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Forum posts for The Devil!

Where to shop...
Posted by cosmicfish on Oct 17, 2006
I am working in a mall at a tea store. There are a lot of stupid people walking around in the mall everyday. Some of them are there almost everyday and don't even work there. Don't they have anything better to do?

The point though of my post... which stores are actually okay to shop at?

I will not enter a Wal-Mart. Most big box stores kind of horrify me.

The Body Shop seems pretty good, they are always supporting different causes, don't test on animals and I'm pretty sure they are Canadian. Fruits & Passions is Canadian too and I can tell their products are quality because the scents don't make me sneeze they way cheap candles do.

Is H&M okay? How are their clothes so cheap? I don't mind shopping at American Apparel instead if it means the workers are all getting paid fairly.

Blah. Frachises and chains mean a standard of quality (or style) in most cases but what are they doing to stay competitive? There should be tags on everything with where the material came from, where it was manufactured, how much all the workers earned that produced it and what percentage of the sale is going to the big man at the top.

How many people care about the influence their spending habits have on the world?

I apologized if this post is a bit rambly, I haven't drank any tea yet today.

.
Posted by phduffy on Oct 17, 2006
The Body Shop is British.

They sue you if you say anything bad about them

umm
Posted by Nerhael on Oct 17, 2006
I think it's law already that things have to state where they were created. I've never come across a piece of clothing or anything really that doesn't say somewhere where it was created.

I'll be honest though, I don't think I really care about people overseas being paid comparatively little to North American standards to make shit. If they didn't get paid less, they'd be paid nothing, cause no one would go over there to have them make shit in the first place.

It bother's me more that the governments in these countries help create and support substandard conditions in these work places, and do everything possible to encourage countries to bring their labour requirements to them.

I'd really like to find something that goes into more depth about Taiwan. Like, it's a pretty prosperous country now isn't it? And before, everything used to be MADE IN TAIWAN. I could be completely wrong of course.

bleh
Posted by jessie on Oct 17, 2006
it doesn't matter where you shop, everything is tainted by poor working conditions and social injustice. even if the product is manufactured in North America in great working conditions, you can be sure that these factories are full of equipment and supplies manufactured in third world countries by children. really instead of just avoiding certain products you should stand up for what you believe in a bigger way, if it means that much to you.

.
Posted by phduffy on Oct 17, 2006
Jessie, i would like some proof that complicated and expensive machineary is manufactured in poor countries. I find that hard to believe.

bleh, paul
Posted by jessie on Oct 17, 2006
I am just saying that the footprint of that shirt you bought at h&m extends to social injustice / poor working conditions in some way. I do not have specific examples, but knowing that so much of everything is manufactured in countries like China, I find it hard to believe there is any factory that has no products manufactured outside of this country/continent.

My dad designs and builds factory machinery for a living. They buy components and assemble the machinery here. These components can be manufactured anywhere. They could be made here in Canada, or just as easily in China.

sorry
Posted by jessie on Oct 17, 2006
Sorry, I have such a defeatist attitude, but my dad always bursts my bubble when I try to do good socially and environmentally. Like me wanting a hybrid car, he ruined it for me by being a smart engineer who explained how the environmental footprint for a hybrid is worse than that of a normal gas run engine. boohoo. Oh, and I work in the arts, we are all defeatists.

So....
Posted by phduffy on Oct 17, 2006
Your position is backed by zero evidence then? Or nothing but a Naomi Klein book and some anecdotes?

I'm not saying you're wrong, but before I'm willing to feel guily about everything I own, I'd like to see some proof.

I would also like your dad to sign up here and explain how hybrid cars are worse for the enviroment than a regular car.

ALSO: I have never bought anything from H&M, but I an unconvinced about the 'social injustice' you're talking about.

nonono
Posted by jessie on Oct 17, 2006
i am not saying we should feel guilty, i am saying that it is impossible to boycott because everything is touched by third world manufacturing.

as for the hybrid car thing my dad pointed out that the electricity used in order to charge batteries creates pollution, as do the batteries used by the cars. i guess they go through batteries a lot faster than a regular car, and they are pretty bad for the environment (my dad would know!). and until they stop using coal to generate electricity, you are causing air pollution through this. and then there is the nuclear waste. i really want not to believe him, but he goes into detail about how much pollution is created by the process of making these batteries, the electricity used to make these batteries, etc. he is referring to everything that touches the manufacturing and maintanance of the car, so it is pretty hard to dismiss. but my dad does explain it a lot better (and he crushed my hopes of being environmentally friendly and owning a hybrid car).

i don't have any proof besides my observations at the many jobs i have held. and i am way too lazy to find some, so take it as my opinion.

nonono
Posted by jessie on Oct 17, 2006
i am not saying we should feel guilty, i am saying that it is impossible to boycott because everything is touched by third world manufacturing.

as for the hybrid car thing my dad pointed out that the electricity used in order to charge batteries creates pollution, as do the batteries used by the cars. i guess they go through batteries a lot faster than a regular car, and they are pretty bad for the environment (my dad would know!). and until they stop using coal to generate electricity, you are causing air pollution through this. and then there is the nuclear waste. i really want not to believe him, but he goes into detail about how much pollution is created by the process of making these batteries, the electricity used to make these batteries, etc. he is referring to everything that touches the manufacturing and maintanance of the car, so it is pretty hard to dismiss. but my dad does explain it a lot better (and he crushed my hopes of being environmentally friendly and owning a hybrid car).

i don't have any proof besides my observations at the many jobs i have held. and i am way too lazy to find some, so take it as my opinion.

Interesting
Posted by phduffy on Oct 17, 2006
Hybrids don't plug in, they're not elecric in the sense that you plug them in and recharge your battery.

So I'm not sure where that is coming from.

However, there is some (disputed) evidence that they're worse than regular cars, for the reasons you mentioned (production stuff).

http://cnwmr.com/nss-folder/automotiveenergy/

http://www.thewatt.com/article-1070-nested-1-0.html

That said, you may be able to prove your dad wrong yet.

As more and more people buy hybrids (keep hoping for the $100 a barrel oil), economies of scale will start to kick in, and producers will be more and more efficient, and the production polution should be the same as other cars.

In fact, I'd be surprised if this wasn't already the case. These surveys are based on slightly older data, and the hybrid technology is improving every year.

And personally, I have no interest in boycotting products that were produced in the 3rd world. That just puts some poor Chinese guy out of a job.

mmm
Posted by jessie on Oct 18, 2006
yeah, i recently read an article about china in national geographic, and people there actually move to where the industries are specifically to work in a sweat shop because they are so poor.

it is sad. but i agree paul. and fyi, i know not very much about hybrids, so i am pretty hybrid stupid (and just car stupid for that matter), so i guess i just assumed they plug in. they just recharge as you drive with gas, eh? i am not sure which is better...

.
Posted by cosmicfish on Oct 18, 2006
Paul, I don't really know anything about H&M, that's why I asked on here.

You don't shop at Wal-Mart either, right? Why?
You also said you would never buy a diamond, is that because of amputee camps in Sierra Leon or because they are to expensive?

I don't mind if things are made in other countries but it would be nice to know that the workers there are being paid fairly and treated nicely. By fairly I mean enough to live comfortably in their country and support their family.

My two cents
Posted by kristian on Oct 18, 2006
I have noticed that several items I have bought from H&M are from countries you don't hear a lot from, like Cambodia and I can't remember the other one. But I do remember thinking "Geez, I bet some starving 8 year-old made this" and then bought it anyways becasue it was so cheap.

I don't know. I consider myself a somewhat environmentally and socially conscience person, but there are just so many damned causes out there to support/boycott, you just need to pick a small handful and go with it. For instance, I prefer to buy my food locally and organic when I can (and not because I am afraid of GMO, but I am afraid of pesticides) and I don't eat flesh. But I do eat eggs and milk because, to be perfectly honest, it just sounds too damned hard to be vegan. So I have to turn a blind eye to the fact that the cows and chickens that produce my eggs and milk are probably treated inhumanely. And the people who made my clothes are probably treated worse than those North American cows and chickens, but honestly, I need to wear something and I don't have a lot of money to spend.

And why is it always clothes that people are conceerned about the origins of and not other consumables. What about electronics? Housewares? Shit, I don't know, where does my furniture come from? Although I think that it is unfortunate the so many people are taken advantatge of when it comes to their working/living conditions, I can only fight a few battles. And I have chosen food because I eat a lot more than I purchase clothing.

On a side note, a few places you can shop guilt free are Value Village, Salvation Army, Good Will, etc. The initial blood money has been paid by someone else, you are recycling in effect, and the money you are spending goed toward funding social programs. Make your own clothing out of Value Village finds!

.
Posted by phduffy on Oct 18, 2006
You don't shop at Wal-Mart either, right? Why?

Correct. I don't really like the way they do business. They squeeze their suppliers to ridiculous levels, they fire illegal immigrants and don't pay them.

You also said you would never buy a diamond, is that because of amputee camps in Sierra Leon or because they are to expensive?

It's mostly because I don't really have a very opinion of De Beers. I mean, everything you buy isn't 'worth' waht you pay for it, in that the company makes more than it costs to make. And that's fine, and good for the business that's able to create a brand. (ie, Nike shoes aren't any different materially from New Balance, but they cost more because Nike has a better brand. But De Beers is pretty ruthless at crushing its competition, at one point they had over 80% of the diamond market. And it seems stupid to me to buy something for which they charge about 100 times its cost (made up number, I don't know what the real number is, but it's huge), which has no utility. There difference between a diamond and cubic zirconium are not visible to the naked eye. So why would I spend 8K on a diamond engagement ring? That would be like Chewbacca hanging out witt the Ewoks - it don't make any sense.

Now, some of that could change, as there are a few companies that don't deal with De Beers, and they can make synthetic diamonds that are actuall diamonds. So those might cause the price of diamonds to fall. But even then, the competitors all have a vested interest in not creating a price war.


.
Posted by bryan on Oct 20, 2006
duffy wins by invoking the chewbacca defense.

Value village, local produce, ride your bike instead of driving , and try not to worry too much because we all end up diamonds in the end anyways. Also, stay the fuck away from antibacterial soap. YOU ARE BREEDING THE VIRUS THAT WILL TURN US INTO THE WALKING DEAD!!!!!!! I'm looking squarely at you, mom.

If you haven't heard of the country that made something, chances are they undercut some other poor schlubs to get the labour camps moved to their country. I'm as guilty as the rest, but at the end of the day, I didn't set this bullshit into motion and I sure the hell can't stop it by stitching up my own underwear, so fuck it, let's get drunk and eat chicken fingers.

You said it Bryan
Posted by kristian on Oct 20, 2006
Drunk as fuck!

Oh yeah, antibacterial soap. That will bite us in the ass (but not via "viruses" because the only protection we have against viruses is vaccines). Antibacterial soap and antibiotics fight, get this, bacteria. BUT by over-using these items you are actually selecting for bacteria that are resistant or at least have the capability to become resistant. Basically because you are challenging them you are speeding up their evolutionary process. I think that antibiotics for any little sickness is a very dangerous practice, expecially in Canada the land of free health care and good drug plans. And for heavens sake, if you have to take antibiotics, listen to your doctor and FINISH THE ENTIRE COURSE!!!! This is not for your health, it is to minimize creating resistant strains.