Mark Dwight, founder of SFMade, a nonprofit focused on building San Francisco's manufacturing sector, wrote a thoughtful article for Inc. magazine entitled "Who Cares Where Our Products Are Made?" about the deeper meaning behind the "Made in America" tag. When products are made in the United States, there is generally — but not always — a greater likelihood that fair wages and safe working conditions were provided to producers.
That's why we include "made in America" and "union-made" as reasons some of our products are good buys. Still, we understand that we live in and support a global economy, so when a product isn't made in the United States, the Good Buy takes steps to ensure the item is manufactured by people who are paid a living wage and experience good working conditions.
A few other great insights from the article include words close to the core of the Good Buy's mission:
"Though economies of scale and low-cost labor have yielded tremendous cost savings for consumers, it seems we may be approaching the limits of this business model, especially after factory disasters abroad have focused more attention on the poor working conditions and environmental impact of these practices. There is a small but growing group of 'conscious consumers,' who care about the who, what, why, where, and how behind the products they buy. These customers want to connect with the companies they purchase goods from, and share their enthusiasm with others like themselves."
We're entering an age in which consumers are intimately concerned with where the product they are buying came from, who made it, and under what conditions. Here at the Good Buy, we envision a world where the goods we need and use on a daily basis are made with pride by workers who are treated fairly. We are pursuing an economy that is built on cooperation, not exploitation. As Dwight concludes: "As a conscious consumer myself, I'm concerned about the environmental and social justice issues that come with manufacturing in less-developed, poorly-regulated countries." If that sounds like you too, we're glad you've found us and share this vision too!
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