The horror of the garment factory collapse in Bangladesh has once again raised the question of ethical procurement and factory standards overseas.
The same transparency that gives customers inside information on pricing also means they want to know if the shirt they are wearing was made in a safe environment. Amidst all the dubious claims of “environmentally friendly”, “ethical”, or “green” products there is room for some honest statements about the supply ethics of the products we all sell. "Fair Trade" is just one example of an ethical concept that has strong following.
This week I emailed my supplier of Chinese made goods asking for such assurances. To be honest I don’t think he understood what I was asking. I certainly haven’t received a reply. I had better let him know I need an answer. This issue is not going to be solved quickly but it is not going to go away either.