Ethical Manufacturing. It sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? That’s because indeed, it was. Factories spewed toxic chemicals from their smokestacks and employees worked inhumane hours for low pay with no job security. Not to say that doesn’t happen anymore, particularly in countries with few unions and fewer regulations. But as human beings, we have begun to realize that we need to change.

Ethical Manufacturing is manufacturing with a conscience. With awareness. With heart. Using sustainable resources. Valuing your employees and their quality of life. Manufacturing as close to point of sale as possible and shipping as carbon neutral as possible. 

Ethical Manufacturing is producing quality craftsmanship. Building products that last. Did you know that there was a period in the last half of the 20th century when the standard question an engineer would ask when handed a project was: “When do you want it to break?” The manufacturer’s answer was usually, “A month or two after the warranty runs out”.

The disturbing trend actually started in the 1950’s when a group of manufacturers colluded to limit the life of the incandescent light bulb to just 1,000 hours. The practice is called “planned obsolescence”. Not ethical. On so many levels.

Ethical Manufacturing is a choice made by the business. Supporting Ethical Manufacturing is a choice made by you.  And that choice is part of practicing Intentional Living—living with purpose, with aim, with intent.

When you shop, purchase Ethical Housewares, Ethical Fashion, Ethical Food. That’s right, food. They may try to call the process ‘food production’ but technically, it’s ‘food manufacturing’. Yes, we have food factories. They aren’t healthy, they aren’t humane, and they aren’t ethical.

Buy your meat from the local butcher, who gets it from the farmer who grazes his cattle all summer. Buy your fruit and vegetables from the local farmer’s market where possible. When it’s time to update your wardrobe, buy Slow Fashion and clothing made from ethically sourced materials that have been created in environments where people are valued.

Source Ethical Housewares when you need a new bowl or a new kitchen utensil or when you’re looking for a meaningful gift. Sustainable materials to watch for include bamboo, eco-friendly textiles, and organic materials.

If you become an ethical shopper, in many cases you will know who created your purchase, where they are from and why they did this. Above all, it will make your purchases meaningful.

The world cannot survive another 70 years like the last 70 of blind consumption and runaway corporate greed. Only the individual shopper can force the change from manufacturing for maximum profit to a society that supports Ethical Manufacturing.

Never think that you cannot possibly make a difference in such a big world. Margaret Mead, a mid-century influencer, nailed it when she said:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

Support Ethical Manufacturing. Shop ethically, live ethically, live intentionally. And by doing that you can make a difference.

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