Monday, 25 March 2013

Where does all your stuff come from?

As part of the 4th block in Lola we are looking at design at a global level.  One of the exercises I found really eye opening and I think everyone could benefit from doing this too.
First we were asked to start by looking at the food we bought/used this week and if we can see where it came from add it to a world map (I used the map in the study and some post-it notes, but others used google).  Most of our food came from Europe, mostly the UK, Belgium or Italy.
Then we were asked to look at our clothing and add these items to the world map.  My clothing comes from a wider range of places, my jeans from Egypt, a hooded top from Morocco but most of my running kit came from China, which I found surprising.
Lastly we were asked to look at other items in our houses to see where they came from.  Most of the things I looked at were of an electronic nature and came from Asia and most of it from China.
As a consumer I knew that a lot of things I buy come from China, and it frustrates me that I have no choice with a lot of items of getting them from anywhere else, but I didn't realise quite how much stuff does come from there.  I should point out that I have no problem with China, what I have a problem with is just how far each of those items has to come before I even start using it.  In an ideal world I would love to buy everything I need from the community that surrounds me.
So why not have a go and see where all your stuff comes from.  You might be surprised too.

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