Monday, November 7

Made In China: Thoughts about Holiday Shopping

The holiday shopping season is almost in full swing. Our local food store already has candy canes! I can't help but think about the commercial and material overload that is out there already. Every year I try to find the balance between needs and wants, quality and quantity, what we give and what we get. This year, I am trying, more than ever to support local people and our country's economy. I'm thinking about quality toys made with loving hands close to home. I'm thinking about the process involved and the people who made the products. I am thinking about natural products that once lived and grew not far from here. I am thinking about spending carefully and thinking about the future.

In a world where 80% of toys made are made in China, a toy shopper has to be pretty selective. I am not saying we don't have toys made in China or that I have never bought them, but this year and this Christmas I am making more of an effort to not purchase these products and to pass the word. I think we are all aware of the recalls from toys made in China (almost 1 million toys in one Mattel recall in 2007 and there have been 17 in the past 10 years). But it doesn't end there. Consider these photos from toy factories in China.

(For more photos visit this link)

There are terrible working conditions the employees endure which have lead to riots and suicides at the factories. There are cases of child labor, dangerous chemicals, unsafe working conditions and much more. When I think about my child opening a toy on Christmas day I don't want it to be the result of someone's suffering or mistreatment. I don't want a special toy to be one that was handled with plastic gloves by someone wearing a face mask or the 1,000th toy that person made that day. So this year I will probably have to spend a little more time thinking about holiday shopping and then more time being selective in my shopping, but I think it will be worth it.


Olives and Pickles said...

Thanks for bringing this up.I was getting ready a similar post earlier today, then I saw your post and decided to add this link to my post.It is sheduled for tomorrow afternoon.
Thanks for sharing

Natalie said...

I couldn't agree more. Thanks for sharing.

Kellie said...

Something to consider in the midst of the sensory overload of this time of year.

Sasha said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic! Your post serves as a reminder to anyone who reads it to be aware of the implications our decisions as consumers have on others.
Thanks again,

rebecca said...

I understand China should change some things, but I don't get what is bad about the pictures? Even from the link. I worked at a pie factory and a school supplies warehouse when I was in college and that's what it looks like in America too. It's a miserable job here too.

Anonymous said...

Yes! I am buying almost exclusively from Etsy and Nova Naturals... safe, quality items from the USA and Europe.

Roxie700 said...

I agree with your post very much. I have been going crazy in my own mind dealing with an issue here in our home. The Christmas tree. We have always loved a real tree. We have always loved to cut the tree for our use etc. Then, in Sept in our area of the state of Texas we had some of the worst wild fires that have ever happened in Texas. Hundreds of people lost their home. Bastrop state park is all but can I go out and cut down a tree to bring it into our home to put some lights on it? That just does not seem right to me.
I am not sure what we will do this year.
I am a grand mother of 4 and I own a small home day care business. I try to give hand made toys. Toys made in our country. If everyone does their part we can help fix our economy.

My Child's Diary said...

Hi Amy!

I couldn't agree more with your thoughts.

We try to make handmade presents to each other, but if we decide to buy something, I prefer to pay a bit more for something made by someone with love and care.

Amy, I hope that it is alright with you that I tell you here about our new shop that you have just recently opened at Etsy, where we sell Waldorf inspired seasonal products -

If this is alright with you, and of course, if you like them, I'd love to send you a set of our Seasonal Postcards, which you can see here - Please send me your address to samjerus(at), if you agree,

I've been taking so much inspiration and wisdom from your blog for the past year or two, so that it will be the least I can give you in return.

Thank you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Amy said...

Miri, your etsy shop is wonderful. I love the postcards, they are beautiful in capturing a child's world through the seasons! What a pleasure it would be to display them in my home. I'll get in touch, thanks, Amy