweatshops. Luckily, living here in Germany, a great deal of our children’s toys are made right here in Germany or in Europe. Even our crockery comes from France and Italy.

  5. t in hd Says:

    BTW, good point about it not being a fruitless Quest. People seem to approach most lifestyle choices/changes (diet, exercise, breastfeeding, organization, walking/biking instead of driving, recycling, etc.) as an all or nothing proposition. If they can’t do it 100% than what is the point? The point is, anything is better than nothing! Just start off in the direction you mean to go. You’ll probably pick up momentum as you go. And even if you don’t, every little bit counts. In anything.

  6. Wendy Says:

    I thought of you, recently, while I was in a William-Sonoma. I saw their display of Le Creuset (sp?) and had to lift them up to see where they were made. It said, Made in France.

    I think what happens is that certain things are in made for the discount stores and then others are made for the retail stores. I am very curious to see where the Le Creuset pots are made in their outlet store. However, I won’t be there until summer.

    I just had to let you know that yes they are made in France, if you choose to spend $200+ for a pot. I think I will be happy with the ones I have now. At this point, we need food more than I need a $200 pot.

  7. Laundry & Children Says:

    I wanted to avoid the American Girl dolls, but my daughters love them. I have some problems with the company, not the least of which is that they make their dolls in China. I found an alternative in the Gotz dolls. they are no longer manufacturing them, but there are still plenty on the market. They will fit all the American Girl stuff and quite frankly, I can not see the difference in the dolls (except the price), but then again I am not 6. The dolls were made in the USA and in Europe. I went internet crazy looking for an alternative, so I thought I would save others the trouble.

  8. t in hd Says:

    O.K., so are there problems with toys made in places like Taiwan and Malaysia? Is quality control really that much better in other places than in China?

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