The main supplier I use for my diffuser jewellery is in Laos, (south East Asia, North of Thailand).
The market style manufacterer only employs adults and often sends photos of the ladies who create the items.
Laos is known for silk and local handicraft products which support the local economy.
Laos has an average federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 and Full Time workers earn a minimum monthly rate of $100. This is significantly higher than areas in Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. While still considered a third world country, the Laos government has been working to achieve economic reform.
Choosing an overseas supplier is hard.
You have to weigh up a few things. One of those is wether the manufacturing process involves children.
While you can never 100% guarantee this isn’t the case unless you are visiting the country, you can request pictures and get to know the supplier a little better over time. It helps if someone int he company speaks reasonable english or you have somebody who can translate.
I have been importing products for years, you simply cannot ignore the things that go on in the industry. Always do your best to maintain a reasonable amount of dignity when choosing products.
Look after your suppliers – Don’t haggle down to their last piece of bread.
Look after your suppliers, they look after you.
While it’s okay to haggle in price, recognise that often in Eccomerce, you ate lucky to maintain a 25% return.
Trying to reach that 100% mark up is not worth participating in slave labour.
While some people are completely against imported products, you also have to take into consideration how a worker would feel if the entire worlds trade shunned their handcrafts tomorrow. They simply would not be able to feed their family without trade import.
Their is a balance to be achieved here. Some of it falls on the consumer as well who will often go for the lowest price they can possibly find.
When I can’t Get It from one place, I source it for another.
Not all of my items are from Laos, they don’t create everything I choose to stock.
Some of my items are imported from Hong Kong, usually from highly rated suppliers.
When a supplier is highly righted it means they have clean factory conditions & are transparent with their employee count and other factors.
I’d love to stock handcrafted items in Australia
I’m hoping 2018 brings some different partnerships with talented people in Australia who hand craft their products, with at least 70% home grown items.
If you do want to discuss this with me, contact me through my Facebook page in the sidebar.