Kind Lifer VegVirgo asked if my EcoTools collection was USA made, so I wanted to answer her question for all of you. The short answer is that as much as I wish it could be, it’s not, and here’s why:
When I started developing my EcoTools collection, I had a few non-negotiable priorities: everything had to be vegan and sustainably made in a fair workplace. The collection also needed to be affordable. It was important for it to be available to everyone. After all, one of the main points of developing my EcoTools collection was to make it easy to buy cruelty-free products, and to show how yummy and soft vegan brushes are vs. the alternative.
Of course, in an ideal world, all of these criteria would be met perfectly. And while my EcoTools collection is 100% vegan and made with the most sustainable materials I could find, the world isn’t perfect, and we all just have to do the best we can under the circumstances. For example, I would love for everything to be made locally, but if my collection were made in America, it would cost somewhere between $50-$70 per product, way too expensive!
So, the next best option was to find a factory elsewhere with sustainable practices and that factory ended up being in China. I am aware of the human rights issues in many Chinese factories, so I researched this factory to ensure it was a fair workplace. There are no children working in the factory where my EcoTools collection is made and it follows a strict set of labor standards. Here is what EcoTools says about the matter:
The EcoTools by Alicia Silverstone collection is designed, created, and manufactured under conditions that represent the kind and thoughtful nature of the products, themselves. All suppliers and their employees in the process are treated and compensated fairly, and work environments are held to very high standards. Involuntary and under age labor are strictly prohibited, and Paris Presents Incorporated, the owner of the EcoTools brand, goes to every length possible to ensure its suppliers adhere to its company guidelines.
On top of that, I actually believe that in a country where people are in need, giving them a job that pays well is not a bad thing. Let’s look at the whole picture!
I am absolutely not in favor of corporations who take work to other countries and pay little to their employees, have bad working condition, or make environmentally unfriendly products. That is not what excites me or what I’m promoting.
Fundamentally, the bottom line is that yes, I want everything to be local and as sustainable as possible but there are certain situations where you just can’t have your cake and eat it too. Take hemp for example it’s a natural, sustainable material, but the U.S. has made it illegal for farmers to grow hemp here. So, we have to import it until that law changes.
What I love about my EcoTools collection is that it’s available at places that primarily sell products made with no conscience at all about materials or employees and my EcoTools collection sits on the shelf right next to those products. That just thrills me to pieces! It’s a step in the right direction, and I’m proud of helping to make that change.
Now I want to hear from you! How do animal rights, human rights, and environmental concerns affect your shopping habits? Do you find yourself compromising in certain areas to meet your larger priorities? Let me know how you feel about these issues in the comments below.