Forums > Social Discussion > Troubled thought about Toys and where they come from

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Glåss
DIAMOND Member since Nov 2001

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 2523
Posted:Would you use poi that were made in a sweat shop?
Would you use poi that were made in a factory with appauling low health and workong conditions

12 hours a day 7 days a week for 1-2hours a day.
Migrant workers away from their husbands, wives and children
Maybe for 1-3 dollars.
this is typical for many chinese migrant workers

I ask because I was just researching the manufacture of some of my favorite props (not poi in this case)
a type of ball. Baoding balls (chinese health balls to be precise and found an article (nytimes) about their manufacture in a typical chinese factory.

Knowing that many of the poi on sale in the uk (poi with tails especially) are made in china.
I asked these 2 questions.
Hmmmm.
thoughts.

Would spinning poi made like this have the same uplifting benefits for you soul?
I'd love also to know whether HOP gear is made ethically/fairtrade. Although Knowing Malcolm, I think that I can already guess the answer smile


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DarkFyre
BRONZE Member since Nov 2005

DarkFyre

HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Total posts: 1965
Posted:I have purchased all of my toys to date from stores without having even thought about the possibility of sweat shops.
However i have made alterations to most of my pois and also to my staff i.e. chains, grips, wick.
In future i will be making my toys from scratch but mainly because custom equipment feels better even if it is somebody elses toys.


May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

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Philomel
SILVER Member since Nov 2005

member
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 39
Posted:The joys of capitalism. mad

Something inspiring is the fact that there have been so many workers' strikes in China recently. They are becoming larger and happening much more frequently.


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Glåss
DIAMOND Member since Nov 2001

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 2523
Posted:Theres several debates here that have come off the main one:

Ethical: separation of families- migrant workers/low working conditions/ modern day slavery
Ethical: Environmental
Quality: of poi equipment

Rob: Juggling companies that have outsourced to the far east, Steve mentioned beard
I would tell you that (no surprise) Passe passe - "masters of copying other peoples designs"
have too.

One thing we do have in this thread (as with most online forum discussions) is a lot of speculation based on opinion, and not a lot of hard evidence, or quality information. So lets try to raise the quaity of the debate.

I highly recommed this NY times article which prompted the original thread:
This version is better, it has all the pictures:
http://www.52en.com/xl/html/20050402_001.html
br>this is the NY times version for authenticity
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9902E1DB1330F932A15751C1A9629C8B63&fta=y
br>
Ok, so here is a wider issue, not our "toys" but all "toys" have you been in a toy shop recently?
They're full of crap, but try to find something not made in china?
Our Childrens playtime is fueled by the suffering of other children who are separated from both parents for years at a time ...


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Bender_the_Offender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

Bender_the_Offender

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:it broke my heart to read that article.

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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Glåss
DIAMOND Member since Nov 2001

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 2523
Posted:crickey, Bender your post just stopped me dead.
I had to re read it 3 times looking for the joke,
I didn't findone, and then it stopped me dead even more.


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Zauberdach


Zauberdach

Sometimes sword wofter
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 199
Posted:Yet another reason to make your own frown

But then I suspect that the materials we use to make our equipment all come from third world factories, there is no way to be sure frown

It's so depressing...


IMPORTANT: Any views or opinions are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of a sane person.

"just get the f**k on with it and make me the anti-christ already!"

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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands, United Kingd...

Total posts: 7263
Posted:Firstly I'd like to say, being someone who works with foreign suppliers of various metal thingies, being from China/Turkey anywhere else doesn't equal poor quality or working conditions. Making such blanket statements and is not only naive it's prejudice & stereo typical. Sure it happens, but it's not everywhere, there are some quite quite decent manufacturers in the far East who offer a high quality service and employment conditions who want to help change their fellow employers attitudes and practices as much as we do.



I'm not one to really agree with sending all our money to another country ultimately making our nations poorer in the name of fake profits, but, I do respect that the bean counters beleive their numbers add up. Anyway, I digress...



....I feel a lot of the responsibilty for change is held with the consumer, not only the man in the street buying a pair or poi or whatever, but the wholesalers and importers who do the purchasing in bulk. Countries like China are increasing their wealth by maximising the export value/import value ratios as they wish to grow rich and "westernise" their lifestyles and societies, those purchasing the goods need to insist of quality of workmanship with agreed tolerances/specifications with continuous recorded evidence, quality of working conditions and quality of pay rates in acordance with their national requirements, for all workers on all levels.



If all Western buyers of this cheap equipment insist that there is either agreed levels of total quality and worker conditions or there is no business at all the suppliers wouldn't have any choice but to agree to maintain their valuable export business. Of course the price would go up quicker, but then the work would come back home so it wouldn't be all that bad and our national wealth would improve.



IMO Those who have the power to make changes for the better also have the responsibility to their human brothers and sisters to do so.



This was a tact taken by all the leading western motor manufacturers (ie Ford, GM etc) in the 70's/80's and has lead to a cleaner, safer, healthier, more efficient working environment for all employees of the companies who wish to supply to them. Documented evidence is required at regular intervals with inspections and the change has been amazing. (from what I've seen, I wasn't old enough to be there but I've studied it and have parents)





What I've never understood is how come area's only become "poor" when others bocome "rich"? How does money do that? Surely working the land for food an clothing has been fine for many thousands of years, why is it considered oh so terrible to maintain that lifestyle in comparison to living in a sky scraper in some smelly city driving the oil burner and getting fat all day? I know which I'd choose, if I was brave enough....


Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Zauberdach


Zauberdach

Sometimes sword wofter
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 199
Posted:How do you account for the carbon footprint of importing something that can be made locally?

IMPORTANT: Any views or opinions are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of a sane person.

"just get the f**k on with it and make me the anti-christ already!"

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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands, United Kingd...

Total posts: 7263
Posted:I'd imagine you add up the % of fuel apportioned through it's miles of travel across the globe and it's manufacturing emissions, much like any other manufactured item made for either a domestic or a foreign markets??

Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Zauberdach


Zauberdach

Sometimes sword wofter
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 199
Posted:I was meaning ethically smile

IMPORTANT: Any views or opinions are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of a sane person.

"just get the f**k on with it and make me the anti-christ already!"

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Glåss
DIAMOND Member since Nov 2001

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 2523
Posted:Zaber- I think you're typing all confused.

If you're asking about Carbon / CO2

Your talking about the environmental impact.

Rather than the ethical issues.



Both of which are important here.



Most people perception of the environmental impact of transportation is very skewed from what the data suggests.



I was at a lovely environmental lecture a couple of years ago, Talking about environmental impact of global shipping.



"whats the difference between buying an apple from New Zealand or an apple from the UK?

Well if you go to buy it in a car, it doesn't make any different at all."



Or in other words (drew runs off to do some calculations on his eco data.)

Based on Eco indicator 99 data:

It would create the same polution to transport an apple in global shipping 5000km as it would to drive a passenger car 34m yes, that is m as in METRES drive a car 34 metres.



The environmental pollution of the lorries and vans delivering the fruit to the supermarkets is probably much higher than that caused by freighting it across the world.

Screw Air freight and air passenger travel, thats super polution. My environmental pollution from a 2 hour flight across europe would cause more pollution that i would make in the rest of the month!!



That being said many of the benifits of shopping locally are the intangibles - benefits to the local community.

Things that I value highly. - Hence BUY LOCAL.



Drew

EDITED_BY: Glss (1133306456)


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Zauberdach


Zauberdach

Sometimes sword wofter
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 199
Posted:Ok to make it clear:

Ethically what do you feel about shipping an object halfway across the world that can be easily manufactured locally, bearing in mind issues such as the extra emission of carbon used to transport it.

smile

That arguement about shipping from overseas using less fuel sounds like wishful thinking to me. It MUST take extra fuel and therefore cause extra emissions surely? It is like saying it takes no extra petrol to drive down the road to the shops than it does to drive to the other end of the country... confused


IMPORTANT: Any views or opinions are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of a sane person.

"just get the f**k on with it and make me the anti-christ already!"

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Glåss
DIAMOND Member since Nov 2001

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 2523
Posted:read my last post again smile

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Zauberdach


Zauberdach

Sometimes sword wofter
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 199
Posted:Written by: Glss

Your talking about the environmental impact.
Rather than the ethical issues.




Fair enough, but can they not be the same? I would argue those who damage the environment are doing "wrong" while those who don't are doing "right", hence an ethical issue. Do you sell out and do "wrong" by taking the cheaper option of buying overseas or do you do "right" by talking the more expensive option of buying local smile

Written by: Glss

Based on Eco indicator 99 data:
It would create the same polution to transport an apple in global shipping 5000km as it would to drive a passenger car 34m yes, that is m as in METRES drive a car 34 metres.




But then the apple still needs to be delivered at this end. Surely it cases more pollution to ship an apple 5000km and then drive it 50km by lorry than it does to simply ship it the 50km by lorry? but talking about poi, shipping poi 5000km by sea or by air MUST cause more pollution than making it in your bedroom or buying from someone in the same country? And if we are agreed that extra pollution is wrong then using imported poi must be wrong...


IMPORTANT: Any views or opinions are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of a sane person.

"just get the f**k on with it and make me the anti-christ already!"

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:What Glass is saying s that to ship 40,000 apples, plus all the other items on the ship, is only a tiny tiny % per apple of fuel and energy used.

On a per apple basis, driving to the supermarket, to bu 15 items and then driving home, consumes an exponential amount of fuel per item by comparison. (and then you add the tiny % already).

Then again, if you want to be seriuos about this, you need to consider how all of the materials used to make your own toys arrived at your place. Was the fabric, chain, leather strips, glue, screws etc all made locally?

And, how much waste do you produce when making them (assuming the almost nil waste when purchasing a ready made item).

From an environmental point of view, I would buy items from overseas if they were quality and designed to last the distance, and then change my lifestyle to have a much larger impact on my local environment, which is easier to measure and and more effective.

In my opinion, of course...


HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

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Zauberdach


Zauberdach

Sometimes sword wofter
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 199
Posted:I understand what he is saying but it appears to be flawed frown Hopefully i'm not being obtuse?

If you buy a ready made item, waste is still produced. In the factory rather than in your bedroom. Just because you do not personally see the waste does not mean it has not been made.

The apple that is shipped halfway accross the globe is still driven to the supermarket in a lorry and still driven home in a car. Furthermore it has to be refrigerated and treated with chemicals to stay "fresh" over the journey frown

I make a lot of toys and can say that 95% of my materials are made in the UK. The Kevlar is made in the Bristol, the ironmongery is made in Wales, the leather comes from a shop five minutes walk away... However where their raw materials come from? frown

Ideally you could both change your lifestyle for the big impact and then buy local products for the small impact as well smile Ideally...


IMPORTANT: Any views or opinions are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of a sane person.

"just get the f**k on with it and make me the anti-christ already!"

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kin...

Total posts: 7330
Posted:side-topic:



another big challenge to the environment when buying say apples from a supermarket is waste.



the standards the supermarket chains now demand of their suppliers are absolutely ridiculous and it has become commonplace for growers to reject massive percentages of their crops for cosmetic reasons alone.



see this report



/end of side-topic



think globally; buy locally; and not from a supermarket.





drew - any chance you want to tell us who those manufacturers are that you know have moved their production to unethical locations?

this thread is pretty useless if we are all condemning the action but have no way to tell which manufacturers are the unethical ones...





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom

Total posts: 5276
Posted:2 pence:

what I really dislike is wasteful packaging. Say mushrooms, At the gorwing place they have latex gloves being used and other hygienic things in their boxes and plastic bags. The plastic covering comes on carboard rolls no doubt, and the plastic containers on pallets wrapped in plastic and such. Then the mushrooms are picked, put on their plastic containers, covered in plastic, have a label put on. Possibly but it a box / pallet for delivery to the supermarket. Then the supermarket sells the mushrooms to a customer in a plastic bag. And the mushrooms have only one layer of packageing and processing. I feel vaguely sick when I open anything with two layers of packaging.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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Zauberdach


Zauberdach

Sometimes sword wofter
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 199
Posted:Coleman: A friend of mine who is a farmer told me all about this. But what the worst part of it is that the unused stuff that fails to meet the supermarkets standards cannot be reclaimed and then reused or sold by the farmer. What he told me was that if the supermarkets say pick up 3 tonnes of carrots. They reject 2 tonnes as unsuitable and bin them and he gets paid for 1 tonne. He cannot even get the 2 tonnes back to feed his cattle because it isn't worth the supermarkets while and he cannot afford to upset them... mad

IMPORTANT: Any views or opinions are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of a sane person.

"just get the f**k on with it and make me the anti-christ already!"

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Glåss
DIAMOND Member since Nov 2001

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 2523
Posted:You're waaaay off topic, but I guess that doesn't explain why I'm boycotting supermarkets because their fruit and veg are such low quality, lack of flavour and unripe



Coleman: thanks for the article, I will read it later

As for the manufacturers:

Passepasse obviously

and Beard are going that way.

BUT, it is almost certain that most of the manufactures are moving east.



Try to find any mass produced product you bought recently that was not made in china.



edited for mcp smile



biggrin

EDITED_BY: Glss (1133609042)


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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom

Total posts: 5276
Posted:glass: hug

I love full cost accounting.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Ok.

We all seem to agree about the wastefulness of modern day living pruchasing etc etc.

However, it's unlikely that we will be able to change this process in the short term. So, start a friendly, education based campaign (without exagaerration!) to let people know the way you view things.

Think about the timescale it will take for things to improve, say 20-80 years. Continue with the campaign, BUT, if you truly care about this sort of thing, rather than just lip service, it's time to make measurable changes in your own personal life as well.

Use the car as little as possible, if in the country or somewhere where public transport is slim, get a moped, or other transport that is very light on fuel.

Grow oyur own food as much as possible, and help others to grow theirs. Buy items from bulk food stores, and put them into washable reusable container you can refill next time.

Boycott any products that don;'t fit with your views. And, DON'T choose some things (eg cd's, dvds, fire performing fuel etc) that go completely against your view. To hold onto those things but complain about the other things that don't matter to you as much is fairly illogical. :-)

The way I try to approach the world is that I have to EARN the right to complain. If I complain about something, I first must do something about it, and other similar issues, which gives me the right to mention it to other people.

Well, thats how I try to do it, and I hope that it works for me most of the time... smile


HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Cheers Charles ,,great post

That's the difficult part, actually living your ideology.


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Philomel
SILVER Member since Nov 2005

member
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 39
Posted:I do not see how the things that Charles suggested will make any difference at all, especially not in the long-term. Under capitalism, the environment is being destroyed at a pace that is much faster than the rate at which people can recycle. People simply cannot recycle enough to counter the level of environmental destruction that is being caused by capitalism. It is a world-system that thrives off of the exploitation of humans and the environment.

Whilst we continue to live under capitalism, boycotting individual goods/services is useless. Every single good/service that is produced is based on the exploitation of the working class. Workers produce all the wealth in society, but this wealth is taken from them and controlled by the tiny minority at the top who comprise the ruling class. Workers have to buy back the products of their labour at a ridiculous price. So if we were to start a serious boycotting campaign against products that are manufactured unethically or whatever, then we would have to boycott everything and would end up running around naked and starving ourselves! Under this system, we have little choice but to consume goods/services whose production is environmentally unsafe and exploitative.

Written by: Charles

The way I try to approach the world is that I have to EARN the right to complain. If I complain about something, I first must do something about it, and other similar issues, which gives me the right to mention it to other people.




I drink Coca-Cola and use Windows XP, but I believe I am still entitled to be a critic of capitalism and the ways in which it exploits and oppresses people in the name of profit. But I am still doing something about it - for example, protesting against things like the war and university fee increases, as well as striking against the Australian government's nasty anti-union laws. These kind of mass actions are much more effective at putting pressure in the government and bringing about actual reform than things like recycling or boycotting are.

For as long as there is capitalism, there will be environmental destruction. We are headed for a global environmental catastrophe within the next 50-100 years. According to one theory, this catastrophe is what it will take to mobilise the mass of workers to overthrow the ruling class and put a stop to this insanity.


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: Philomel

I do not see how the things that Charles suggested will make any difference at all, especially not in the long-term. Under capitalism, the environment is being destroyed at a pace that is much faster than the rate at which people can recycle. ...........................................



........I drink Coca-Cola and use Windows XP, but I believe I am still entitled to be a critic of capitalism and the ways in which it exploits and oppresses people in the name of profit. But I am still doing something about it - for example, protesting against things like the war and university fee increases, as well as striking against the Australian government's nasty anti-union laws. These kind of mass actions are much more effective at putting pressure in the government and bringing about actual reform than things like recycling or boycotting are.





I think both approaches have their place and can comlement each other well.

Mass protest has an effect, and so does root-level taking responsibility for limiting the consequences of ones life (eg recycling).

One thing they have in common is that each can make a statement that you are challenging the widespread assumptions that the point of life is to buy and consume.



Written by: Philomel

We are headed for a global environmental catastrophe within the next 50-100 years. According to one theory, this catastrophe is what it will take to mobilise the mass of workers to overthrow the ruling class and put a stop to this insanity.



If that happens, what's going to ensure that the exact same cycle of events doesn't just re-run ie small groups taking power and the masses falling under the same controls?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Richee
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague, Czech. Republic

Total posts: 1841
Posted:I finally found what you were thinking about, cause the question is how can Poi eqipment shop can produce so much staff if it can be done almost handmade?
For example I cant imagine making Monkey fist by machine.
I think Malcom schould post here and teel how he make his own?

:R


POI THEO(R)IST

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:mmm I believe in a capitalist system its the consumers that have the power. If we all decided that we were only going to buy water powered cars I bet there would be a glut of em within 5 years. Of course the problem is getting everyone to hold off on that new SUV...(or AUV as they are called in Oz) wink

Im amazed that from an Australian perspective you think there is value in public protest. The biggest protests are getting virtually zero change. In a media environment ruled by a few Tycoons in kahoots with Howard and other Big Business, public perception is based on the Idiot box.

Strike? - sure - but in Oz not many will risk disciplinary action, because we've been the lucky country for as long as anyone can remember...it wont last, but nothing does.

The problem with trying to classify our society in Marxist terms is that the 3 tiers only really existed in the times of the early industrial revolution. People dont think that way. It would be better to classify by tax bracket rather than control of the means of production...who really controls corporations?

Josh


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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Richee
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague, Czech. Republic

Total posts: 1841
Posted:Me, cause Im who comsume resources,

:R


POI THEO(R)IST

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jc_firetricks
BRONZE Member since Dec 2005

jc_firetricks

enthusiast
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 205
Posted:Written by: Philomel

I do not see how the things that Charles suggested will make any difference at all, especially not in the long-term. Under capitalism, the environment is being destroyed at a pace that is much faster than the rate at which people can recycle. People simply cannot recycle enough to counter the level of environmental destruction that is being caused by capitalism. It is a world-system that thrives off of the exploitation of humans and the environment.

Whilst we continue to live under capitalism, boycotting individual goods/services is useless. Every single good/service that is produced is based on the exploitation of the working class. Workers produce all the wealth in society, but this wealth is taken from them and controlled by the tiny minority at the top who comprise the ruling class. Workers have to buy back the products of their labour at a ridiculous price. So if we were to start a serious boycotting campaign against products that are manufactured unethically or whatever, then we would have to boycott everything and would end up running around naked and starving ourselves! Under this system, we have little choice but to consume goods/services whose production is environmentally unsafe and exploitative.

Written by: Charles

The way I try to approach the world is that I have to EARN the right to complain. If I complain about something, I first must do something about it, and other similar issues, which gives me the right to mention it to other people.




I drink Coca-Cola and use Windows XP, but I believe I am still entitled to be a critic of capitalism and the ways in which it exploits and oppresses people in the name of profit. But I am still doing something about it - for example, protesting against things like the war and university fee increases, as well as striking against the Australian government's nasty anti-union laws. These kind of mass actions are much more effective at putting pressure in the government and bringing about actual reform than things like recycling or boycotting are.

For as long as there is capitalism, there will be environmental destruction. We are headed for a global environmental catastrophe within the next 50-100 years. According to one theory, this catastrophe is what it will take to mobilise the mass of workers to overthrow the ruling class and put a stop to this insanity.



Very good idea's here... if only more people thought like this. Becasue it is so true.

Anyone who thinks they are any different are lying to themselves.... technology is the way of the future we can't stop it only make it more enviromently friendly.


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Glåss
DIAMOND Member since Nov 2001

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 2523
Posted:Written by: Pyrolific

mmm I believe in a capitalist system its the consumers that have the power. ....



Naaah, they just want you to think like that.
Yes, collectively we have a huge power, but we do not think or act collectively, we are individuals and hence mega-corp with big dollars has a lot more power.


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