Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Modern Treasure Adventure: Label Hunting!

Have you tried it lately?

Labels, either we have them, crave them or don't want them. Oh, and oh so often we give out labels to others by eh, excuse the pun, labeling them in a certain category: boring, old, young, tall, thin or not thin, pretty or not pretty, rich or not rich.

Labels on our clothing. Oh gosh golly, how much we all tend to pay for this little piece of a letter on top of our clothes. When you stop and think of it, it is rather silly. Yet, this little label is so vital to some, that even counterfeit ones are made and also bought. But, I am talking of a clothing label of a different sort.

The label on the inside. You know, that pesky little rectangular floppy piece that usually scratches our body. Irritates us. Tells us ( sometimes ) how to care for our clothes. When you glance at this label a bit more carefully and dare I say with magnifying glasses you get to see an all too familiar bit of writing....Made in China.

The modern treasure adventure for me, means finding a piece of clothing that is made and produced in the country you live in. It sounds simple enough and you might wonder what the problem is. Yet, when did you last go shopping with the only criteria being that what you would buy is made in your country? Not so easy.

Of course the world needs free trade and the jobs opportunities that it represents. But shouldn't there be a bit of small print: Some part of the local manufacturing needs to be produced locally and not out-sourced and only put together locally.

Manufacturing is the lifeblood of any economy. When you consider the amount of stuff each of us buys each year and most of it is made in some other country, the penny will drop:

  • Whatever you buy needs to be transported to your country. Lots of C.O.2 released in the process.
  • Do you know for certain that materials used are of a high quality and not a health hazard?
  • Manufacturing abroad costs a lot of local jobs.
  • Tourism: Can tourists still buy souvenirs that are actually made in that country?

Trade is necessary. Trade is good. Trade should be fair. Trade creates jobs...but let's make sure that trade is balanced for most countries.

Here is a thought: Let's buy Made in our country every now and again...