Ethical Cell Phone?

By debswit ·
I'm disgusted with my iPhone having seen the reports out of China. Are there any ethically made cell phones, made in humane conditions?

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I really doubt it

by robo_dev In reply to Ethical Cell Phone?

Most phones are made in China, some may be assembled in Taiwan, South Korea and a few other places like Mexico, Azerbaijan, UAE, or even Ireland.

It's really hit-or-miss, because companies like Nokia or Motorola assemble in 42 different countries, and any given device may be assembled in one of several different countries. The only way to know, typically, is to look as the serial number of each individual unit.

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Also you should be aware

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Ethical Cell Phone?

That Apple doesn't actually own the places where the Phones are assembled. They Tender out the Work to Subcontractors which is Industry Standard Practice despite what any outside signs may say so they don't really have any control over what happens where their products are assembled.

But that's no different to any of the other Device makers who deliberately go to the Cheapest Assembly Points in the World to make the End Price of their Devices cheaper for their Customers which here means people like you.


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Reponse To Answer

by kjohnson In reply to Also you should be aware

Outsourcing to developing countries is the modern slavery and, like traditional slavery, it is driving the slaves to mass suicide. We customers are under an ethical imperative to stop slavery, immediately, by force if necessary. China is willing to sell its former agricultural labourers into slavery to western companies. I am disgusted that British companies feel happy to accept their offer. It is no excuse to tell me that other countries do it as well: we have to put a stop to it.

Of course the company that places the contract has control over the conditions under which the contracted employees work, and it should exercise that control rigorously. At the very least the company should inspect the candidate company before the contract is placed and seek trustworthy evidence that workers on the contract work the number of hours that would be permitted under the European Working Time Directive under reasonably comfortable conditions with adequate breaks, and that the work will be paid at least the British minimum wage at the current rate of exchange.

I suggest that these requirements should be enacted into law.

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Reponse To Answer

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Also you should be aware

I think you are confusing the above.

I didn't say it was right and I don't think that it's right but it is much more than Common. Singling out Apple alone is wrong as they are no different to any of the companies who use what is effectively Slave Labor in unsafe conditions and where the Subcontractor effectively buys it's employees and has the right to do as they like with them.

Even moving away from Technology Companies like Nike, Adidas and the like are no better they still employ the same types of manufactures doing the same type of thing in unsafe ways using unsafe procedures of doing things.

It's defiantly not confined to just Technology Companies and using Unsafe Glues is most defiantly not confined to technology Companies.

As Accountants tend to run companies they look for the Cheapest way to make things and don't consider the possible down sides like Poor Worker conditions or worse for them still the Possibility of Counterfeit Goods made int he same Factory as theirs coming out a different door and offering direct competition to them.

As The Companies who want this work done in Third World Countries do it for cheapness they insist that they are doing a good thing by spreading the wealth around and making items cheaper for their customers.

Sometimes they even manage to do that but most times they fail miserably and continue the same old process that seems to be worshiped by Business World Wide.

They Lie Steal and Cheat everyone to make Money and Honestly don't understand why there are complaints when they get caught. Right Now the Companies who make things rely on Slave Labor and Horrible Conditions to get away with their Lie Stealing and Cheating where as Companies in more Developed Countries just Lie Steal and Cheat their Customers and Flout the Local Laws to improve their bottom line.

If you really feel as you say you do you need to work toward a massive change in what is called Free Enterprise which is inherently wrong.


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For the most part, not really

by Whiskyclone In reply to Ethical Cell Phone?

For the most part, no, although Credo is a highly ethical service provider that supports, and donates to, very worthwhile human rights campaigns and causes in those places.

As far as actual phones go, all advanced technology is built on levels upon levels on severe exploitation and unethical behavior. Even the ethical manufacturing facilities are using materials mined from slave labor and violence in the Congo.

If you're like me and this sort of thing really angers you but you need certain technologies for your work or personal life, your best bet, ethically speaking, is buying used. The companies don't make profits that way and it helps make sure these labor abuses aren't completely wasted on devices that just end up being tossed.

If you want to learn more about this stuff and what you can do to help, Naomi Klein's book No Logo is a great start.

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Reponse To Answer

by kjohnson In reply to For the most part, not re ...

"Buying used" is a simple and brilliant idea. And there I was thinking I'd have to build my own mobile phone from old British transistor radio parts.

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Manufacturing in the real world

by achmad.osman In reply to Ethical Cell Phone?

The question arises for most manufacturing jobs -not on iphones. Components for your car, clothes, electrical goods are all made in an off-shore factory - and if they are not, they soon will be. Short of becomming a monk and not purchasing any material goods, you are unlikely to avoid it. However, just because some factories have dormitories and pay workers a subjective low salary, does this mean that they should be closed down and the jobs lost? That is the Moral question.
Brand companies are very sensitive to exposure and while they won't necessarily move production to a higher paying country, they do pressure their suppliers to apply that countires labour laws and standards. The Chinese authorities for example, fine and imprison factory owners who continually flout local laws.
Are you willing to pay 3 times the current price for an article to ensure that the product is made in the same country that you live in? You may not get a better product...

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Reponse To Answer

by kjohnson In reply to Manufacturing in the real ...

Am I willing to pay three times the current price for an article to ensure that the product is made in the country that I live in? Yes.

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Reponse To Answer

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Manufacturing in the real ...

Am I willing to pay three times the current price for an article to ensure that the product is made in the country that I live in? Yes.

Does the same apply to Chicken Eggs?

Do you buy Free Range Eggs or just what's cheapest?

here they think that if they put Cage Bird Eggs or Free Range Eggs on the label they will sell a lot more Free Range Eggs as the people buying the eggs will go for the Free Range Eggs which are produced in a More Ethical Manner. Unfortunately what has happened is that people say that they will buy Free Range Eggs when they are all that is available as they don't want the chickens who have suffered in Cages to go to waste.

Hence the Caged Eggs are still the biggest sellers and the proposed ending of Caged Birds by Free Enterprise doesn't look as if it's going to happen. The customers in the majority of cases by the cheapest that they can and encourage the people who produce these things to continue their operations.


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Ethical Cell Phone

by debswit In reply to Ethical Cell Phone?

I really appreciate the feedback, and you all make some very good points. Honestly I'm embarrassed that this incident was the catalyst that made me sit up and take notice. As I'm doing more research, I'm finding all of the above to be true, really how could it be otherwise? If this were a single incident there would be more indignation, repulsion, consequence. The fact that this iPhone report has already been mostly forgotten speaks volumes. I think most people choose to ignore the obvious so they don't have to feel bad.

Yes, I would pay more if I knew the product was made under humane conditions??? now. Maybe 5 or 10 years ago I would have chosen ignorance, now I can't. Most of these ???things??? made in such conditions aren???t a necessary part of our lives, they???re a convenience, or a keeping up with the Jones???s status symbol.

The lack of ethics and morality in this type of manufacturing environment is undeniable, but it???s not all black and white??? Yes, the financial impact of making something here or in a much cheaper developing country is the priority for any company selling a product, and yes, these third world subcontractors can for the most part do as they please??? particularly if no one is looking. The flip side of this is that in countries where these practices are common, this is the only job available, and people have no other choice but to take it in order to survive. They are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

I like the idea of buying used, it makes a lot of sense. Achmad is correct, from a technological view, there are no ???modern convenience??? items completely native to US. Some part of nearly everything has been made OUS under who knows what conditions. So what does a person with a conscience do? I can???t see myself going native and living completely off the land (being honest), but I will strive to make informed choices in all future purchases, however small my buying power impact might be. I know I won???t always be successful (hopefully unwittingly).

As far as the eggs??? I???ve been reading up on that too (from a diverse set of articles), trying to get an objective viewpoint. Free Range seems to have a very broad definition that can be interpreted a million different ways, mostly as loopholes. Commercial egg farmers house chickens in barns, or out-buildings on multi-tiered levels, wing to wing, with a grate for flooring, so they are still eliminating on the chickens below. ???De-beaking??? is practiced as they are still in such close quarters with little room for movement that cannibalism and/or injury from pecking is a big problem, the fact that they don???t have a caged wall doesn???t mean the quality of life is any better. A small window or door is the only requirement to qualify for ???Free Range??? certification. Even small organic farmers aren???t necessarily the do-gooders you would think. Apparently there is an opt out for ethics as chickens don???t have souls???

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