Western brands want to manufacture their products at the lowest price they can possibly achieve; but when factories are under constant pressure to manufacture more cheaply, the owners stop investing in critical aspects of their business.
And to add insult to injury, the money saved helps to fund ‘greenwashing’ marketing campaigns.
The result of this greedy and ignorant attitude is not just an environmental disaster. For the people right at the start of the supply chain, it can lead to large scale abuse of basic rights.
On our visits to East Asia, well-lit has witnessed desperately unsafe working environments, zero health and safety, people working very long hours in incredibly hot environments for very little pay, toxic substances dumped in drains and rivers, migrant workers forced to live in unacceptable conditions, and bosses who simply don’t treat their employees as human beings.
These outrages are the rule rather than the exception, and anyone who thinks it only applies to western brands at the lower price points is very much mistaken.
Excellence in product design, manufacturing, and performance can’t be achieved by cutting manufacturing costs to the bone and using smoke and mirrors to hide the damage. In fact, the opposite is true.
Well-lit bulbs are made entirely by hand, so our workers gain transferable skills, and can command a high rate of pay at our factory and in future employment. The attention to detail they provide is simply impossible with the automated methods used by our competitors, and has helped us develop the most stringent quality control process in the industry – because everyone checks the work of the person before them.
b) Supply chain culture
While our rivals are busy promoting their company culture, we’d rather tell you about our supply chain culture. True excellence in manufacturing means valuing and empowering everyone involved. You can design the most beautiful product with the most sustainable materials on earth, but if the people who make it don’t care about it as much as you do, your vision and product will be diluted and sub-standard.
c) Our factory
Migrant workers in huge manufacturing hubs like Shenzhen have travelled huge distances from their families to find work. Our factory is located in an unfashionable area 200km west of Shanghai. Most of our workers live locally.
We ensure a clean, safe and respectful place of work. Frequent independent evaluations flag up anything that we can improve on.
Our workers command a higher rate of pay due to their training and skillset. They also have a free lunch every single day – a lunch so good that workers from neighbouring factories try to sneak in!
Happiness is good for business
Everyone in our supply chain has a job they value and are proud of. That enhances their quality of life, and helps build a happy person. And a happy person is good for business.
Well-lit has proved it’s possible to make ethical LED bulbs and be a successful enterprise at the same time.
We want to Inspire others to evaluate their supply chains and take action to end any abuses they find.
We welcome any challenge and debate that helps to raise the bar in the lighting industry, and moves us closer to ending the widespread abuse of workers in the manufacture of LED bulbs.