Friday, May 25, 2007

Made in China

i am still bothered by a PBS documentary i saw 2 hours ago.

i believe the title was Brutal Work.
a documentary chronicling the life of a Chinese girl working at a jeans sewing factory.
it begins with a glimpse of her life in a rural province, then...

leaves home, journeys to the city, applies for a job at a sewing factory, gets accepted, learns the ropes, struggles, fights for the wages due her, then ends with her conscious decision to continue working there.

it was difficult for me to see because i own my own company.
i too create products to sell here in the States.
produced in Asia... but in the Philippines, not in China.

which made me question this whole culture of consumerism and consumption.

people here in the States spend so much money on fashion.
fashion that will inevitably become disposable.
since we tire of fashion so quickly.

i just feel bad that we can easily tire of a garment that someone sacrificed so much to create.

not just that.
so much money spent for that same garment.
and so so little paid to the person who made it.

last Christmas, i told the printing factory who printed our gift wrap paper to hold a party for everyone, thanking them for all their effort and help with the year's production. i wired money to my Mom and she threw a party filled with food and gifts for everyone. i checked with my parents also whether the workers were treated fairly. according to her, they were.

i do not know how this behemoth of Chinese manufacturing can be stopped.
i am not even sure if it can be stopped or whether it should be stopped.
it would be hypocritical for us to call for its halt considering we benefit from it so much.

i just hope someone out there can devise of a model that will make it a Win-Win situation for all 3 parties: the company outsourcing the production, the factory manufacturing and finally the employee doing the actual labor.

as much as i want to, my spiritual mission and talent are not in the field of global politics, management and economics. nor is my life one that is marked naturally and inherently by an activist nature.

someone out there must surely know how to solve it.
may he or she wake up to this mission sooner than later.

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