Monday, November 24, 2008

Short term gain, long term pain.
I was in Target at the weekend(in Spokane WA, which is the closest city to us here in Nelson). I was really floored when I saw these holiday items by John Derian. I had heard that John Derian was producing a limited product range for Target a few months ago and was interested to take a closer look. John Derian's products are all about the imagery - that's what we love about his work - the gorgeous vintage images embedded in glass. These images chosen for this holiday collection are dull, predictable and cliche. But what bothers me more than anything are the MADE IN CHINA stickers on the back. The quality was so poor that the packaging was barely holding up to the handling it was receiving on the display. And the price was SO CHEAP. I really question the designers who decide to go the off-shore production route. There are many so called Indie producers these days who have made this choice and I am happy to say I am not one of them. 

These days I am frequently asked by buyers where our products are produced(Canada).  It used to be that the first question they asked was if we used recycled paper(which we do) but now its all about WHERE we produce our product. We don't sell the cheapest cards in the world(in fact they are probably about twice the price of any cards at Target) But in today's economy we all have to make the best decisions for the world as a whole - not selfish, short term decisions based on greed. We have to look into the future and understand that by supporting the poor labour practices of countries like China we have been gradually undermining the foundation of our own economy. No one gains from these practices except the corporate top level. We have to stop expecting to buy everything for cheap and we need to recognize and value quality and craftsmanship that's produced here at home with a conscience. Over and out.
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