Monday, December 27, 2010

The Cost of Manufacturing Overseas

When my father was a kid growing up in Cleveland - everything was made in the USA. In fact, Ohio had a large thriving garment industry. Unfortunately that's not the case anymore and that includes just about every marketable good.

Ohio Knitting Mill

It's not just limited to the textile industry; analysts predict as many as two million U.S. white-collar jobs such as programmers, software engineers and applications designers will shift to low cost centers by 2014.

I know why.

American computer programmers earn about $60,000, while their Indian counterparts only make $6,000.

Take that and apply it to just about every industry.

Overseas locations receive preference because of the low wages they are able to pay for labor. In China they are able to pay .30 cents an hour! The U.S. cannot require foreign governments to impose a minimum wage or safety regulations. Additionally, U.S. companies have no employee benefits to pay - more money in their pockets. Lastly and most concerning is that they are exempt from environmental as well as safety regulations.

Of course in these economic times consumers want to get the highest quality goods at foreign prices. I hate to tell you but that really isn't happening folks. While you may be able to purchase goods at low prices - what is the real cost? Was a child working in a sweatshop for pennies a day to sew your jeans? Are your baby toys full of lead? How about your beauty products - if they are foreign made they aren't subjected to the same health regulations that are required in the USA and Canada.

Sweatshop in India using child labor

I'm not saying all foreign products are suspect - I'm sure there are some fine quality items out there. However, generally speaking, if you go into a Target or WalMart and purchase say a cashmere sweater that you know should cost upwards of $100 for $25-chances are it wasn't made under the best conditions.

Personally, I’ve never had the “buy cheap stuff made overseas” mindset but I know a lot of people have become accustomed to it. I respectfully request that we all boycott foreign made goods. Our jobs, our health and our environment is at stake. I realize that American made products are more costly and there is a very good reason why. Products that are made in the USA and Canada not only follow the health and safety guidelines but adult American citizens who are paid American wages.

*Disclaimer: This is my opinion, please take it for what it's worth.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thank YOU!

I really want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

To my husband for believing in me.

To my mom - my personal cheerleader.

To my family for patiently supporting me while I launched my dream.

To my friends who encourage and promote me regularly.

To my LolliFans - your kind words, overnight success and support is what keeps us going.

To my work-wife aka LolliDoo™ inventor. Without you there wouldn't be LolliDoo™.

I am truly blessed and grateful. Thank you for being part of my life.

Here's to a joyful, abundant and successful New Year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Have You Been "Greenwashed"?

Currently worldwide Green is the key word that companies are eager to demonstrate. I stumbled upon this article this morning and was motivated to stand up and say something:

The average citizen is finding it more and more difficult to tell the difference between those companies genuinely dedicated to making a difference and those that are using a green curtain to conceal dark motives. Consumers are constantly bombarded by corporate campaigns touting green goals, programs, and accomplishments. Even when corporations voluntarily strengthen their record on the environment, they often use multi-million dollar advertising campaigns to exaggerate these minor improvements as major achievements.

Sometimes, not even the intentions are genuine. Some companies, when forced by legislation or a court decision to improve their environmental track record, promote the resulting changes as if they had taken the step voluntarily. And at the same time that many corporations are touting their new green image (and their CEOs are giving lectures on corporate ecological ethics), their lobbyists are working night and day in Washington to gut environmental protections.

To read the full article click here.

Are you tired of seeing the words, Green, Eco, Bio, Natural and Environmentally Friendly in association with products that common sense tells you are most certainly NOT?

I am.

According to Wikipedia:

Greenwashing is a term describing the deceptive use of green PR or green marketing in order to promote a misleading perception that a company's policies or products are environmentally friendly. The term green sheen has similarly been used to describe organizations that attempt to show that they are adopting practices beneficial to the environment.

A new survey suggests that over 95% of all companies claiming to be green are guilty of at least one count of greenwashing. The upside is that 5% of companies claiming to be green actually are. I can say that we are one of them :)

You can avoid being Greenwashed.

1. Look at labels.
For example: If a product claims to be recycled - the company must list the recycled content percentage. If a cleaning product claims to be green it may be that just the packaging is green. You want the product to be: Biodegradable, phosphate free, chlorine free, bleach free and scented with natural oils or fragrances.

2. Look for the country of origin.
There are several reasons to see where your product was manufactured. One reason is that if it was made outside the USA or Canada you want to make sure it has a "Fair Trade" label. Fair trade doesn't equate environmental responsibility but it does mean that children weren't making your product. Another reason to check the country of origin, especially when using creams and supplements, is that other countries do not have the same health and safety guidelines which are enforced in the USA and Canada. Do you really want to use a face cream that was made in Asia, quick and cheap, without the USA Health Codes? Oftentimes big companies who buy such products to sell here do not do their due diligence. Just a warning...

3. Food products must be labeled.
Organic food products will be labeled "USDA Organic" if they are truly organic.

4. Use common sense
If a product is disposable, even if it's organic, it should be biodegradable or compostable if it's truly green. If you look at a product and think, "how in the world can this be environmentally friendly" - chances are that it's not.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Organic Fitted Innies™ - Q and A

Question From LolliFans

Q. Why do your Fitted diapers have a pocket?

A. There are three main reasons that we changed our Fitted Innie™ design to a pocket:

1. With a pocket - you can customize your absorbency. If you have a heavy wetter you can add LolliDoo™ Organic Absorbency and Flat Innies™ as boosters.
2. A pocket eliminates the cumbersome external elastic loop. We've replaced it with an internal cinch sizing system, the same as our eco-pockets.
3. The pocket opening allows for quicker dry time - and we are all about quick drying diapers.

Q. Do I need a cover with fitted diapers?

A. Yes. A fitted diaper is a modern take on the older versions that required pins. LolliDoo™ Organic Innies™ are all made from cotton and need a cover, we recommend LolliDoo™ Recycled Outties™.

Q. How do I size my LolliDoo™ Fitted Innies™?

A. See this chart below.

1. Give a little tug on the elastic cinch sizing.
2. Gently pull the elastic and unbutton it.
3. Re-button the elastic in the hole that best suits your child. Sometimes this takes a try or two before you get the correct size so please be patient.
4. Once your diaper is sized there is no need to re-adjust until your baby is ready for the next size. The elastic will stay put during laundering.

Q. Who dyes the tye dyed Fitted Innies™?

A. As you may know, we are a small family run company. As such, each tye dyed Innie™ has been hand dyed personally by me (Alison) at my home in Tucson, AZ.

We love hearing from our customers! Please submit comments/questions/concerns to