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Please contact Jay at Santus Mundo / Life Without Plastic to discuss the precautions they take to ensure that their products are made in an environmentally safe way by workers who are fairly treated. They regularly visit the plants themselves and have been very wary of products made in China. You can email jay [at] lifewithoutplastic [dot] com. I have met him in person. He is a very sincere, committed person.
Thank you very much, courtvbuff, for your applause for our efforts and for your important comments. I really appreciate you providing us with the opportunity to explain who we are, what we do, and why we stand behind our products. And thank you, Beth, for your kind words of explanation in our defense. Regarding sincere and committed people, you are certainly one of the most sincere and committed people I have ever met.
First off, let me just clarify who we are. We are a small, family-based business with a global reach, and our focus is on providing the best alternatives to plastics for everyday products – by ‘best’, we mean safe, healthy, ethically-sourced, and environmentally friendly. Our mother company is called Mama Mundo Inc., and within that are:
– Sanctus Mundo (www.sanctusmundo.com), which is the brand and wholesale division;
– Life Without Plastic (www.lifewithoutplastic.com), which is the retail division, and which sells Sanctus Mundo products along with some other select brands.
I’d like to address the China issue right away because that is one we get a lot of questions about. None, I repeat none, of the Sanctus Mundo products are sourced from China. Right now, they come from the following countries: South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Life Without Plastic does sell some carefully chosen products made in China such as the Klean Kanteen, but these bottles are closely checked by the manufacturer and we have tested them ourselves for heavy metal leaching. We sell the Klean Kanteen because we think it is currently about the best stainless steel bottle on the market. For Sanctus Mundo products we have deliberately chosen not to source from China. Not necessarily for quality reasons. Quality can certainly be an issue with Chinese products – and we have direct experience in that respect – but some high quality products do come from China. We have deep respect for the Chinese people and their rich culture and history. Our problem is with the repressive dictatorship that is the Chinese government, and its very questionable human rights and environmental records. There are many examples to choose from to illustrate the problems, but key ones include the invasion of Tibet, the continuing oppression of the Tibetan people and the ongoing persecution of other minorities in China, such as the Uyghur people. Just today, as I write this, new has broken that Google is considering pulling out of China completely – an incredible development – because of censorship restrictions imposed by the government and recent cyberattacks on the Google corporate infrastructure that appear aimed at spying on human rights activists (see details here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/bus…..455712.stm).
I noted above that we source some Sanctus Mundo products from Taiwan, which is a democratically governed country separate from China with a cutting edge manufacturing sector and solid initiatives to reduce both pollution and waste. Taiwan has attempted to share its recycling and waste management experience with China, but all contact has been rebuffed by the Chinese government. In April 2009, we visited our newest Taiwanese manufacturer and were extremely impressed both with the facilities and the people.
You also expressed reservations about Thailand, courtvbuff. The Thai company we have been working with for many years is one of the top stainless steel housewares manufacturers in the world and we are continually impressed by their solid integrity, their environmental awareness, and their attention to quality and detail. They are fantastic people who care about making safe products as much as we do.
As Beth mentioned, we take precautions to ensure that the products we source are healthy, environmentally-friendly and made by workers who are fairly treated. We work only with suppliers with whom we have solid trust relationships – usually developed over years of contact. And before we work with a supplier we ensure their workers are fairly treated and that environmental considerations can be accommodated as much as possible – e.g., minimal packaging made from environmentally-friendly materials. We do visit manufacturing facilities as much as possible and we have met in person almost all of our suppliers. As well, we test the products ourselves to ensure they are safe.
I hope that helps address your concerns, but do feel free to contact me at any time if you have other questions or concerns.
jay (at) lifewithoutplastic (dot) com
Life Without Plastic & Sanctus Mundo
Jay, thank you so much for the comprehensive explanation. I didn’t realize that part of your reluctance to produce products in China had to do with their repressive government. That makes me respect you and Chantal even more.
I have a question about the insulated lunch bag you sent me, but I’ll take it off this forum.
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